Mexico City-based artist Tania Candiani receives Bemis Center's Ree Kaneko Award
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Mexico City-based artist Tania Candiani receives Bemis Center's Ree Kaneko Award
Tania Candiani, Arpas de río_Bienal de Cuenca, 2021. Photo by Ricardo Bohorquez.

OMAHA, NE.- Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts announced interdisciplinary artist Tania Candiani as the 2023 recipient of its annual Ree Kaneko Award. As part of Bemis Center’s Alumni Program, the award provides $25,000 in financial support to increase the capacity of a Bemis alum’s practice. Candiani participated in Bemis’s Artist-in-Residence program in spring 2004.

Candiani, who will travel to Omaha from Mexico City to participate in a talk in Bemis’s galleries on May 29, recalls her residency experience as “monumental.” “I had traveled with my sewing machine and some small canvases with the idea of working on a series of stitched drawings,” said Candiani. “I set up a table with the machine in the middle of my huge temporary studio. It was tiny in the vastness of that space. Then I discovered the extraordinary: an entire floor full of materials and objects that the artists could use. It was an arsenal of stuff, all kinds of things that were there to tell their own stories. That was when I flourished. I put together sculptures, installations, assemblages, and photos. In three months I created and documented an extended series of works.” Two of these, Protección Familiar (Family Protection) and Mattresses Mantras, evolved into individual exhibitions afterwards.

Said Candiani: “From that moment on, my practice changed radically. I understood a new approach to the process of researching and thinking: that each idea tells about its own materiality. And with the gifted time I was given at Bemis, I gained that freedom for my artistic practice.”

Twenty years on, Bemis Center is eager to welcome Candiani once more with the goal of again inspiring the artist’s practice. “The works made at Bemis as part of Tania Candiani’s residency in 2004 demonstrate that providing time and space can lead to expansive, career-changing developments,” said Chris Cook, Bemis Center Executive Director. “I recently had the opportunity to visit Tania’s studio and witness firsthand how much her experience at Bemis and in Omaha continues to shape her approach to art making today. We are excited and grateful that Tania can leverage this significant cash award to continue to expand the scope and reach of her influential, thought-provoking work.”

Bemis alumni artists were nominated for the 2023 Ree Kaneko Award and the winner was selected by Maria Elena Ortiz, Curator, Fort Worth Modern; Rory Padeken, Vicki and Kent Logan Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Denver Art Museum; Amy Smith-Stewart, Chief Curator, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and Rachel Adams, Chief Curator and Director of Programs, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE.

Tania Candiani lives and works in Mexico City. One of the central interests of her work is the expanded idea of translation, extended to the experimental field through the use of visual, sound, textual, and symbolic languages. Many of her projects consider the universe of sound and the politics of listening as a tool capable of expanding and transforming perceptions, both human and non-human. A fundamental part of her work is related to feminist policies and practices, understanding them as a communal, affective, and ritual experience. Her production usually involves interdisciplinary working groups in various fields, consolidating intersections between art, literature, music, architecture, science, and labor, with an emphasis on ancestral knowledge and techniques, technologies, and their history in the production of knowledge.

She is a member of the National System of Art Creators of Mexico; a former recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship in the Arts, the Smithsonian Institution Research Grant for Artists; Artist-in-Residence at the Arts at CERN program in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2015 she represented Mexico at the 56th Venice Biennale. Her work has been exhibited internationally in museums, institutions, and independent spaces, and is part of a number of public and private collections.

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