Mohau Modisakeng


Processional will include these traveling venues in Harlem, Central Park and Times Square at these times.


Time: 11:00 AM — 12:00 PM

Part one: HARLEM
AME Mother Zion on 137th and turn on Adam Clayton to go past the street with the Billie Holiday - Jazz Club. From there move to the Hotel Teresa, then move to the site of the iconic “A great Day in Harlem” group portrait at 7 East 126th between 5th Ave and Madison.

Time: 2:00 PM — 3:00 PM 

Start at the MET walk through 85th St Transverse into the park, go around the north side of the Great Lawn, pass the south side of Arthur Ross Pinetum, around Summit Rock and leave Central Park on the cross of Central Park West and W 81st St.

Time: 4:30 PM — 5:15 PM

Procession start at Broadway Plaza between 42nd Street and 43rd Street.
The Times Square portion will travel along 42nd Street to the Broadway Plaza between 42nd and 43rd Streets for a choreographed performance, before exiting along 43rd Street.


For Mohau Modisakeng, born in Johannesburg, raised in Soweto, and now based in Johannesburg and Cape Town, there is no distinction between the personal and the political in his diverse practice. His performances, installations, films, and photographs utilize and articulate memory as a means of traveling between the past and the present to delve into highly debated matters of history, the body, and place in a country grappling with a very recent past (and implied present) of apartheid, conflict over mineral wealth, rampantly growing capital inequality, and conflicted national identity-building. 

For ZION, Modisakeng choreographs a street procession of 17 dancers, each one carrying an array of personal possessions, various pieces of baggage, and furniture via an exodus choreography of walking, running, jumping, falling, leaning, and sitting—enacting the blistered legacy of segregation, violent displacement, colonialism, and apartheid coursing through South African history. Occupying himself with the consequences of his compatriots’ exploitation, this performance acknowledges both the grief and catharsis of a population subject to the machinations of violence, forced migration, and subjugation.

Image credit: Mohau Modisakeng, ZION, 2017. Photos © Paula Court. Courtesy of Performa.


Curated by RoseLee Goldberg. Co-presented by Times Square Arts. Supported by the Ford Foundation, Times Square Arts, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Wendy Fisher and the South African Pavilion Committee, and the Performa Commissioning Fund.


Maaike Gouwenberg, Biennial Producer

Sasha Okshteyn, Associate Producer

Xica Aires, Associate Producer

Ashleigh McLean / WHATIFTHEWORLD, Associate Producer

Director: Mohau Modisakeng

Set design: Mohau Modisakeng

Writer: Mohau Modisakeng

Score for Times Square: Neo Muyanga


Acknowledgements and Special Thanks: Eclectic Props, Frank and Sandella Malloy, Andrew Dinwiddie

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