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Arthur Jafa announced winner of the 47th PIAC - Prix International d'Art Contemporain
Arthur Jafa, Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death, 2016. Video (colour, sound), 7 minutes 25 seconds. Courtesy the artist and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York/ Rome © Arthur Jafa, 2019.

MONTE CARLO.- The Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco announced today that Love Is the Message, The Message Is Death (2016) by Arthur Jafa has been selected as the winner of the 2019 PIAC – Prix International d’Art Contemporain.

US-born artist Arthur Jafa was announced as the winning artist at an award ceremony at the Salle Garnier, Opéra de Monte-Carlo. The artist will receive €75,000, including funding to produce a new work. The winning artwork, Love Is the Message, The Message Is Death (2016), which was screened during the award ceremony, will be exhibited from 1 November 2019 until 13 November 2019 at Palazzo Madama in Turin, Italy during Artissima.

PIAC – Prix International d’Art Contemporain is awarded every three years for a recent work by an artist at the forefront of their practice. 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, SuMei Tse, Guido van der Werve and Dora García and Rosa Barba.

Nominated by South African curator Tumelo Mosaka, Love Is the Message, The Message Is Death is a seven-minute video which shows a montage of historic and contemporary film footage tracing African American history and experience. Mosaka said that the artwork: “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.”

The two other works shortlisted for the 2019 edition of the award were Tree Identification for Beginners (2017) by Yto Barrada nominated by Adrienne Edwards and FRAGMENTS (2016ongoing) by Rayyane Tabet nominated by Lorenzo Giusti. The three shortlisted artworks were selected from 25 artworks, which were put forward for the prize by 5 ‘nominators’, who were selected by the Jury. The winning artwork was then selected by the Jury, which comprised of Kader Attia, Ilaria Bonacossa, Reem Fadda, Candice Hopkins and Isaac Julien.

PIAC Artistic Director, Lorenzo Fusi said: “firstly, I would like to thank the nominators and my jury for the selecting such a powerful shortlist. I would have been thrilled to work with any of these artists. “Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death” was unanimously awarded our Prize. An extraordinary achievement among so much excellence, that solidly positions Arthur Jafa at the forefront of artistic research and experimentation. I am honoured to work with this contemporary master towards the presentation of the awarded artwork at Palazzo Madama and a new commission to be developed over the course of the next two years.”

Arthur Jafa said: "I am honoured to be receiving this prestigious award, and excited by the opportunity to show “Love Is the Message, The Message Is Death”, exhibited in this new context.”

Anneka Lenssen was also announced at the award ceremony in Monte Carlo as the winner of the Contemporary Art Writing and Critical Thinking Award 2019, for her essay; “Abstraction of the Many? Finding Plenitude in Arab Painting,” published in Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s–1980s (eds. Suheyla Takesh and Lynn Gumpert). She will receive a prize of €3,000.

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