NEW YORK, NY.- Creative Time
announced that artists Khaled Hourani (Palestinian, b. 1965) and Laurie Jo Reynolds (American, b. 1968) have been selected as the winners of the 2013 Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change. While until now the annual Prize, which is generously supported by the Annenberg Foundation, has been bestowed upon a single artist, the selection committee this year determined thatin different but equally powerful waysboth Reynolds and Hourani exemplify Creative Time's commitment to artists whose work provokes awareness of and engagement with critical issues of our time and advances the cause of equity and justice.
The 2013 Prize carries an award of $15,000 per artist. Mr. Hourani and Ms. Reynolds will officially receive the Prize on October 26, at the 2013 Creative Time Summit, an annual conference on art and social change, where they will speak about their work. This years Summit, curated by Creative Time Chief Curator Nato Thompson, is titled Art, Place, and Dislocation in the 21st Century City. It takes place over two daysOctober 25 and 26at NYUs Skirball Center for the Arts.
Laura Raicovich, Creative Times Director of Global Initiatives, of which the Summit is a key program, says: "While Khaled Hourani and Laurie Jo Reynolds are distinctly different artists, each has developed a practice that creates the possibility for change where it has seemed fundamentally and perhaps immovably foreclosed. The jury for the 2013 Prize was struck by the ways in which these artists so superbly and passionately embody the Prize's intent to honor work that advances the cause of equity and justice in groundbreaking and brave ways."
Khaled Hourani, born in Hebron, Palestine, is an artist, writer, and curator based in Ramallah, Palestine, where he is currently Director of the International Academy of Art Palestine. From 2004 to 2006, he served as General Director of the Fine Arts Department of the Palestinian Ministry of Culture. Houranis artistic practice often responds to the surrealism and comic absurdity of current events. For his 2011 work titled Picasso in Palestine, he brought Picassos painting Buste de Femme to Ramallah for an exhibition examining the complicated ways in which art enters a war zone and transcends geopolitical borders. Speaking of this endeavor, which was documented and later turned into an award-winning film, Hourani has said, In any art project, the important thing is to share and to witness. In 2007, when the political party Kadima (Hebrew for forward), which was formed as a response to the rise of radical right-wing groups, published its manifesto in Israeli newspapers, Hourani translated the text into Arabic and published it in one of the most widely-read Palestinian newspapers, replacing every mention of Palestine and Palestinian with Israel and Israeli, and vice versa. The work, entitled Kadima, resulted in scores of inquiries about how to contact the nonexistent Palestinian Forward party. In 2009, Hourani produced Jerusalem Milestone, in which a sign made of ceramic tiles was marked with the distance fifteen kilometersfrom its location in Ramallah to Jerusalem, highlighting the fact that travel across even short distances is impossible for the many Palestinians in the occupied areas who are denied access to Jerusalem. Houranis work has been included in numerous exhibitions, including dOCUMENTA (13), in 2012, and the Sharjah Biennial 10, in 2011, among others. He curated the Young Artist of the Year Award for the A.M. Qattan Foundation in 2000 and 2002, as well as the Palestinian Pavilions for the Alexandria Bienniale in 2001 and the Bienal de São Paulo in 2004. Hourani is an active member of the boards of a number of cultural and art institutions, including the Palestinian Association of Contemporary Art, the Palestinian Artist League, the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center, and the Al Matal Gallery, among others.
Laurie Jo Reynolds, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, is an artist, policy advocate and researcher whose work for the past two decades has countered the medias demonization of people in prison. Her work takes the form of Legislative Art, which participates and intervenes in government systems, with the goal of concrete political change. For the past eight years, Reynolds has focused on Tamms Correctional Center, the notorious supermax prison in southern Illinois designed for sensory deprivation. In 2007, Reynolds collaborated with men formerly and currently incarcerated at Tamms, their families and other artists to launch Tamms Year Ten, a volunteer grassroots legislative campaign to reform or close the prison. Due in part to her extraordinary efforts, Tamms supermaxwhich came to symbolize our increasingly punitive, dehumanizing and counter-productive criminal justice systemwas shuttered on January 4, 2013. In addition to relentless lobbying, the campaign featured cultural projects such as Photo Requests from Solitary, which invited men in isolation to request a photograph of anything at all, real or imagined. Reynolds previous work about solitary confinement includes the cult-classic Space Ghost, an experimental video depicting a series of phone calls from prison juxtaposed with found footage of astronauts and prisoners, and ASK ME!, a 2001 installation that placed experts, such as Tamms family members, behind wooden booths to facilitate conversations with gallery visitors. As a 2010 Soros Justice Fellow, Reynolds researched and advocated for best practices to stop sexual abuse and reduce crime recidivism. In addition to educating legislators and fellow advocates, she produced cultural events and conceptual art objects to open dialogue about the unintended consequences of the public sex-offender registry and residency restrictions. Reynolds is a 2013 Creative Capital grant awardee for the Honey Bun Comedy Hour, a video and performance variety show depicting the horror, boredom and small mercies of prison life. The show is named after the packaged desserts known as honey buns, which are one of the rare joys in prison, but also an addiction and a form of currency. Individual segments from the show will be shown to decision-makers as part of targeted campaigns for policy change.