Work dealing with African resistance wins $100,000 prize
Public chooses Meleko Mokgosi as their favourite artist for Mohn Award, voting online and at Hammer Museum
By Helen Stoilas. Web only
Published online: 16 August 2012
The Hammer Museum has announced that the Botswana-born, Los Angeles-based artist Meleko Mokgosi is the winner of its new Mohn Award, a $100,000 prize given over two years that rivals the Turner Prize in the UK. The award is funded by the local philanthropists and art collectors Jarl and Pamela Mohn.
Mokgosi was among five finalists selected by a panel of judges from the 60 artists taking part in the Hammer’s “Made in LA” biennial. He was chosen as the overall winner by the public through a registered voting system, both online and at the museum, that ensured secure and authentic results.
The artist’s installation in the biennial Pax Kaffraria: Sikhuselo embumbulu, 2012, is part of a larger series dealing with post-colonial Africa. Its title includes the term “bulletproof” in Xhosa, a South African language. The work refers to the cattle killing movement of 1856-57, which was based on a prophecy meant to bring about a new earthly paradise and destroy the white colonists. According to the museum, “the series of paintings frames the historic event and considers a legacy of resistance that continues today—namely, the persistent drive to become bulletproof.”
The Made in LA 2012 biennial runs until 2 September.
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