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Mofokeng’s deviation from conventional subject matter includes photographic enquiries into spirituality, an interest that has continued throughout his photographic career and produced the extraordinary, evocative series Chasing Shadows. His explorations of landscape invested with spiritual significance form part of a wider enquiry into space and belonging, the political meaning of landscape. His work, in which he ‘reclaims landscape’, investigates the meaning of landscape in relation to ownership, power and memory. In his recent photographs of urban landscapes, Santu Mofokeng again goes beyond political and social commentary into meditations on ‘existential madness -- the absurdities of living’. Noting that ‘billboards have been the medium of communication between the rulers and the denizens of townships since the beginning of the township’, in his images their solicitations cruelly highlight the impoverishment of the citizenry they importune. Mofokeng has been the recipient of numerous awards. In 1991 he won the Ernest Cole Scholarship, to study at the International Centre for Photography in New York. The first Mother Jones Award for Africa in 1992. In 1998 he was the recipient of the Künstlerhaus Worpswede Fellowship and three years later of the DAAD Fellowship, both in Germany. In 2009 he was nominated as a Prince Claus Fund Laureate for Visual Arts. Santu Mofokeng’s first international retrospective opened in May 2011 at the Jeu de Paume Paris and subsequently travelled to Kunsthalle Bern in the latter part of 2011 and Bergen Kunsthall and the Wits Art Museum in Johannesburg in 2012. In may 2013 he will participate in the 55th International Art Exhibition – La Biennalle di Venezia on the German Pavilion.
2012 Chasing Shadows/Santu Mofokeng, thirty years of photographic essays, Bergen Kunsthall, the Wits Art Museum, Johannesburg. 2011 Chasing Shadows/Santu Mofokeng, thirty years of photographic essays, Jeu de Paume, Kunsthalle Bern. 2010 Let’s Talk, Arts on Main, Johannesburg, South Africa Remaining Past, Minshar Art Institute, Tel Aviv, Israel Chasing Shadows, Anne Arbor Institute of Humanities, Michigan, USA 2009 Mofokeng survey exhibition, Autograph ABP, London, UK 2008 Santu Mofokeng’s Landscapes, Warren Siebrits, Johannesburg, South Africa Homeland Security – Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa 2007 Invoice Standard Bank Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa 2006 Invoice Iziko, South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa 2004 Rethinking Landscape - Centre of Photography D'Ille-De-France, Pontault-Combault, Paris, France Santu Mofokeng – Gallery Momo, Johannesburg Santu Mofokeng – David Krut Projects, New York 2003 Chasing Shadows – Memling Museum, Brugge, Belgium 2000 Sad Landscapes - Camouflage Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa Chasing Shadows - Transparencies International, Berlin 1999 Black Photo Album/ Look At Me (photos) - FNAC Montparnasse, France 1998 Lunarscapes - Nederland Foto Instituut, Rotterdam, Holland Chasing Shadows - Nederland Foto Instituut (NFI), Rotterdam, Holland“ Black Photo Album/ Look At Me (slides and text slides) - NFI, Holland 1997 Chasing Shadows - Gertrude Posel Gallery, Wits University, South Africa 1995 Distorting Mirror/Townships Imagined - Worker´s Library, Johannesburg, South Africa 1994 Rumours / The Bloemhof Portfolio - Market Galleries, Johannesburg, South Africa 1990 Like Shifting Sand - Market Galleries, Johannesburg, South Africa 2013 German Pavilion, 55th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy African Photography from The Walther Collection Distance and Desire: Encounters with the African Archive The Walter Collection, Ulm, Germany 2012-13 Household Narratives. Beyond the Family Album, Diputación de Huesca, Spain Poetry and Dream Collection Display, Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom 2011 Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK Events of the Self: Portraiture and Social Identity, The Walther Collection, Neu-Ulm, Germany 2010 Darkroom: Photography and New Media in South Africa since 1950, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia, USA Animism, Extra City/M HKA, Antwerp, Belgium; Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland; Generali Foundation, Vienna, Austria Apartheid - Widerstand - Freiheit: Südafrikanische Fotografie 1950-2010, Willy-Brandt-Haus, Berlin, Germany 2009 The Symbolic Efficiency of the Frame, T.I.C.A.B. Tirana International Contemporary Art Biannual, Albania Imaginar_historiar, XVI Jornadas de Estudio de la Imagen, Madrid, Spain Joburg Art Fair, Warren Siebrits, Johannesburg, South Africa Urban Reflections, Stills Scotland's Centre for Photography, Edinburgh, Scotland 2008 Home Lands - Land Marks: Contemporary Art from South Africa, Haunch of Venison, London, UK Rationalism of Nationalism, Warren Siebrits, Johannesburg, South Africa 2007 52nd Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy Climate Change, Ruth First Fellowship Award Conference, Atlas Studios, Johannesburg, South Africa Apartheid – The South African Mirror, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Spain Uniform: South Africa's New Clothes, Spanierman Modern, New York, USA Reality Check: Zeitgenössische Fotokunst aus Südafrika, Neue Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin; Kunstmuseum Bochum, Germany; Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Germany; Galerie der Stadt Sindelfingen, Germany; Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa 2004-7 Afrika Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent, Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldof, Germany; Hayward Gallery, London, UK; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan; Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden 2006 Exorcising Exoticism, International Contemporary Art Exhibition Taipei, Taiwan 1a Trienal de Luanda, Angola Black, Brown + White, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria 2005-6 Unsettled, Durban Art Gallery, South Africa; Reykjavik Museum of Photography, Iceland; Kristanstads Konsthall, Sweden; National Museum of Photography, Copenhagen, Denmark 2005 10 years 100 artists: Art in a Democratic South Africa, Bell-Roberts Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa 2004 Post! Contemporary South African Photography, Tama Art University Museum, Tokyo, Japan Forbidden City International Photography Festival, Beijing, China New Identities: Contemporary South African Art, Bochum Museum, Germany; Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa; Pretoria Art Museum, South Africa Ralentir vite, le Plateau/Frac Ile-de-France, Paris Photography from South Africa, Christine Koenig Galerie, Vienna, Austria 2003 5es Recontres de la Photographie Africaine, Bamako, Mali 6th Sharjah International Biennial, United Arab Emirates 2002 Documenta11, Kassel, Germany 25a Bienal de São Pãolo, Brasil African Advertising Art, Iwalewa House, University of Bayreuth, Germany Surviving Apartheid, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France Dislocation: Installations from South Africa, Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, Spain; Sala Rekalde, Bilbao, Spain.