Pax Kaffraria (2010 – 2014) is an eight-chapter project that takes Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe as case studies, and articulates questions around issues of national identification, colonial history, globalization, trans-nationality, whiteness, "African-ness," and post-colonial aesthetics. In this work, Mokgosi continues his interrogation regarding the implications of established histories, and more broadly the construction of narrative. His work examines notions of time and normative models for the inscription and transmission of history, ultimately disrupting traditional, fundamentally European notions of representation. Mokgosi utilizes cinematic tropes, history painting, post-colonial theory, and psychoanalysis to question accepted understandings and constructions of representation. In doing so, his work offers new epistemological, ideological, and symbolic ways of undercutting normative narrative structures and stories, as a way to posit alternate modes for the creation of knowledge through visual language.

Lekgowa, 2014

Oil and charcoal on canvas, 95" diameter

Sikhuselo Sembumbulu, 2012

Oil and charcoal on canvas, 96" x 632"

Installation View, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

Terra Nullius, 2012

Oil and charcoal on canvas, 84" x 444"

Installation view, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York

Terra Pericolosa, 2013

Oil and charcoal on canvas, 84"x96", 108"x132", 168"x84", 108"x132", 84"x96"

Installation view, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco

Graase-Mans, 2014

Oil and charcoal on canvas, 96"x108", 96"x96", 96"x144"

Fully Belly, 2014

Oil and charcoal on canvas, 84"x96", 96"x108", 96"x168", 140"x84"

Fully Belly II, 2014

Oil and charcoal on canvas, 90"x114", 90"x108", 90"x84"

Fully Belly II, 2014 (Detail)

Oil and charcoal on canvas, 90"x114", 90"x108", 90"x84"

Ruse of Disavowal, 2013

Oil and Charcoal on Canvas, 108"x132", 96"x132", 96"x180", 108"x180", 108"x132", 96"x132", 108"x132"

Installation view, Lyon Biennale, Museum of Contemporary Art, Lyon, France

 

Pax Afrikaner (2008-2011) serves as a conceptual and theoretical working through of the double-bind caused by nation-state identification. Compelled by xenophobia and the continued xenophobic attacks in southern Africa, this project closely examines the implications of both the physical and epistemological violence towards black foreigners in southern Africa. One of the central questions addressed is: how can one account for the perseverance and fixity of national identification in the age of globalization, ‘transnationality’, and the so- called fluidity and multiplicity of identity formation?

Pax Afrikaner

Installation view

Full Belly, 2011

Oil and charcoal on canvas, 72”x90”, 72”x108”, 84”x120”, 96”x84”

Satisfaction of Sensation, 2011

Oil and charcoal on canvas, 96”x96”, 72”x90”, 108”x72”, 96”x144”

Good Boy, 2011

Oil and charcoal on canvas, 96”x144”, 96”x144"

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© Meleko Mokgosi