September 26, 2017 - Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart - Berlin - Preis der Nationalgalerie 2017
September 26, 2017

Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart - Berlin

Jumana Manna, Sol Calero, Iman Issa and Agnieszka Polska (from left to right) have been nominated for the Preis der Nationalgalerie 2017. Photo: David von Becker.

Preis der Nationalgalerie 2017
Shortlist exhibition
September 29, 2017–January 14, 2018

Opening: September 28, 8pm
Artists talk: October 12, 7pm

Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart - Berlin
Invalidenstrasse 50/51
10557 Berlin
Facebook / Instagram

Curator: Dorothée Brill; Assistant curator: Ina Dinter

In autumn 2017, the Preis der Nationalgalerie will be awarded for the ninth time. The museum prize is awarded every two years and pays tribute to artists under 40 who live and work in Germany. This year, Sol Calero (born 1982 in Caracas), Iman Issa (born 1979 in Cairo), Jumana Manna (born 1987 in Princeton) and Agnieszka Polska (born in 1985 in Lublin) have been nominated for the Preis der Nationalgalerie 2017 by an international jury. All four artistic positions, which are presented in a joint exhibition, are not just engaged in a purely artistic discourse. Producing art spanning several media at once, they rather use their work to reflect social processes.

Jumana Manna makes films and sculptures that explore the ways in which social, political, and interpersonal forms of power interact with the human body. Her films weave together fact and fiction, autobiographical and archival materials, to investigate constructions of national and ideological narratives. The use of personal references is characteristic of her work, like in the exhibited film about musical traditions of the ethnic groups living around Jerusalem.

Similarly, Iman Issa addresses the relevance and the presence of inherited culture. At first, her sculptures from the "Heritage Studies" series appear Minimalist and oriented towards formal issues. However, they are a sculptural and personal appropriation of existing works of art and cultural assets seen through today’s view of the artist. Issa’s sculptures, that each have an additional text, thus resemble their archetypes in a different way than as visual and formal similarities.

We encounter an equally encrypted adaptation of cultural artefacts in the two animation films by Agnieszka Polska. Her references, however, originate neither from the distant past nor from high culture. Rather, her image collage is an encrypted inventory of the present that evokes the collective unconscious called the World Wide Web. Pervaded by an unsettling undertone, the connected films address the state of today’s world and our role and responsibility within it in a poetic and personal manner.

Like Polska, also Sol Calero works with an aesthetic that seems familiar. She is interested in a “Latin American identity” and its cultural codes. In her expansive installations, elements of vernacular architecture, the aesthetics of the tropics and social interaction are combined. Playfulness is connected to a critical approach that clarifies the paradox of “self-exoticization” and focuses on processes of exoticization that transform images and communities into stereotypes.

On October 20, 2017, a second international jury will determine the winner of this year’s prize. The winner will be honoured with a comprehensive solo exhibition in one of the Nationalgalerie’s venues in 2018, for which an accompanying publication is produced. Members of the jury are: Zdenka Badovinac (Director of Moderna galerija, Ljubljana), Sven Beckstette (Curator at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin), Hou Hanru (Artistic Director of MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome), Udo Kittelmann (Director of the Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin), Sheena Wagstaff (Leonard A. Lauder Chairman, Modern and Contemporary Art / The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York).

Together with the Preis der Nationalgalerie, this year’s Förderpreis für Filmkunst (award for film art), will be announced on October 20. It is awarded in cooperation with the Deutsche Filmakademie (German Film Academy).

The Preis der Nationalgalerie is made possible by the Freunde der Nationalgalerie and is supported by BMW.

Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart - Berlin
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