Stunning performances, large-format photographs, videos and sculptures by young South African artist Mohau Modisakeng (b. 1986) address the culture and politics of post-colonial and post-apartheid Africa by contrasting its history of violence with its present moment through depictions of the body. Modisakeng grew up in Soweto near Johannesburg under the shadow of repeated rioting in the townships. His powerful images, somewhat reminiscent of Joseph Beuys's and Matthew Barney's very personal performances, freeze this contrast into timeless language. Without making violence a primary focus, Modisakeng converts injustice into a poetic vocabulary conveying African history to the observer without placing blame. This first-time monograph and European solo exhibition feature 70 large-scale color photographs along with the noted video work Inzlo (Mourning), featured at the 56th Venice Biennale. As Modisakeng observes, 'Although we might recognize history as our past, the body is indifferent to social changes, so it remembers.'
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