Go to moma.org

Dineo Seshee Bopape


The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1, and the MoMA Stores in New York City have closed temporarily. Updates to be announced.

MoMA PS1 will present the first US museum exhibition of artist Dineo Seshee Bopape (b. 1981 Polokwane, South Africa) from April 5 to September 7, 2020. On view in the double-height Duplex Gallery, Bopape’s new, site-specific installation is comprised of dense accumulations of soil and clay sourced from multiple sites across the Americas and Africa that mark historic rebellions by enslaved peoples. 

Dineo Seshee Bopape’s charged, poetic installations often combine video, sound, ceramic, found objects, and other substances both organic and inorganic. This new commission builds on the artist’s recent work at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, we can’t afford not to mourn (2019), which was comprised of a large soil cube casting shadows and reflections into and through the surrounding space. Bopape continues her research into ideas of sovereignty and self-possession—physical, spiritual, psycho-emotional, biological, and political—through soil and clay sourced from the sites of various slave rebellions. Bopape reconstitutes earth’s matter in all of its changing and evolving states, from solid earth to soil to clay to dust, into new artistic form. The installation incorporates material from sites including New York City, which was a major hub for the transatlantic slave trade in the eighteenth century and the site of a famous 1712 slave revolt near present day Canal Street; Montreal, Canada, where in 1734 Portuguese-born slave Marie-Joseph Angelique set fire to her owner’s home resulting in a massive fire that burned down much of what is now Old Montreal; and N’Der, Senegal, where in 1819 the women of the Walo tribe, knowing an incoming invasion from the Moors would result in their capture and enslavement, chose to die together by mass suicide, gathering in a home with their children and setting it on fire. Bopape’s work at MoMA PS1 underscores how an individual remembering and honoring their personal sovereignty amounts to a potent act of rebellion.

Organized by Jocelyn Miller, Assistant Curator, MoMA PS1.

Generous support is provided by The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, and The Friends of Education of The Museum of Modern Art.

Additional support is provided by the MoMA PS1 Annual Exhibition Fund, The Tom Slaughter Emerging Artists Endowment Fund, and the Ava Olivia Knoll Fund.

Special Thanks to Triton. 

Press Kit


Important: By downloading images you are agreeing to the following permissions: Images are provided exclusively to the press, and only for purposes of publicity of The Museum of Modern Art's and MoMA PS1's current and upcoming exhibitions, programs, and news announcements. Permission to use images is granted only to the extent of the Museum's and MoMA PS1's ownership rights relating to those images—the responsibility for any additional permissions remains solely with the party reproducing the images. The images must be accompanied by the credit line and any copyright information as it appears above, and the party reproducing the images must not distort or mutilate the images.

Dineo Seshee Bopape. Dineo Seshee Bopape, 2018. Installation view Pinkchuk Art Center, Kiev. Image courtesy Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev. Artwork courtesy the artist & Sfeir-Semler Gallery Beirut / Hamburg. Photo: Maksym Bilousov & Valentina Tsymbaliuk

Dineo Seshee Bopape. Lerole. footnotes (The struggle of memory against forgetting), 2018. Installation view Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Hamburg. Courtesy the artist & Sfeir-Semler Gallery Beirut / Hamburg

Dineo Seshee Bopape. Untitled (Of Occult Instability) [Feelings], 2016-2018. Installation view of 10th Berlin Biennale. Courtesy the artist & Sfeir-Semler Gallery Beirut / Hamburg. Photo: Timo Ohler.


Dineo Seshee Bopape. The stronger we become, 2019. Installation view of The South African Pavillion, La Biennale di Venezia. Courtesy the artist & Sfeir-Semler Gallery Beirut / Hamburg.

Dineo Seshee Bopape. Believe, 2019. Installation view at MOCCA, Toronto. Courtesy the artist & Sfeir-Semler Gallery Beirut / Hamburg.