SA Young Artist Award winners expand on their new work

Carefully thought out, thematic work is a staple of multi-disciplinary artist Mohau Modikaseng’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 Modikaseng.
“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, Modikaseng says, “it
will be a series of photographs. It will include some video as well, which
might be shown as projections, but it might also be on monitors. I’ll also be
doing a performance and what remains of the performance will be turned into an
installation piece where I will also include some sculptures.” This is in step
with the artist’s own assertion that his work is moving towards the

Modikaseng’s exploration of violence, largely using his body
was a striking way of looking at the violence of the apartheid era and the
early Nineties.

 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.”

Modikaseng 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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