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The Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco announces shortlisted artworks
Yto Barrada, Tree Identification for Beginners, 2017, 16mm, digital video, color, sound
36 minutes © Yto Barrada, courtesy Pace Gallery; Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, Beirut; and Galerie Polaris, Paris. Photography courtesy the artist.

MONTE CARLO.- The Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco announced that the three artworks shortlisted by their new Jury for the 2019 PIAC – Prix International d’Art Contemporain (International Contemporary Art Prize) include:

• Tree Identification for Beginners (2017) by Yto Barrada proposed by Adrienne Edwards

• Love Is the Message, The Message Is Death (2016) by Arthur Jafa proposed by Tumelo Mosaka

• FRAGMENTS (2016-ongoing) by Rayyane Tabet proposed by Lorenzo Giusti

PIAC – Prix International d’Art Contemporain (International Contemporary Art Prize) is awarded every three years for a recent work by an artist at the forefront of their practice, rewarding the winner € 75,000, including funding to produce a new work. In preparation of the 47th edition, a symposium investigating the future of art prizes will take place, organised by the Fondation in partnership with artmonte-carlo.

Established in 1965, PIAC has been organised by The Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco since 1983. In recent years, the Prize has been awarded to artists of international repute, each nominated by a leading art world professional. Past finalists have included: Carlos Garaicoa, Saâdane Afif, Candice Breitz, Didier Marcel, Su-Mei Tse, Guido van der Werve and Dora García. In 2016, the Fondation co-commissioned and premiered the work created by the last awardee, Rosa Barba, at the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo. In addition to this, they organised an outdoor screening of the awarded film Subconscious Society outside the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo as part of their Nomadic Pavilion series.

The nominated works for 2019 include Tree Identification for Beginners by Yto Barrada, a complex film installation comprising a hand-dyed and sewn curtain proposed by Adrienne Edwards, Engell Speyer Family Curator and Curator of Performance, Whitney Museum. In the turbulent summer of 1966, Yto Barrada’s mother, a 23-year-old Moroccan student, was one of 50 ‘Young African Leaders’ invited on a State Department–sponsored tour of the USA. Through play, poetry, and humour, the film Tree Identification for Beginners examines this stage-managed encounter between North America and Africa, and the nascent spirit of disobedience – the Pan-African, Tricontinental, Black Power, and anti-Vietnam war movements – which would come to define a generation. When the artist premiered the work in New York, during Performa 17, she performed the soundtrack live.

Arthur Jafa’s Love Is the Message. The Message Is Death was proposed by South-African curator Tumelo Mosaka. In his words, the video “traces the representation of Black identity through a spectrum of largely popular images. From violent protests against police brutality in the United States, to bodies celebrating on streets as a testament about media representations of blackness. This work captures how black existence has endured attempts of injustice and exclusion. For Jafa, this work has been a process of working through and sometimes beyond existing imaginary tropes drawn from multiple sources from print to media. It offers a mosaic of black culture under threat.”

FRAGMENTS by Rayyane Tabet was proposed by Lorenzo Giusti, director of GAMeC in Bergamo. The project was initiated in 2016 and evolved through multiple presentations around the world. It centres on Max von Oppenheim’s archaeological excavation of Tell Halaf and the subsequent destructions of many of its findings. “In 1929 Tabet’s great-grandfather, Faik Borkhoche, was appointed by the governing authorities of the French Mandate stationed in Beirut as von Oppenheim’s secretary, to gather information on the excavations the latter was conducting in the village of Tell Halaf in Syria. This encounter leads Tabet to uncover a story that connects his family to major historical figures. He raises questions on the survival of heirlooms, the preservation of historical artifacts, cultural appropriation, museological practices, and migration patterns.”

In addition to the shortlisted artworks, the Fondation Prince Pierre presents the new Jury members for the 47th edition of the award and a new selection process for the nominators. Lorenzo Fusi, Artistic Director of PIAC comments: “As an organisation, we are determined to continuously broaden our perspective and are deeply committed to offering a platform to a plurality of diverse voices in the field of contemporary art and visual culture. In order to expand our institutional horizon, I have decided to nominate a new Jury for each edition, to challenge any pre-set or singular understanding of art. I am also delighted to have two internationally renowned artists on our new Jury.”

The new Jury comprises: Kader Attia, Artist and Founding Director of La Colonie Ilaria Bonacossa, Director or Artissima Reem Fadda, Curator, Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi Candice Hopkins, Senior Curator, Toronto Biennial of Art Isaac Julien, Artist and Filmmaker

For this edition of the prize, each new Jury member suggested the name of 5 nominators who were requested to indicate what they felt to be the most accomplished and important artwork produced over the two years prior the prize. This shortlist of three works originates from the 25 nominations received. The winner of the 47th PIAC will be then selected by the Jury and awarded during a ceremony in Monte Carlo on 15 October 2019.

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