The Akademie der Künste
(Academy of Arts), Berlin, presents the Käthe Kollwitz Prize to Mona Hatoum. In awarding this prize to Mona Hatoum the Academy of Arts honours her for a multifaceted body of work, in which the human body, caught between violence, power and vulnerability, is a central preoccupation. The award carries 12,000 Euros in prize money. The jury included members of the Academy's Fine Arts section - Lothar Böhme, Dieter Goltzsche and Robert Kudielka. A catalogue will be produced to accompany the exhibition.
From the 31st of July to the 5th of September 2010 the Academy of Arts will be showing a selection of the artist's works at the Pariser Platz premises. The exhibition includes Deep Throat (1996), a table set for one person and featuring a plate bearing not food but a video projection of the path into the abyss. Also on display are recent works such as Undercurrent (red) (2008), Electrified III (2010) and Paravent (2008). During the Long Night of Museums on 28th August 2010 the video piece Measures of Distance (1988) will be on display. There will also be a talk on Mona Hatoums work by Ursula Panhans-Bühler and Friedrich Meschede.
Born in Lebanon to Palestinian parents in 1952, the artist has lived in London since 1975 and also in Berlin, since receiving the DAAD grant in 2003. Since the 1980s her work has been shown in prestigious museums around the world and featured in numerous international exhibitions including the Venice Biennale and Documenta in Kassel. In May 2010, Mona Hatoum was elected as a member of the Akademie der Künste.
With her early performances (e.g. Roadworks, 1985) Mona Hatoum was already articulating a type of practice that she still favours to this day, a formal vocabulary born out of Minimalism and conceptual art. The artist who grew up in Beirut has often woven into her work political concerns and personal experiences referencing her roots in the Middle East as well as her 35 years of living in Western Europe. Since the 1990s her work has increasingly moved towards installations that explore and interpret spatial contexts and sculpture that encourages the active participation of the viewer. Interaction is an important aspect of her work that investigates different layers of aesthetic experience. Hatoum's repertoire of forms and materials encompasses not only photography and video but also furniture, everyday objects, kitchen utensils and very diverse materials like human hair, textiles, steel, printed matter, light bulbs and even plants. Her use of everyday objects is both appealing and familiar to the viewer and at the same time quite unsettling as these objects have been transformed into foreign and threatening sculptures.
The Käthe Kollwitz Prize is an annual award presented by the Akademie der Künste to an individual working in the area of fine arts. The prize is co-sponsored by the Kreissparkasse Köln, funding body of the Käthe Kollwitz Museum, Cologne. Previous recipients have been Ulrike Grossarth (2009), Hede Bühl (2007), Lutz Dammbeck (2005), Peter Weibel (2004).