Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Jewellery and Fine Wine

Live Virtual Auction, 8 - 11 November 2020

Contemporary Art

Sold for

ZAR 91 040
Lot 669
  • Mohau Modisakeng; Inzilo I
  • Mohau Modisakeng; Inzilo I
  • Mohau Modisakeng; Inzilo I

Lot Estimate
ZAR 80 000 - 120 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 91 040

About this Item

South African 1986-
Inzilo I
Inkjet print on Epson Hot Press Natural, diasec
112,5 by 150,5cm, unframed


Inzilo is an isiZulu word meaning ‘mourning’ or ‘fasting’. As in many of his films and images, Modisakeng’s body occupies centre stage in this work. He enacts a mourning ritual by sitting, standing, and rotating slightly, all the while throwing a burnt, ashy substance into the air. Extreme close-ups of his body begin to suggest the shedding of a skin, as though the ash is falling from his limbs as the ritual proceeds. He performs an elaborate rite of passage in which the initiate seems to draw the material for his transition from within his own body. In the absolute purity and focus of the moment, Modisakeng is turned inwards but gesturing outward, undergoing a mysterious transformation that is at once a private ceremony and a public declaration.’1

1. South African Pavilion, ‘Mohau Modisakeng’, http://


South Africa Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale, Italy, May to November 2015, the film Inzilo was shown.


Gerhard Mulder (ed) (2017) Mohau Modisakeng, WHATIFTHEWORLD: Cape Town, illustrated in colour on pages 76 and 77.

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