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The Solo Award 2012
The Charlottenborg Fondens Solo Award is a new initiative and is granted for the first time to one Danish and one international artist. This involves having an invitation to attend the Spring Exhibition 2013 with a solo exhibition.

The two winners of The Solo Award are Christina Schou Christensen, from Denmark, for the ceramic work 'Viskositet' and Nkule Mabaso, from South Africa, for the mixed media work 'Conspicuous Individualism' and 'Red Hot Lips'.

The jury’s motivation

Christina Schou Christensen receives the solo award for her radical use of the traditional medium of ceramics and glazing. With great skill and craftsmanship she first transforms the silhouettes of basic shapes into fantastical world of sensual objects that defy any functional use. Secondly, her daring and experimental use of glazing, that is allowed to flow freely through these forms, brings a novel, surprising and subversive character to the work.

Nkule Mabaso receives the solo award for her photographic works that involve her performance dressed in synthetic animal skins and hair. Building onto her natural body with commercially available hair extensions she questions and pushes the boundary between the natural and the manufactured body, setting in motion an interplay between objectification and self-reflection. Mabaso applied from South Africa to be in this exhibition and we find the ambition worthy of a mention in itself. For an African artist to want to introduce her voice to a European audience subverts the traditional roles in the narratives of colonization. Exposing herself, as well as popular notions of the faraway and the exotic, with great humor and irony she achieves a startling effect that forces us to re-examine our own roles and European representations of Africa.

Christina Schou Christensen (DK, 1973)

Photo: Anders Sune Berg

Artist's statement:
In my work Viskositet (2011), I have developed a highly viscous glaze. I explore how glaze can be used as a formative mass and as a ceramic expression. The experiments show how far the glaze can be extended, how it is shaped and how much it can bear. The firing of the glaze happens inside the kiln at very high temperatures – and is therefore beyond my control. 

Nkule Mabaso (ZA, f. 1988)

Photo: Anders Sune Berg

Artist's statements:
Images of race and representation have become a contemporary obsession, and the most superficial parts of the human body have become objects of intense elaboration and preoccupation. The concern with being physically and sexually attrac¬tive is a useful site that can be employed for examining the emergence of femininity and the numerous possibilities this opens up for the re-articulation of female identities through styl¬ing practices.

In my works, Red Hot Lips (2011) and Sta-Soft-Fro “Conspicuous Individualism” (2011), I examine the contemporary black female identity that breaks away from the structures and hierarchal values of colonial racism and questions the construction of ‘beauty’ as articulated through the politics of hair. Hair is employed as a multivalent, deeply symbolic material that stands as a metaphor for broader societal issues. The physical and material inclusion of hair in my work is a means that tests the boundaries of traditional art: