Lamin Fofana, Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff, Sandra Mujinga and Sung Tieu are the nominees for the 2021 Preis der Nationalgalerie.
The Nationalgalerie has nominated Lamin Fofana, Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff, Sandra Mujinga and Sung Tieu for the Preis der Nationalgalerie 2021. An exhibition of the nominated artists' work will take place at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin from September 16, 2021 until February 27, 2022. The jury members, Adam Budak (Director, Kestner Gesellschaft, Hanover), Andrea Lissoni (Artistic Director, Haus der Kunst, Munich), Zoé Whitley (Director, Chisenhale Gallery, London) and Franciska Zólyom (Director and Curator, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig), selected the nominees from a longlist of 77 suggestions made by around 25 curators and theoreticians, as well as the curators at the Nationalgalerie and members of the Freunde der Nationalgalerie. They explained their decision as follows:
Lamin Fofana’s experience of moving between Africa, North America, and Europe is palpable in his experimental approach to creating sonic environments. Crucial in the context of this production is an engagement with historical forms of Black activism and critical thought, including the writing of Amiri Baraka, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Sylvia Wynter. Yet his work expands beyond the act of translation to create a space for shared experience and heightened awareness. In doing so, he proposes an active and open practice of listening, a skill which represents an essential precondition for coexistence.
Lamin Fofana, BLUES, Ausstellungsansicht Mishkin Gallery, Baruch College, New York, 2019 © Lamin Fofana
Over the course of the past ten years, the work of Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff has been both a documentation of and a catalyst for socio-urban changes within the context of Berlin and beyond. Against this backdrop, their practice, which has developed out of the tradition of documentary photography to encompass the nurturing of their own creative community, feels timely. Emerging from lived experience, their works pose crucial questions about what is to be shown and what is to be safe-guarded, allowing a multitude of narratives to unfold around a shared setting.
Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff, Exterior Genthiner 40, 2020 © Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff / Galerie Isabella Bortolozz
Operating with a freshness and energy, Sandra Mujinga finds images and spatial arrangements for transient worlds, which extend beyond an anthropocentric paradigm. Her engagement with a notion of place, both as exhibition space and as a wider social category, offers a commentary on settings and locations, particularly those that consider themselves liberal. By not only navigating a condition of inbetweenness, but also by reconfiguring it and sharing it with others in a variety of media, she questions established principles of presence and sculpture.
Sandra Mujinga, Ghosting, 2019, Installationsansicht Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen © Sandra Mujinga / Croy Nielsen, Vienna, The Approach, London / David Stjernholm
By using a variety of artistic media including installation, sound, text, video and public interventions, Sung Tieu creates formally minimalistic and impressive environments that trigger immediate sensual and somatic experience. Starting out from an interest in psychoacoustics, her works depict how sound can be used as an invasive tool in order to manipulate individual and collective behaviour, beliefs, and desires. Informed by the conflicting mechanisms of care and control, and the unstable spatial and social relations that impact on life in diaspora, she investigates the diffu-sion of information and the movement of people, goods and commodities in a compelling manner.
Sung Tieu, No Gods, No Masters, 2017, HD-Video und 4-Kanal-Ton, Dauer: 00:19:13 min, Filmstill © Sung Tieu / Emalin, London and Sfeir-Semler, Hamburg & Beirut
Gabriele Knapstein, Head of Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegen-wart – Berlin, commented: "The Preis der Nationalgalerie has been awarded since 2000, and we are delighted that we can continue, in cooperation with the Freunde der Nationalgalerie and our partner BMW, to present the work of outstanding young artists to a wide audience. We would like to thank the members of the first jury for their enthusiastic discussions and an exciting decision. Once more, it is apparent just how international the contemporary art scene in Germany is."
“During times of rapid change, responsibility and reliability are of the greatest value. As is culture. In 2021 we celebrate 50 years of our world-wide cultural engagement and we are proud to have been a partner of the Preis der Nationalgalerie for fifteen years now. This year this prestigious award gives a stage to exciting young positions of contemporary art who celebrate crossover and collaboration,” says Dr Nicolas Peter, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Finance.
On October 7, 2021, the recipient of the Preis der Nationalgalerie will be announced. The award consists of a solo exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin and an accompanying publication.
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