MUNCH Presents SANDRA MUJINGA in SOLO, the OSLO Series

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MUNCH Presents SANDRA MUJINGA in SOLO, the OSLO Series

Solo Oslo is a series of exhibitions in the Munch Museum in Oslo. The exhibitions focus on Oslo-based contemporary artists who get the opportunity to develop their practice. First out is Sandra Mujinga (b. 1989), one of Norway’s most pioneering young contemporary artists – and communicator Zeenat Amiri (b. 1988). Both examine issues related to belonging and alienation. MUNCH presents SANDRA MUJINGA in SOLO, the OSLO series, through April 2022.

In today’s digital culture, where our lives are tracked and documented in detail, it can be difficult to hide. At the same time, the Internet offers endless possibilities for re-creation and manipulation; to hide behind avatars or clone themselves on social media.

MUNCH Presents SANDRA MUJINGA in SOLO, the OSLO series
Solo Oslo is a series of exhibitions in the Munch Museum in Oslo. Sandra Mujinga is first out.

One of MUNCH museum’s most spectacular rooms
This is the backdrop for Sandra Mujinga‘s solo exhibition at MUNCH. In one of the museum’s most spectacular rooms, with eight meters high ceilings, a number of monster-like sculptures project vivid images of an avatar figure on partially transparent glass walls. The audience’s shadows mix with the character’s, which is inspired by cartoon heroes, science fiction and what the artist herself calls «speculative deep – sea creatures». The figure can be described as «post-human»; it is neither animal nor human, real or invented, but alternates between these states. The installation is bathed in Mujinga’s characteristic green light and has a subtle soundtrack of synth and string instruments that creates an alienating, almost extraterrestrial atmosphere in the exhibition rooms.

Related: Oslo Welcomes a New Edvard Munch Museum

MUNCH Presents SANDRA MUJINGA in SOLO, the OSLO series
The audience’s shadows mix with the character’s. Press photo: MUNCH

Not what you can do – but what you can experience
In her accompanying dissemination project, Zeenat Amiri highlights an alternative viewer role in the museum that is not about what you can do, but what you experience. In the dissemination project, Amiri shows that contemporary art is something you can experience and understand on your own terms. Here you can hear the audio files Amiri has produced as part of her dissemination project.

SOLO OSLO
SOLO OSLO is supported by Talent Norway and Canica. The exhibition series will highlight the local art scene with young artists and communicators. Five solo exhibitions are planned for the period 2022-2026.

MUNCH Presents SANDRA MUJINGA in SOLO, the OSLO series
A number of monster-like sculptures project vivid images of an avatar figure on partially transparent glass walls.

«SOLO OSLO is a unique opportunity for contemporary art and its dissemination, and we are very much looking forward to the exhibition series now starting. Sandra Mujinga’s art and Zeenat Amiri’s communication skills are very exciting, and we have great faith that SOLO OSLO will be a key step in her career and an international opportunity for participating artists and communicators. Our initiatives are characterized by the fact that we collaborate with leading environments and institutions as well as highly competent private contributors. It places great demands on all parties to develop top talent and Talent Norway is therefore very pleased with the collaboration with MUNCH and Canica,” says general manager of Talent Norway, Maria Mediaas Jørstad.

Related: Edvard Munch Trough the Eyes of Andy Warhol

MUNCH Presents SANDRA MUJINGA in SOLO, the OSLO series
Sandra Mujinga is among the most exciting contemporary artists we have in the country.

Young artists and new communication methods
«Young contemporary art is a major investment in new MUNCH. By presenting young artists and new communication methods, we will be relevant and attractive to new audience groups. MUNCH wants to promote young Norwegian artists and communicators with close follow-up from MUNCH’s professional staff. Stability and long-term perspective are important when working with development of talent, and we are proud and happy to have two solid players such as Talent Norway and Canica AS with us. It is crucial for MUNCH to create income and activity through collaboration with public and private actors, and we are therefore very happy to finally be able to kick off this exhibition series,» says director at MUNCH, Stein Olav Henrichsen.

MUNCH Presents SANDRA MUJINGA in SOLO, the OSLO series
The charachters are inspired by cartoon heroes, science fiction and what the artist herself calls «speculative deep – sea creatures».

One of the most exciting contemporary artists in Norway
«Sandra Mujinga is among the most exciting contemporary artists we have in the country. Her art is a bit like the science fiction writers she is inspired by: her installations imagine new worlds, create alternative scenarios and process existing material in innovative ways to create extraterrestrial beings. Yet it is something that strikes us as human beings on an emotional level. Mujinga creates sensory experiences that allow for reflection and innovation around major themes such as life, death, time, visibility and human relationships with other creatures and each other,» says curator of the exhibition, Tominga O’Donnell.

Related: The Edvard Munch Art Award

Sandra Mujinga tells us that she has been working on this project since 2020. The exhibition proves that she has pushed the boundaries of visual experience. Three dragon-like projectors let us see bodies, eyes and body parts under water as well as in space; bodies changing forms like a squid. Are they humans or avatars? “It might be an escape from surveillance or the modern society,” says Sandra.

MUNCH Presents SANDRA MUJINGA in SOLO, the OSLO series
«Young contemporary art is a major investment in new MUNCH,” says director at MUNCH, Stein Olav Henrichsen.

«I’m so proud of this,» says City Councilor for Culture, Sports and Volunteering, Omar Samy Gamal. SOLO OSLO is one of MUNCH’s biggest investments, and not least Sandra Mujinga is a fantastic artist. We need young artists who challenge the established art environments and institutions which opens up new expressions, new stories. Then we must ensure that our most important platforms have room for precisely those artists. It is also about taking seriously how it is experienced by different people to enter a place like MUNCH, and that for some it is experienced as completely foreign. MUNCH and Zeenat Amiri’s associated dissemination project goes right to the heart of this, and shows the way. It’s so cool to see,» adds the city councilor.

The SOLO exhibition runs through April 2022.

MUNCH Presents SANDRA MUJINGA in SOLO, the OSLO series, written by Tor Kjolberg

All images © Tor Kjolberg/Daily Scandinavian if not noted otherwise.

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