All images © Mohau Modisakeng and taken from his monograph which I own.
I came across Mohau Modisakeng’s work at Unseen19 in Amsterdam. I found all that I saw really engaged me so I bought his monograph. I can’t stop buying photobooks but this one is special. He uses himself in his images so that interests me in relation to The Truth & Beauty of me. He is making a commentary about the continuing memory of apartheid that is still so strongly present in South African society. There is a powerful consistency to his work and it contains strong messages.
He uses the whip, machete, axe and gun as props to great effect.
The images in his series Ditaola using a gun and a white dove are breathtaking and conjure up so much in my mind. Each image he puts up is like a performance and contains so much.
He also performs some of his works as in this clip Ga Bose Gangwe which I find so moving. The stills from this clip are equally moving in his monograph. In my own work I am seeking to find ways of representing me and making meaning of me. Often i am drawn to simplistic metaphors. Mohau’s work shows me how much can be represented by my own body and a few simple props and acted out shots.
What tremendous fun it would be to have a go at producing this shot. However, the simple use of white powder, highlights in the lighting and the dark shadows are so dramatic. Again a whole book could be written from this image. Love it.
These images work so well with a simple use of self, a small number of props, a performance and amazing lighting. There is so much more I can do for my project and a seed of an idea begins for the FMP to ramp up the sophistication of my work. I would love to have a go at something like the hat and white powder shot above.
What would my simple props be? What is the appropriate lighting? What do I want to act out?
Modisakeng, M. Whatintheworld Publishing. (2018). Cape Town