April 5, 2018 - Eye Filmmuseum - Francis Alÿs wins EYE Art & Film Prize 2018
April 5, 2018

Eye Filmmuseum

Akam Shex Hadi in Mosul, Iraq. November 2016.

Francis Alÿs wins EYE Art & Film Prize 2018
March 24–May 27, 2018

Eye Filmmuseum
IJpromenade 1
1031 KT Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Facebook / Instagram

The EYE Art & Film Prize 2018 was awarded on April 5 to visual artist Francis Alÿs. The intersection between film and visual art is an important focus of exhibition policy at EYE. To underline this, EYE and the Paddy and Joan Leigh Fermor Arts Fund launched an annual prize in 2015 to commission new work from artist filmmakers whose work has demonstrated an important contribution to this interdisciplinary field. Born in Belgium in 1959, this year’s EYE Prize winner Francis Alÿs trained as an architect and relocated to Mexico City in 1986. During his many walks he started to record daily life in the city, never impartial in his artistic work. Almost all projects by Alÿs begin with a performance, often a walk through the city, from which various works then emerge—from hand-drawn animation loops and videos to sculptures, paintings and drawings. His work is both playful and serious, and always rooted in the real world. In 2016 he spent nine days embedded with Kurdish Peshmerga troops outside Mosul. He recorded that journey in the video work (Untitled, Mosul, Iraq, 31 Oct 2016), which he presented last year at the Iraqi Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Alÿs has had solo exhibitions at, among others, the Tate Modern in London (2010) and the MoMA in New York (2011).

According to the jury, the “conceptual artist Francis Alÿs draws on a strongly poetic and imaginative sensitivity in observing and probing political and social realities, such as those encountered along national borders and in conflict regions. The jury was highly impressed by his sincere and sensitive work that displays his personal and sometimes playful exploration of cities and urban areas. A major artist of his generation, Alÿs has amassed a complex and varied body of work that comprises videos, paintings, performances, drawings and photographs.” The EYE Art & Film Prize comes with a GBP 25,000 cash prize.

Now on show are the winners of the EYE Art & Film Prize of the last three years:

Hito SteyerlBen RiversWang Bing
From March 24 to May 27, 2018

Hito Steyerl (b. 1966) is one of the leading video artists of today. In her penetrating and often humorous work, Berlin-based Steyerl effortlessly transcends the boundaries between film and visual art. She also studies the role of the media in an era of globalization, and the staggeringly rapid dissemination of images and knowledge made possible by digital technology, a process she refers to in one of her essays as "circulationism." She contends that most images are no longer simply a representation of reality, but actually intervene in reality. Moreover, in her work she defies the mechanisms of the art world, to whom she likes to hold up a mirror.

The work of Ben Rivers (b. 1972) explores the interface between documentary and fiction. Using raw film material that he often shoots on celluloid, he crafts subtle stories about people who do not live life in the mainstream. He is also interested in communities that, largely owing to their isolated location, have developed in their own particular way. In both cases he finds traces of a utopian world. Rivers is building up a significant body of work that makes an exceptional contribution to developments at the intersection of visual art and film.

Wang Bing (b. 1967) has amassed a significant body of work that ranges in scope from documentary and feature film to video installation. As a filmmaker and visual artist, Wang Bing focuses in his socially engaged work on the changes taking place in Chinese society. With a long running time, Wang’s monumental films are often composed of strikingly long takes. A 15-hour film is no exception for Wang. His work calls into question the official historiography of contemporary China by showing the effects of the major upheavels on Chinese citizens. One film, for example, is a 15-hour take of workers in a garment factory. Wang works almost entirely independently, using a digital camera, natural light and ambient noise.

Curated by Jaap Guldemond (EYE Director of Exhibitions / Curator) in collaboration with Marente Bloemheuvel (Associate Curator)

The exhibition is accompanied by a programme of films, talks and events.

Eye Filmmuseum
Share - Francis Alÿs wins EYE Art & Film Prize 2018
  • Share