Lawrence Abu Hamdan
Installation view Earshot, 2016 with detail
Rubber Coated Steel, 2016
HD-Film, 21:49 Min.
Courtesy of the artist


International Media Art Award of the NRW Arts Foundation 2016 in collaboration with the Museum Folkwang, Essen

For the eighth time running, at 7:00 pm on Thursday, 27th October 2016, the NRW Arts Foundation will be awarding its International and National Nam June Paik Awards, which carry cash prizes of € 25,000 and €15,000 respectively. The awards will be presented by former Minister of State, Dr. Fritz Behrens, President of the NRW Arts Foundationand Bernd Neuendorf,  State Secretary in the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan(Beirut, Lebanon and London, UK), Trisha Baga(New York, USA), Neïl Beloufa(Paris, France) and Katja Novitskova (Amsterdam, Netherlands and Berlin, Germany) presentcurrent works in an exhibition, from which the winner of the of the International Media Award wasselected.  The award jury comprising Dara Birnbaum, artist (New York, USA), Dr. Penelope Curtis, Director of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum (Lisbon, Portugal), Joanna Mytkowska,  Director of the Museum of Modern Art (Warsaw, Poland), Rolf Quaghebeur, Director of the Argos Center for Art and Media (Brussels, Belgium) and Akram Zaatari, artist (Beirut, Lebanon) decidedon the winners of the national and international categories on 27th October 2016. 

Posted 8 December 2016

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The jury has unanimously nominated Lawrence Abu Hamdan for the 2016 Nam June Paik Award with his installation earshot, 2016.  “In his installation he has created an open space in which we can focus with precision on his subject, its means of representation and on our own role as viewers. The topic of the representation of violence is of great contemporary relevance, and the artist encourages us to debate key moral issues in a different way.”The jury admired the way in which the work combined scientific analysis with a quiet emotional intensity.

The nominees for the National Nam June Paik Award 2016 are Malte Bruns(Düsseldorf),
Henning Fehr & Philipp Rühr (Cologne) and Walter Zurborg & Tamaki Watanabe(Goldenstedt). The cash prize carried by the National Award will enable the award winner to realize a new work, which will then be shown in the exhibition accompanying the Nam June Paik Award 2018. TheNationalPricegoes toTamaki Watanabe &Walter Zurborg.

Manuel Grafwon the National Award in 2014 (this was hitherto known as the Newcomer Award) and is now exhibiting his work “Marbles”, 2016, at the Museum Folkwang as the museum's guest.
Named after the media art pioneer Nam June Paik, the competition was first held in 2002 at the NRW-Forum in  Düsseldorf.  Following further venues in Dortmund, Cologne, Bochum and Krefeld, the NRW Arts Foundation has this year cooperated with the Museum Folkwang in Essenon both the organization and the presentation of the award.  Amidst the high-calibre works of classical modernism from the Osthaus Collection the four short-listed candidates for the International Award are showing complex installations that could not be more different. For these exponents of what has become known as Post-Internet Art, all of them born in the 1980s, the close interplay between reality and digitality has become part and parcel of their everyday perception of life.

Former Minister of State, Dr. Fritz Behrens, President of the NRW Arts Foundation, stressed the fact that it is precisely thanks to the future-oriented Nam June Paik Award that the NRW Arts Foundation has a contributory part to play in the current media art discourse: “Contemporary art,” said Behrens during the award ceremony, “has long since set out to explore socio-technical hybridization and to prepare us for the new life beyond Modernism and Postmodernism.”

“The name of the award –Nam June Paik Award –is a homage to this outstanding composer and pioneer of media art. It is a distinction that complements the manifold activities of our region in the field of media art. The National Award honours especially the work of young artists and places them in an international context. My heartfelt congratulations go to Lawrence Abu Hamdan,” said Bernd Neuendorf, NRW Secretary of State for Culture, during the award ceremony.

Dr. Tobia Bezzola, Director of the Museum Follkwang in Essen, says: “The Museum Folkwang is proud tobe able to offer a forum to such extraordinary artists asLawrence Abu Hamdan, Trisha Baga, Neïl Beloufa and Katja Novitskova and also to present Manuel Graf as the winner of the National Award in 2014. All of them count among the outstanding media artists of the present day and their works never fail take up the very latest technologies and themes.”

The jury
Dara Birnbaum
New York-based Media and Installation Artist Dara Birnbaum has achieved international recognition within the arts, spurring some of the most controversial discussions in contemporary media exploration. Her work addresses both the ideological and aesthetic character of mass media imagery. Her installations and videotapes have also examined - and challenged - the way women have been portrayed, historically predominantly within Western culture. Birnbaum’s works have been presented in many major retrospective exhibitions worldwide. She has been the recipient of numerous distinguished awards, among others the TV Picture Prize.

Penelope Curtis
Penelope Curtis is a curator and director of Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. She started her career as exhibitions curator at Tate Gallery Liverpool in 1988. Between 1994 and 1999 Curtis worked as Head of Centre for the Study of Sculpture at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds. From 1999-2010 she took the position of the Curator of the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds. In 2010 she became Director of Tate Britain until she took the post of the Director at Calouste Gulbenkian Museum.

Joanna Mytkowska
Joanna Mytkowska is a curator and art critic. Studied at the University of Warsaw between 1988 and 1994. Since 2007 she has been Director of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. Previously, she worked as a curator at the Centre Pompidou, Paris and co-founder of the Foksal Gallery Foundation. In 2005 she curated the Polish Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale, exhibiting Repetition by Artur Zmijewski.

Rolf Quaghebeur
Rolf Quaghebeur is general director of the multidisciplinary art centre Argos Centre for Art and Media in Brussels since 2011. From 1999-2004, he worked as a staff-member at S.M.A.K., the museum for contemporary art in Ghent. From 2005-2010, he was running an independent art-space in Ghent, a job that he combined from 2007-2011 with the position of artistic advisor in the team of the Flemish Governments' Architect.

A kram Zaatari
International Jury kram Zaatari is a co-founder of the Arab Image Foundation. In his works Zaatari pursues a range of interconnected themes, subjects, and practices related to excavation, political resistance, the lives of former militants, the legacy of an exhausted left, intimacies among men, the circulation of images in times of war, and the play of tenses inherent to various letters that have been lost, found, buried, discovered, or otherwise delayed in reaching their destinations. He represented Lebanon at the Venice biennial in 2013, and was part of dOCUMENTA13, the biennials of Gwangju, Istanbul, Sao Paulo and Sydney.

Museumsplatz 1
45128 Essen, Germany
+49 (0)201-8845 000

Katja Novitskova
?Installation view Museum Folkwang
With details Mars Potential (sunrise), 2016, Light Potential (cell division), 2016, Light Potential (unfolded protein), 2016, Swing Nam June Paik Award, 2016 and Light Potential (camels at night), 2016
© Katja Novitskova
Photo: Museum Folkwang, Jens Nober

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