south africa on VIEW
Mohau Modisakeng | Tyburn Gallery
Mohau Modisakeng, Untitled (Test), 2016 Courtesy Mohau Modisakeng Studio
Material, metaphor and the black body are the tools that Mohau Modisakeng uses to explore the influence of South Africa’s violent history that has been ignored in today’s society, on how we understand our cultural, political, and social roles as human beings in post-colonial Africa and in particular post-apartheid South Africa. Represented through film, large-scale photographic prints, installations and performances, his work doesn’t start off with an attempt to portray violence but it becomes mesmerising because although we might recognise history as our past, the body is indifferent to social changes, so it remembers. Born in Soweto, an epicentre of black urbanity and cosmopolitan culture, the multi-award winning Mohau Modisakeng is a product of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Fine Art. Mentored by Jane Alexander and predominantly working and training in sculpture, he completed his undergraduate degree in 2009 then completed his Masters degree at the same institution. He currently lives and works between Johannesburg and Cape Town. Mohau Modisakeng with Candice Breitz will represent South Africa at the world’s most prestigious contemporary art event: the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017. Modisakeng and Breitz will present a major, two-person exhibition in the South African Pavilion, running from 13 May to 26 November 2017 in Venice, Italy. The South African Pavilion exhibition will invite viewers to explore the artist’s role in visualising and articulating the notion of selfhood within a context of global marginalisation and it will reflect on experiences of exclusion, displacement, transience, migration and xenophobia, exploring the complex socio-political forces that shape the performance of selfhood under such conditions.
Mohau Modisakeng Studio
Hasan & Husain Essop | Goodman Gallery
Hasan & Husain Essop Beached, 2016 courtesy of Goodman GalleryHasan & Husain Essop, The Last Supper in Havana, 2009, Josef Vascovitz and Lisa Goodman. © Hassan and Husain Essop, Photo courtesy of the artist and Goodman Gallery
The Essop twins, Hasan and Husain, have been collaborating since their graduation from the University of Cape Town. The role of the individual in society is the key of their work, especially the space that Muslim youth occupy and negotiate in a secular environment. The use of the figure as well as the eyes in Islam is controversial and the artists are careful about limiting this representation to their own bodies and assuming responsibility for it. They are not interested in making objective statements, their questions are personal and intimate and they perform these questions and the search for answers with their own bodies. We also speak of the split personality within ourselves. That’s why our previous work was made up of so many (characters) all wearing different costumes representing the different facets of one’s self. They look at the photographs as dreams, a memory or dream they have experienced and which they try to recreate: Our work is quite surreal, in the sense that in some photographs it is impossible for it to be reality. It’s fake, there are five of us. The photographs occupy a space between the spontaneous and the staged, documentation and narrative, between overt expression and what is left unsaid. Their work has appeared in several group shows, including Integration and Resistance in the Global Age at the Havana Biennale, ABSAL’Atelier in Johannesburg and Power Play at Goodman Gallery Cape, as well as various private and public collections, including the Durban Art Gallery and the South African National Gallery, Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde where on November 2016 they opened an exhibition of the series Unrest . They are represented by Goodman Gallery.
Athi Patra-Ruga | WHATIFTHEWORLD
Athi-Patra Ruga, performance of Over the Rainbow as Versatile Queen Ivy for Performa Gala 2016, New York. All images by Max/Lakner/BFA.com. Courtesy of Performa Athi Patra-Ruga, It Has a Golden Sun and an Elderly Grey Moon,2016 (still) Courtesy the artist and Art : Concept, Paris Photo: Martin Argyrogla
Born Umtata, South Africa in 1984 and lives and works in both Johannesburg and Cape Town. Exploring the border-zones between fashion, performance and contemporary art, Athi-Patra Ruga makes work that exposes and subverts the body in relation to structure, ideology and politics. Bursting with eclectic multicultural references, carnal sensuality and a dislocated undercurrent of humor, his performances, videos, costumes and photographic images create a world where cultural identity is no longer determined by geographical origins, ancestry or biological disposition, but is increasingly becoming a hybrid construct. A Utopian counter-proposal to the sad dogma of the division between mind and body, sensuality and intelligence, pop culture, craft and fine art, his works expresses the eroticism of knowledge and reconciles the dream with experience. Athi-Patra Ruga was also recently included in the Phaidon book ‘Younger Than Jesus’, a directory of over 500 of the world’s best artists under the age of 33. His works form part of Private, Public and Museum Collections here and abroad, namely: Museion, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Bolzano Italy; CAAC, Pigozzi Collection; The Wedge Collection, IZIKO South African National Gallery. In 2015, Ruga was awarded The Grahamstown National Arts Festival’s 2015 Standard Bank Young Artist for Performance Art and presentedThe Elder of Azania, a work that is part of his ongoing performance series The Future Women of Azania, first conceived in 2010. Other recent performances of The Elder of Azania were included in the Johannesburg Pavilion during the 56th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale in Italy All The World’s Futures curated by Okwui Enwezor in 2015 and Public Intimacy, Yerba Buena Centre/SFMOMA, San Francisco in 2014. In 2016, Ruga was commissioned to do a performance piece entitled Over the Rainbow for the Performa Gala in New York. Other solo exhibitions include: Athi-Patra Ruga, Bass Museum of Art, Miami, Florida, USA (2016); A Land without a People… for a People without a Land, In Situ Fabienne Leclerc Gallery, Paris (2015) and a tapestry commission and exhibition for Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton (2014).
Athi-Patra Ruga, The Night of the Long Knives II, 2013 Courtesy of WHATIFTHEWORLD
miami on VIEW
Ulla von Brandenburg | Pérez Art Museum
Ulla von Brandenburg, It Has a Golden Sun and an Elderly Grey Moon, 2016 (still) Courtesy the artist and Art : Concept, Paris Photo: Martin Argyrogla
Alluding to diverse histories rooted in Western traditions, Ulla von Brandenburg, 1974, born in Germany and lives in Paris, makes films, drawings, performances, wall paintings, and installations to create multilayered narratives. Her work often references late 19th century expressionist theater, magic, occultism, pre-Freudian psychoanalysis, color theory, and early 20th century Hollywood cinema to investigate how these pre-archaic forms relate to modern-day social norms. She creates her own visual vocabulary, combining a range of media to make immersive installations that reconsider contemporary collective experiences. Von Brandenburg often uses the motif of the theater curtain—a threshold between reality and artifice-interpreted as a tool to challenge the relationship between actors, audience, and the stage. She is also interested in the study of European carnival as a legitimate form of social transgression when individuals employ the notion of mask to explore alternative identities. Engaging with popular customs, von Brandenburg’s work takes the viewer to the space that separates reality and imagination, where time is insignificant, prompting new collective associations. At PAMM, the artist will produce a large-scale installation at the museum’s double height project gallery.
Project Gallery: Ulla von Brandenburg is curated by María Elena Ortiz, Assistant Curator, at PAMM
It Has a Golden Sun and an Elderly Grey Moon, 2016
Ulla von Brandenburg
Art Basel Miami Pérez Art Museum
Ana Mendieta | Galerie Lelong
Image and artworks courtesy of the Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, LLC and Galerie Lelong, New York
Sweating Blood is a 3-minute long silent film created on super-8 color film in November of 1973. Mendieta’s stance and facial expression in Sweating Blood evoke images of self-sacrifice and martyrdom. Her silence adds to the spiritual, ritualistic aura as cow’s blood slowly trickles over her face. The integration of blood, as a primal and primitive element, reduces Mendieta to her essential self. Drawing the viewer into her spiritual space and presenting this reduction of herself, she traces phenomenological terms of identity. In the fall of 1973, Mendieta began teaching art at an Iowa City public school. Eight months after the rape and murder of fellow University of Iowa student Sara Ann Otten, Mendieta was still actively creating response pieces surrounding violence enacted on women and rape. She employed blood as a powerful symbol with strong violent and political connotations. Many of her pieces created around this time, such as Untitled (Rape Performance) and Untitled (Bloody Mattress), involved very literal implications in her usage of blood. She clearly communicated an emotional response to Otten’s death and a call for awareness and action on violence against women.
Sweating Blood, 1973
Art Basel Miami Galerie Lelong
Uncovering Ana uncoveringana.wordpress.com
Frank Benson | The Rubell Family Collection Contemporary Arts Foundation
Frank Benson, Juliana _ Image courtesy of The Rubell Family Collection
High Anxiety: New Acquisitions presents selections of artworks from 32 artists acquired since 2014, many of whom explore polarizing social and political concerns through a broad spectrum of contemporary artistic practices. In gauging the output and energies of these artists we find creative currents that speak to our shared state of uncertainty, nervousness and pessimism. Frank Benson, one of the artists, gained widespread attention for his piece in the 2015 at the New Museum Triennial Surround Audience, a realistic sculpture of the transgender artist and poet Juliana Huxtable whose work was also included in the exhibition.
Art Basel Miami The Rubell Family Collection
korea on VIEW
Jeeyoo and Her Pink Things, 2007
Geonhi Art Foundation
Plate no 8. Age 16, December 29, 2007