Mohau Modisakeng wins the 2016 Standard Bank Young Artists Award

WHATIFTHEWORLD is pleased to announce that artist Mohau Modisakeng wins the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for 2016.

“Bringing visual art to the table is Soweto born Mohau Modisakeng. Known primarily as a sculptor, Mohau is a multidisciplinary artist who has ventured into film, installation, performance, and large-scale photographic prints.

A Masters graduate from UCT’s Michealis School of Fine Art, he has racked up a considerable number of exhibitions both locally and internationally as well as receiving the Sasol New Signatures Award in 2011.

Mohau’s work highlights the position of the black body situated in the violent context of South Africa’s past and present. It explores how we understand our own socio- political and cultural roles as human beings in the country. A perfect example of the type of art that Mohau creates is his sobering and poignant video piece Inzilo (isiZulu for ‘mourning’ or ‘fasting’) where he makes use of his own body to enact a mourning ritual. Recently, Mohau has worked on public performances and interventions, and his work may soon be moving towards the theatrical.”

Mohau Modisakeng was born in Soweto in 1986 and lives and works between Johannesburg and Cape Town. He completed his undergraduate degree at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town in 2009 and worked towards his Masters degree at the same institution. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Fine Art, Boston (2014); 21C Museum, Kentucky, Massachusetts (2014); IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2014); Saatchi Gallery, London (2012); and the Dak’Art Biennale, Dakar (2012). Public Collections include the Johannesburg Art Gallery, IZIKO South African National Gallery, Saatchi Gallery and Zeitz MOCAA.

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Mohau Modisakeng at MoCADA

WHATIFTHEWORLD is pleased to announce that Mohau Modisakeng will be participating in the group exhibition DIS/PLACE at the Museum of Contemporary Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibition opens on Saturday, 17 October and will run until 17 January 2016.

Displacement, or a state of being rooted in uprootedness, is a consequence of colonial conquest in Africa and the Americas that has come to frame dominant perceptions of diasporic identity and nationhood. DIS/PLACE maps the somatic, psychological and infrastructural violences of displacement in the contemporary African Diaspora from the perspectives of those living in its throes. Through material and contextual inquiries into objects ranging from firearms to fruit, the collection of works by Aisha Tandiwe Bell, Kudzanai Chiurai, Mohau Modisakeng, Valerie Piraino, Sable Elyse Smith and Ralph Ziman render visible the power relations produced by and through displacement, and the innovative strategies that transform even its most foreboding effects into dynamic and grounding cultural formations.

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Pierre Fouché at Museum of Fine Arts Boston

WHATIFTHEWORLD is pleased to announce that Pierre Fouché’s work is included in Crafted: Objects in Flux at the Henry and Lois Foster Gallery (Gallery 158), Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

This group exhibition, which runs until 10 January 2016,  is the first of its kind within an encyclopedic museum to explore the broad possibilities of contemporary artistic engagement with craft. By examining these interactions in proximity to historical examples in the MFA’s collection, Crafted demonstrates the vitality, viability, and variety inherent in choosing craft as a foundation for contemporary artistic practice.

Crafted explores this moment of “flux” in the field, focusing on contemporary craft-based artists who bridge cutting-edge concepts and traditional skills as they embrace and explore the increasingly blurred boundaries between art, craft, and design. Featuring a selection of works from across the landscape of contemporary craft, the exhibition includes more than 30 emerging and established international artists. Looking to a broad range of materials and practices, the exhibition explores the connections between craft and performance; the opportunities provided by new technologies and materials; and the power of rethinking craft’s interactions with architecture and space.

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Sanell Aggenbach at Aardklop 2015

WHATIFTHEWORLD is pleased to announce that Sanell Aggenbach was selected as the festival artist for the 2015 Aardklop festival.

A solo exhibition of Aggenbach’s work, titled Atopia, will be presented at the North-West University in Potchefstroom from 5  – 10 October 2015.

Through this presentation of a new series of paintings and scukptures, Aggenbach renews her ongoing interest in new botanical ‘hybrids’ and the Japanese artform of Ikebana.

Aggenbach is firmly rooted in South Africa, yet also grounded in a Western contemporary art practice whose members do not have territorial boarders, but often roam between hosting cities. As a whole, the artist uses these contradictions to create extraordinary works that are not necessarily of any specific place, which is a central concept of Atopia (meaning a placessness or ‘a place without borders’). Drawn to the formal language of Ikebana which embody a sense of balance, restraint, formality, spirituality and intuition, Aggenbach has produced a series of large botanical-like sculptures and paintings that are at the same time delicate, peculiar and playful.