Mohau Modisakeng


Mohau Modisakeng uses his body to explore the influence of South Africa’s violent history on how we understand our cultural, political and social roles as human beings. Represented through film, large-scale photographic prints, installations and performance, Modisakeng’s work responds to the history of the black body within the (South) African context, which is inseparably  intertwined with the violence of the Apartheid era and the early 1990s. His images are not direct representations of violence, but powerful yet poetic invocations where the body is transformed into a poignant marker of collective memory.

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 Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town (2017); PERFORMA17, New York (2017); Tyburn Gallery, London (2016); 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, the From Cobra to Contemporary Collection, EKARD Collection, Dommering collection, and Zeitz MOCAA.

Modisakeng has been awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art in 2016. As part of a two-person exhibition, Modisakeng also represented South Africa at the 57th Venice Biennale last year (2017).

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2018 Passage, Spencer Museum of Art Kansas
2017 Lefa la Ntate, Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg
Lefa la Ntate, Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery,University of the Free State
Lefa la Ntate, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg
Passage - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
Zion, PERFORMA17, New York
2016 Bophirima, Tyburn Gallery, London
ENDABENI, Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam
Lefe La Ntate, Monument Gallery, Grahamstown National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
Mohau Modisakeng, Laumeier Sculpture Park, Saint Louis, Missouri
Lefa La Ntate, IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town
Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center, Laumeier Sculpture Park, St Louis, USA
Lefa La Ntate, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, Port Elizabeth
2015 Ke Kgomo Ya Moshate, Kunstrum, Innsbruck
Mohau Modisakeng, Big Pond Artworks, Munich, Germany
2014 VOLTA NY, BRUNDYN+, New York
Loop Barcelona, Hotel Catalonia Ramblas, Barcelona
Ditaola, BRUNDYN+, Cape Town
Mohau Modisakeng, Chavonnes Battery Museum, Cape Town (in partnership with Zeitz MOCAA)
2013 Inzilo, Video Art Powered by Samsung Special Project, FNB Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg
2012 Sera, Master of Fine Art Exhibition, Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town
Untitled, A solo exhibition in recognition of his Sasol New Signatures Award for 2011, Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria
2010 Ibutho, Side Gallery, Stevenson, Gallery, Cape Town
2009 Ugufa Unezindaba’, Graduate Exhibition, Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town

Selected Group Exhibitions

2018 In Their Own Form; Contemporary Photography and Afro Futurism, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago
Ex Africa, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB), Rio De Jeneiro
More Aphrike, M Bassy, Hamburg
Hohenrausch (Thrill of Heights) - The Other Shore, Ok Centre for Contemporary Art, Lintz Upper Austria
Continental Drift from Blak to Blac, Cairns Art Gallery, Queensland
2017 Another Antipodes Exhibition: Urban Axis, PS Art Space, Fremantle WA, Australia
Le Jour Qui Vient, Galerie des Galeries, Paris
EX AFRICA, Belo Horizonte, Brasília, São Paulo Rio de Janeiro
The 57th Venice Biennale - The South African Pavilion, Sale d’Armi, Arsenale, Venice
2016 Re(as)sisting Narratives, Framer Framed, Amsterdam, Netherlands
62nd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany
Prefer Life, Reydan Weiss Collection, The Weserburg, Bremen, Germany
Fünf Seen Film Festival, Starnberg, Germany
When Tomorrow Comes, Wits Art Museum, Johannesburg / Michaelis Galleries, Cape Town
Lagos Photo Festival, Lagos, Nigeria
After the Thrill is Gone, Gwen Frostic School of Art, Michigan
Negative Space - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2015 AFIRIperFOMA, Lagos, Nigeria.
NIROX Winter Sculpture Fair, Nirox Foundation, Johannesburg
2015 Joburg Art Fair - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg
DIS/PLACE, MoCADA, Brooklyn, New York
What Remains is Tomorrow, South African Pavilion, Venice Bienniale
Broken English, Tyburn Gallery, London
La Fabrique De L'Homme Moderne, in resonance with Lyon Biennale, La Fabric, Solomon Foundation for Contemporary Art, Annecy
Foreign Bodies - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2014 Brave New World…20 Years of Democracy, IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town
Art Against the Wall: An Artist Response to Civil Wars, Gallery 72, Atlanta, Georgia
Loop Art Fair, Silencio Club, Paris
!Kauru 2014: Rerouting Dialogue 1994- 2014, UNISA Gallery, Pretoria
START Art Fair, BRUNDYN+, Saatchi Gallery, London
Anyway, the Wind Blows, BRUNDYN +, Cape Town
FNB Joburg Art Fair, BRUNDYN +, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg
Here Today, The Old Sorting Office, London
Performing Portraiture, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
GIPCA Live Art Festival, City Hall, Cape Town
Fearless Renewal, MC Theatre, Amsterdam
2013 FNB Joburg Art Fair, BRUNDYN +, Johannesburg
Am I not a Man and a Brother? Am I not a Woman and a Sister, James Harris Gallery, Seattle
Personal and Political, 21c Museum, Louisville, Kentucky
Biennale Internationa d’Art Contemporain (BIAC), Fort de France, Martinique
Ceci n’est pas une Summer Show, BRUNDYN+, Cape Town
2012 Out of Focus: Photography, Saatchi Gallery, London
Exuberance Project Exhibition, Mandela Rhodes Gallery, Cape Town
Uneveness Exhibition, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare
NEWSFEED: Anonymity & Social Media in African Revolutions and Beyond, MoCADA, New York
Dak’Art Biennale, Dakar
Material Representation, BRUNDYN +, Cape Town
FNB Joburg Art Fair, BRUNDYN +, Johannesburg
2011 Focus 11, Basel
Implemented Environments, BRUNDYN+, Cape Town
Business Day, FNB Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg
2010 A RE FANON, with Lerato Bereng, Blank Projects, Cape Town

Permanent Collections

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) Johannesburg Art Gallery
IZIKO South African National Gallery
Saatchi Gallery
21C Museum Hotel University of South Africa (UNISA)
New Church Museum
Piet Viljoen Collection
Wendy Fisher Emile Stipp Collection
Manuel de Santaren Salsali Private Museum
The Ekard Collection

Selected Publications

2016     Mohau Modisakeng

2014     Ditaola