Digital Ghosts and Shape-Shifting: Sandra Mujinga’s Flo
The artist shares the inspiration behind her larger-than-life hologram installation, now on view at MoMA.
Feb 27, 2023
To celebrate the third installment in MoMA’s 2023 Collection Exhibition series—Sandra Mujinga’s Flo, opening on March 3 in gallery 213—the artist discusses the many elements of her spectacular work. On the first Friday of every month—when the Museum stays open until 8:00 p.m. and offers free admission to New Yorkers—these exhibitions will invite audiences to continue to explore MoMA’s dynamic collection and connect with art and ideas from more places and perspectives than ever before. This work is also presented as part of the exhibition Signals: How Video Transformed the World.
I was thinking about how the Black body has been seen as threatening, and how this can cause real danger to it. The body is using this tool to also disappear in the dark.
I’m always aiming to be as free as possible, but I’m also creating a structure for that [freedom] to exist.
When I work with soundtracks, I often create loops, and then I work with software, with different apps, and also sometimes a field recording or samples online. So I have a process of creating loops, and then I have another process of creating melodies, and then I have a process of collecting sounds. With Flo, there’s this part where there is thunder. I’m using low frequency with that sound, so it’s kind of thunder that is appearing: it’s more something that you feel in your body rather than hear.
Sandra Mujinga, Flo, 2019, installation view, Bergen Kunsthall. Courtesy: the artist, The Approach, London and Croy Nielsen, Vienna. Photograph: Thor Brødreskift
I’m drawn to materializing my ideas through different mediums, so I work with installations, music, performance, and sculptures, even text. For me it has always been a kind of a continuation of the same body. I’m always aiming to be as free as possible, but I’m also creating a structure for that [freedom] to exist. And I think what has drawn me to this idea of working with something that could look like a video installation—but it’s also a sculpture and it could also resemble a theater stage, so it has a performative element in it—is that it gives this possibility to shape-shift. It’s a way for the work to travel in some sense, or to have the right to change, or also a right to, I guess, opacity. The work can also decide what element or how it wants to present itself, rather than it being just one thing.
—As told to Sophie Cavoulacos, Associate Curator, Department of Film
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