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Shortlist of the Nationalgalerie Prize 2021. Exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart | 16.09.2021-27.02.2022

Editors’ Choice

Calla Henkel, Sandra Mujinga, Sung Tieu, Max Pitegoff and Lamin Fofana (photo from left to right, © Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff) are nominated for the Nationalgalerie Prize 2021. The group exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin introduces the artists and shows expansive new works or presentations in which they combine existing and new works. In their installations, photographs, sculptures and sound works, movement and migration, belonging and alienation, foreign and self-perception, logics of changing public and private spaces as well as the social power of sound and music play central roles as themes.

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Lamin Fofana, Ausstellungsansicht Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin 2021, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie / Mathias Völzke

Lamin Fofana (lives in Berlin and New York) explores movement and migration, alienation and belonging as themes in his electronic music as well as in his installations and performances. He combines his own compositions, field recordings and archive recordings to put historical as well as contemporary Black critical thinking into a dialogue with the reality of our world and to open up new spaces beyond this reality. As part of the exhibition, Fofana presents his two sound installations “BLUES” (2020) and “Ballad Air & Fire” (2021), in which he integrates light and scents as well as videos and photographs by his long-term project partners Nicolas Premier and Jim C. Nedd. Engaging with key texts on the experience of Black life in the Western world by authors such as Sylvia Wynter, W.E.B. Du Bois and Amiri Baraka, Fofana creates a multi-sensory space that encourages an active and collective practice of listening and non-linear experience.

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Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff, Ausstellungsansicht Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart Berlin 2021, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie / Mathias Völzke

Based on the tradition of documentary photography, Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff (born 1988 in Minneapolis, USA, and 1987 in Buffalo, USA, respectively, both living in Berlin) have, over the last ten years, captured Berlin’s socio-urban transformation from their perspective as part of the city’s artistic community. of the city’s artistic community. With their project spaces Times Bar and New Theater and currently with their TV Bar, they have helped shape the younger Berlin art scene. In their photography series “Exteriors” (2021) and “Collective Image (Klärwerk Ruhleben)” (2021) they deal with Berlin’s urban development and overlooked peripheral areas of urban reality, utopian projections and the reality behind them. In addition, they present a trailer for “Paradise” (since 2020), their TV series filmed and ongoing in the TV Bar, the first two episodes of which they show parallel to the exhibition in Berlin bars and art spaces such as Bierhaus Urban, Hopscotch Reading Room and Eschschloraque, as well as the restaurant at Hamburger Bahnhof.

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Sandra Mujinga, Ausstellungsansicht Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin 2021, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie / Mathias Völzke

Sandra Mujinga (born 1989 in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, lives in Berlin and Oslo) negotiates economies of visibility and invisibility, questions and ideas of identity, self-representation and surveillance as themes in her work. In her observation of existing socio-political structures and power relations, camouflage and invisibility play a central role as survival strategies. She operates between physical and digital spaces to find images and spatial structures for speculative worlds that point beyond the anthropocentric paradigm. In the exhibition, Mujinga presents two new sculpture groups, Reworlding Remains (2021) and Sentinels of Change (2021). Drawing on Afrofuturism, science fiction and theories of post-humanism, Mujinga uses strategies of “world creation” / “worldbuilding” to create – bathed in green light – fantastic figures as well as a schematic dinosaur body.

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Sung Tieu, Ausstellungsansicht Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin 2021, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie / Mathias Völzke

Life in the diaspora and its psychological effects are recurring themes in the work of artist Sung Tieu (born 1987 in Hai Duong, Vietnam, lives in Berlin), as are legacies of the Cold War and its consequences for global capitalism.
of the Cold War and its consequences for global capitalism. She often interweaves the fictional and the real, historical and biographical events of her origins and different realities of life in her works. Her installation “Song for VEB Stern-Radio Berlin” (2021) is based on her ongoing exploration of the history of Vietnamese contract workers in the GDR. Tieu also refers concretely to Berlin and the Vietnamese community that exists in the city by including radios made by contract workers in her installation. At the same time, she activates the space acoustically and creates a dense setting of readymades, texts and sound that stimulates reflection on the relationship between work and life, the individual and the system.

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v.l.n.r.: SungSung Tieu, Calla Henkel, Max Pitegoff, Sandra Mujinga, Lamin Fofana,
Foto/Photo: Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff

The nominated artists were selected from a longlist by a first jury in February 2021. Members of the first jury were 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).

The nominated artists were selected from a longlist by a first jury in February 2021. Members of the first jury were 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).

The exhibition is made possible by the Friends of the National Gallery and supported by BMW.

WHERE?

Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart Berlin
Invalidenstraße 50/5
10557 Berlin-Mitte

WHEN?

Sunday, 26th September 2021 to Sunday, 27th February 2022

Tue – Fri 10 am – 6 pm, Sat + Sun 11 am – 6 pm

Further Informationen at www.preisdernationalgalerie.de and www.smb.museum/hbf.

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