Choose your dates:

  1. Thursday, April 25, 2024

  2. Friday, April 26, 2024

Exhibitions

Personal and Political

About the Exhibition

Mohau Modisakeng uses self-portraiture to explore his identity as a black man in post-apartheid South Africa. Trained as a sculptor, Modisakeng now also works in film, photography, and performance, addressing the history of his country, and revealing, in sharp, dramatic contrast, complex and challenging issues. “The main message behind my work has to do with the influence of the history of violence on how we understand our cultural, political, and social roles as human beings,” explains the artist, “The hope is to reveal how power is manipulated to change how we relate to our bodies.” Modisakeng’s large-scale photographs are printed on watercolor paper, which lends richness and depth to the black figure and white, blank background, suggesting a solidity of form akin to sculpture. The costumed figure carries various props, which could also serve as weapons, alluding to the experience of violence that the artist has both experienced and inherited. One such object is the Dikubu, a cattle prod commonly referred to as a Sjambok in South Africa, which was originally made of Hippopatumus hide, but now is commercially produced in plastic. The Dikubu symbolizes authority, oppression, and ownership of resources–aspects of South Africa’s past and present, which the artist believes must be confronted in order to envision a new future. Born in Soweto in 1986, Modisakeng’s first solo exhibition in the US is being presented at 21c Louisville during the 2013 Photo Biennial.

Works included:

Dikubu Series I, Untitled Frame I, 2012
Chromogenic print on watercolor paper

Dikubu Series I, Untitled Frame II, 2012
Chromogenic print on watercolor paper

Dikubu Series I, Untitled Frame III, 2012
Chromogenic print on watercolor paper

Dikubu Series I, Untitled Frame IV,  2012
Chromogenic print on watercolor paper

Dikubu Series I, Untitled Frame V, 2012
Chromogenic print on watercolor paper

Dikubu Series I, Untitled Frame VI, 2012
Chromogenic print on watercolor paper

Dikubu Series I, Untitled Frame VII, 2012
Chromogenic print on watercolor paper

Dikubu Series I, Untitled Frame VIII, 2012
Chromogenic print on watercolor paper

Dikubu Series I, Untitled Frame IX, 2012
Chromogenic print on watercolor paper

Dikubu Series I, Untitled Frame X, 2012
Chromogenic print on watercolor paper

Dikubu Series I, Untitled Frame XI, 2012
Chromogenic print on watercolor paper

Dikubu Series I, Untitled Frame XII, 2012
Chromogenic print on watercolor paper

Dikubu Series I, Untitled Frame XIII, 2012
Chromogenic print on watercolor paper