Nominees for the Prix Marcel Duchamp 2016 announced

Words by Elena Scarpa
February 5, 2016

Kader Attia, Yto Barrada, Ulla von Brandenburg, and Barthélémy Toguo have been announced as the nominees for the Prix Marcel Duchamp 2016. The 35.000€  prize is awarded to a French artist or artist residing in France representative of his/her generation. The winning artist also gets to exhibit his/her works at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Kader Attia (b. 1970, France), grew up in both Algeria and the suburbs of Paris, and uses this experience of living as a part of two cultures as a starting point to develop a dynamic practice that reflects on aesthetics and ethics of different cultures. He takes a poetic and symbolic approach to exploring the wide-ranging repercussions of Western modern cultural hegemony and colonialism on non-Western cultures, investigating identity politics of historical and colonial eras, from Tradition to Modernity, in the light of our globalized world, of which he creates a genealogy.

Yto Barrada ( b.1971, France) studied history and political science at the Sorbonne and photography in New York. Her work — including photography, film, sculpture, prints and installations, — began by exploring the peculiar situation of her hometown Tangier.

Ulla von Brandenburg’s (b. 1974, Germany) work is characterised by the diversity in the media she uses, which in turn translates into a thematic concentration. Certain motifs appear in different contexts, performances reger back to ideas in wall paintings, drawings prove themselves to be preliminary studies for films, and the props in films become objects in their own right. Her idea of carnival as a legitimate transgression of social order meets with the notion of mask as a desire for new identity and the confusion of reality and appearance in theatrical stagings.

Barthélémy Toguo‘s (b. 1967, Cameroon) work reflects the current global situation, with his specific, singular, authentic contribution conveying concrete, personal, precise, critical, hypersensitive – and often tabooed – spheres of perception, ranging from sexuality to violence, from cult and rites to allegorical representations. His artistic practice unfolds precisely in the very centre of contemporary political – and aesthetic – discourses, whereby his personal (hi)story, moving between the diverse cultural, social and political contexts on the one hand and the ethnic, national and religious communities on the other, directly determines his artistic actions, his aesthetic-ethical perspective, and respectively bolsters his legitimacy.

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