The South African Department of Arts and Culture has announced that Candice Breitz and Mohau Modisakeng will represent South Africa at the 2017 Venice Biennale. Connect Channel, a South African television production company, will oversee the pavilion. Lucy MacGarry will curate the two-person show.
Breitz is well known in America and Europe for her video installations that draw on Hollywood filmmaking and mainstream media, often removing famous actors’ performances from their original contexts and exhibiting them against green or black screens. Modisakeng’s reputation remains largely confined to Africa, however. His photography typically draws on the violence the remains hidden in South African culture.
“We are truly thrilled that Breitz and Modisakeng will be representing South Africa,” MacGarry said in a statement. “Breitz’s photographs and multi-channel video installations offer nuanced studies of the structure of identity under global capitalism, while Modisakeng employs a highly personal language to express ideas about his own identity and the body. This marks the first time that Modisakeng and Breitz will be shown alongside each other in the context of a significant exhibition.”