Patrick Hough and Lawrence Lek were announced recipients of the Jerwood/FVU Awards 2017
. Each receive £20,000 to develop significant new moving-image works for exhibition in spring 2017.
Echoing this years curatorial theme of Neither One Thing or Another, both artists proposals examine the steadily blurring line between the real and the artificial, and the increasingly intimate interplay between physical objects and their virtual counterparts. In Lawrence Leks proposal an emerging artificial intelligence a computer-generated ghost in the machine discovers its own autonomy, and ponders the range and limits of its post-human powers of creativity. In Patrick Houghs proposal, on the other hand, forgotten artefacts from the Hollywood Dream Factory props and décor from abandoned film sets take on a new life as precious mementoes of cinema history: replicas and fakes that have acquired a strange kind of authenticity. Moving fluently between definitions and across formal boundaries, both works make us look again at the uncertain nature of what we think we know and see.
The artists were selected from over 240 applications by; Steven Bode, Director, FVU; Duncan Campbell, artist and Turner Prize 2014 winner; Cliff Lauson, Curator, Hayward Gallery; Amy Sherlock, Reviews Editor, Frieze; and Sarah Williams, Head of Programme, Jerwood Visual Arts.
On this years applications, Cliff Lauson commented: The years shortlist was an impressive gathering of artists who adeptly pinpointed the various ambiguities and contradictions of our present moment. The reels and proposals were of an extremely high conceptual rigour, revealing in particular a technological anxiety that continues to unsettle our cultural beliefs.
On this years selected artists, Amy Sherlock commented: "The proposals of both selected artists, Patrick Hough and Lawrence Lek, use a temporal framework to approach the question of indeterminacy: one looking forward to a future where machines may write their own histories; the other considering the imaginative leap involved in looking backwards, and the ways in which, narratively and materially, we fabricate the past. I am excited not only to see the results of these two ambitious projects, but also how they will sit alongside one another in next year's Jerwood/FVU Awards exhibition."
On the trends that emerged from this years Awards, Steven Bode commented: This years theme of Neither One Thing Or Another clearly struck a definite chord with a large number of applicants. The title, for all its overtones of uncertainty and ambiguity, managed to be many things to many people, inspiring responses that embraced key contemporary subjects such as gender-fluidity and migration while evoking the blurring boundaries between offline and online, between the physical and the digital. It was fantastic to get such a range of ideas from so many talented individuals, and the shortlisted artists were again of an extraordinarily high standard.
The two new commissions will be exhibited at Jerwood Space in spring 2017.