“I am pleased that Santu Mofokeng is the first artist to receive this biennial honour. His photographs speak volumes of the South African condition. He tells the truths of our times. He tells the story of the South African landscape and its people in a calm, unrushed and pensive way. In this way, the subjects are not only brought to life, but also resonate with an inner, spiritual existence. Even in the midst of turmoil, his subjects are dignified and undaunted,” said Minister Mthethwa.
This prize established by Fondazione Fotografia Modena and Sky Arte HD recognises a living photographer ‘of any nationality, whose artistic research has made a significant contribution to the development of the language of imagery in any of its multifaceted declinations.’ Each edition of the Prize is dedicated to a different theme, linked to the current moment, and this year’s edition of the Prize dealt with the theme of Identity.
The international jury selected Santu Mofokeng as the winner from a short list of six finalists from Switzerland, Netherlands, the United States, Japan and two from South Africa.
“I take this opportunity to congratulate the winner, Santu Mofokeng, and all the finalists, including Zanele Muholi, the other South African finalist, for attaining these great artistic heights. The inaugural prize will set the tone for future editions. We are proud that South Africa has done so well and done us proud. I wish them all the best in their future endeavours and have no doubt that they are at the forefront of setting the agenda in the global and local art scene,” concluded Minister Mthethwa.
The Exhibition, “Santu Mofokeng, a Silent Solitude” curated by Simon Njami is on view at the Fondazione Fotografia, Modena, Italy from 6 March to 8 May 2016.
For comments, contact Ms Lisa Combrinck 0828214886.
Issued by the Department of Arts and Culture