Deutsche Börse Foundation Photography Prize
Dutch photographer Dana Lixenburg won the Deutsche Börse Foundation Photography Prize. Her winning project, Imperial Courts, 1993–2015, is a series of portraits of social housing residents in Watts, Los Angeles. The work came into being shortly after visiting the area in the year following the 1992 racially-driven violent riots which shook the city.
Lixenburg’s thematic focus revolves around long-term projects that document people and communities on the fringes of society. “Lixenberg’s work is simultaneously understated and emphatic, reflecting a cool sobriety, which allows her subjects to own the gaze and their contexts without sentimentality or grandiosity,” stated Brett Rogers, the director of the Photographers’ Gallery in London and jury chair.
The $40,000 cash prize and award ceremony took place at the Photographers’ Gallery, London. The work will be on display until 11 June alongside pieces by shortlisted artists Sophie Calle, Awoiska van der Molen and Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs. From there it will travel to the MMK, Frankfurt, and the Aperture Foundation, New York.
Herb Alpert Award in the Arts
The 23rd edition of the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, a $75,000 annual prize awarded to five mid-career artists working in the fields of dance, film and video, music, theater and the visual arts, has been granted to choreographer Luciana Achugar, composer Eve Beglarian, theatre director Daniel Fish, artist Amy Franceschini and video artist Kerry Tribe.
Achugar’s durational performances challenge power structures and notions of the human body; Beglarian’s compositions are widely recognised as Post-Minimalist and experimental; Fish questions the parametres of theatre through contemporary revisitations of classics by Chekhov, Shakespeare or Rodgers and Hammerstein; Franceschini is the founder of Futurefarmers, a collective featuring artists, scientists, farmers, designers, architects, and engineers that reconsider humanity’s relationship to nature; and Tribe examines the themes of memory, time and the ethics of representation.
French Minister of Culture
Newly elected French president Emmanuel Macron announced publisher Françoise Nyssen as minister of culture, marking her first foray into politics. Previously serving as CEO of publishing house Éditions Actes Sud, Nyssen was also an official in the Architecture Department of the Belgian Ministry of the Environment and the Living Environment. In 1991, Nyssen was awarded the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year Award, in 2008, Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, and from 2013 onwards has been an Officer of the Order of the Legion of Honor.
Contour Biennale 9 Curator
Independent curator, editor and writer Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez has been appointed the curator for Contour Biennale 9, or, the Biennale of the Moving Image. “For Contour Biennale 9, I propose a continuum of projects and events that will span across the next few years and address the current critical political and ecological moment through the lens of the particular urban, social, and political conditions of Mechelen,” Petrešin-Bachelez said in a statement. “Above all, topics such as ecological debt, environmental racism, decolonizing social relations, hope, care, and solidarity will represent not only the content within which to work, but also the material and technique of that work.”
Considering artistic practice as a sustainable, socially responsible activity among citizens, rather than market-oriented, Petrešin-Bachelez’s plans will come into fruition in 2019 across Mechelen, Belgium.
PAD Joins artgenève
PAD (Paris/London), a heritage-oriented art and design fair running annually for the last 21 years, has announced a collaboration with artgenève that will run 31 January-4 February 2018 alongside the Swiss art fair at the Palexpo convention centre.
The event will include 25 dealers showing decorative arts, historic and contemporary design and tribal art show that will serve to complement the two institutions. PAD founder Patrick Perrin and artgenève founders Thomas Hug and Laura Meillet said in a statement that their joint efforts will “strengthen international reach.”
Inaugural Bangkok Art Biennale
With former permanent secretary of the Ministry of Culture Apinan Poshyananda at the helm, the upcoming first-ever Bangkok Art Biennale (November 2018-February 2019) will explore the theme Beyond Bliss.
“We live in the age of chaos, disruption . . . and violence,” stated Poshyananda. “So the search for your bliss is up to the individual artist, who would interpret, as well as the visitors who come to Bangkok. We all want to find our own bliss.”
International advisors to the biennale include Alexandra Munroe, senior curator of Asian art and senior advisor of global arts at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation; independent curator David Stuart Elliott; Eugene Tan, director of the National Gallery Singapore; Nanjo Fumio, director of Mori Art Museum; Nigel Hurst, chief executive of Saatchi Gallery in London; artist Rirkrit Tiravanija; and Sunjung Kim, director of Artsonje Center in Seoul.
The First Uptown Contemporary Art Triennial
The Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University, New York, is set to launch Uptown (2 June-20 August), the latest contemporary art triennial that will showcase works by artists living or working in upper Manhattan. The ambitious project, led by Deborah Cullen, will showcase 66 artists including Ghada Amer, Rene De Los Santos, Sanford Biggers and Nari Ward.
“It’s really an important initiative for the gallery, the university and the broader community,” Cullen said in a statement. “It’s a no-brainer, really, to have a format, a regular mechanism for the gallery to work with the boarder community. Our neighbours, the local community, should be our first audience.”
The triennial marks the gallery’s first major satellite project and will take place at the Lenfest Center for the Arts, New York. With the community firmly in mind, 13 additional institutions will take part with complementary exhibitions including LeRoy Neiman Art Center, Elizabeth Dee Gallery, the Harlem School of the Arts at the Herb Alpert Center and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.