Published on May 4th, 2017 | by Ann
Critically acclaimed exhibition Lefa La Ntate by Mohau Modisakeng coming to the Standard Bank Gallery
Exhibition: Lefa La Ntate
Artist: Mohau Modisakeng
Venue: Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg
Dates: 2 June to 8 July 2017
Very few South Africans will be able to visit Venice, where Mohau Modisakeng joins Candice Breitz as a national representative at the Biennale starting in May. Fortunately, however, Joburgers won’t need to travel that far to enjoy Modisakeng’s work. The Standard Bank Gallery is pleased to announce that his critically acclaimed exhibition, Lefa La Ntate, will soon open in Johannesburg.
Modisakeng, who trained as a sculptor, has become best known for his photographic series and video installations. For this artist, the two-dimensional surface of a photograph does more than just provide a frame for an image of a person or a thing – he is interested in how an object or body “functions within a given space”. When he first started experimenting with a camera, he discovered that placing himself in the frame not only cast his body into a particular space but also into a moment “frozen in time”.
Since then, he has exploited the rich visual possibilities of the photographic or filmic image: setting, posture, gesture; the tension between movement and stasis, between material objects and their symbolic associations; the irreducible presence of the body.
Modisakeng’s work cannot, however, be understood only in aesthetic terms. He engages boldly and relentlessly with South Africa’s troubled past, as well as with the present consequences. In the colonial period and under apartheid, states Modisakeng, “Black people didn’t only experience violence as a physical threat but also on a political, economic, psychological and spiritual level. My work responds to the complexities that have come from such a history.”
While the tools of violence feature prominently – the rifle, the panga, the sjambok, the axe – and while his work alludes to sites of oppression and segregation, Modisakeng nonetheless offers the viewer redemptive possibilities through the practices of ritual and through the excavation of memory.
The Standard Bank Gallery – located on the corner of Simmonds and Frederick streets in central Johannesburg – offers free, safe undercover parking on the corner of Harrison and Frederick streets. Gallery hours: Mondays to Fridays from 8am to 4.30pm, Saturdays from 9am to 1pm. Entrance to the exhibition is free.
The Standard Bank Gallery will be open until 9pm for First Thursday on July 6th. For further info please contact 011 631 4467
Twitter: @StandardBankArts #SBGallery