The Democratic Republic of the Congo born-artist Sandra Mujinga won this year’s Preis der Nationalgalerie in Germany. Her work consists of photography, video, and sculptures that represent her definition of Blackness.
According to ARTNews, the Preis der Nationalgalerie is a highly regarded award given every two years to a German artist under the age of 40. Since 2013, the award has no longer been associated with prize money, but instead the winner is granted a solo exhibition at Hamburger Bahnof in Berlin, as well as validation from their contemporaries.
Although the Preis der Nationalgalerie’s committee received some pushback in recent years due to its practice of not giving money, winning the award can lead to future success. Anne Imhof, who won the prize in 2015, went on to win the prestigious Golden Lion two years later.
According to Frieze, Mujinga currently resides in Berlin and Oslo, and her recent solo exhibitions—Worldview, Midnight, Shadow of New Worlds, AMNESIA? AMNESIA?, and Beyond the Black Atlantic—capture the misrepresentation she experiences as a person of color, as well as the connection this generation has to social media and the digital space. “The topics addressed by her works resonate greatly with the present moment, while also seeming to come from a future already passed,” the Preis der Nationalgalerie’s jury wrote in a statement. “They remind us to be considerate of other living beings for the sake of our own survival, and that we can observe and learn from their various strategies of adapting to an ever-changing world.”
Here’s more on her creativity, per ARTNews:
Mujinga’s best-known works are her sculptures resembling elongated mythical beings with draping clothes that appear not to have bodies beneath their folds. The artist also has paid homage to the role that digital technology plays in how certain communities are represented in both the digital and physical realms. At stake in much of her work is an interest in what critic Gilda Williams—writing in a recent Art in America review of Mujinga’s show at the Approach gallery in London—called “hypervisibility and invisibility,” specifically as both relate to Blackness.
Sandra Mujinga’s major solo exhibition is set to take place at the Museum für Gegenwart in 2022, SMB reports.