Live Auction, 16 February 2019
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About this Item
‘As a symbol of the matronly status of a married woman, the Zulu leather skirt (isidwaba) appears in Modisakeng’s work as a playful prop but also as apparel … in Ditaola, Modisakeng wears the skirt, accessorised with a cow bell, as apparel. Beyond the gender bending obviousness of a male artist wearing a skirt, there is again a space for memories … Modisakeng’s combination of the isidwaba and the cow bell returns the cattle to the kraal, as it were, by affirming the life and meaning of livestock in Zulu society. The skirt therefore represents both the enduring power of pastoralism while also inserting women … into a world which has conventionally been thought of as masculine. This is of course not to underplay the aesthetic tactility represented by the ruffles of the skirt; it is a beautiful object to look at.1
- Hlonipha Mokoena, ‘‘Isidwaba yini na?’ What is that pleated leather skirt?’, in Gerhard Mulder (ed.) (2017). Mohau Modisakeng. Cape Town: WHATIFTHEWORLD. Page 6.
ExhibitedBrundyn+, Cape Town, Mohau Modisakeng: Ditaola, 29 May to 12 July 2014.
LiteratureGerard Mulder (ed.) (2017) Mohau Modisakeng, Cape Town: WHATIFTHEWORLD. Illustrated in colour on page 55.