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04 Nov 2015 15:05
Mohau Modisakeng will explore themes continuing from his exploration of violence. (Supplied)
Carefully thought out, thematic work is a staple of multi-disciplinary artist Mohau Modisakeng’s oeuvre. The recent winner of the Standard Bank Young
Artist Award in the visual art category plans to use his funds to create a
travelling exhibition that will include installation and performance elements.
“It will start in Grahamstown [at next year’s National Arts
Festival], but I think the work will change as I move around with different
spaces,” says Modisakeng.
“I like to respond to the different spaces where the
work will be shown. So the performance
part of the exhibition will evolve as it goes and the photography and the video
will probably remain the same.”
Expanding on the presentation of the work, Modisakeng says, “it
will be a series of photographs.
Modisakeng’s exploration of violence, largely using his body
was a striking way of looking at the violence of the apartheid era and the
The new work, already in creation, will
explore the protest culture in South Africa. “I will be exploring its roots in
the anti-apartheid movement but also trying to trace that into the current
day,” he says. “So the key themes will be history, landscape and protest.”
Modisakeng is not the only artist exploring
multi-disciplinary work. Themba Mbuli, a choreographer and managing
director at Unmute Dance Company, which has dancers of mixed abilities, says
the work he is developing will feature visual art alongside dance. Mbuli says
he is still exploring three possible directions but the work will be a group
work involving other members of his company.
Mbuli’s seminal solo work Dark Cell, which explored mental imprisonment through the imagery
of Robben Island and political imprisonment was staged at the National Arts
Festival in 2014.
For director and designer Jade Bowers, who has been involved in works
such as Ashraf Johaardien’s adaptation of K Sello Duiker’s The Quiet Violence of Dreams and the direction, design and
production of Salaam Stories (a
remake of Johaardien’s Salaam),
people do not often acknowledge the immense pressure that comes to bear on
artists to produce great work. Bowers says she is taking a month to
decide which of the ideas she will go with, but she wants to “tell a story that
makes sense to me.”
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