The PinchukArtCentre and Victor Pinchuk Foundation present works by 21 young artists across 17 countries, shortlisted for the 5th edition of the Future Generation Art Prize - the global art prize for artists aged 35 or younger. Established in 2009, 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of the prize's founding.
An official Collateral Event of the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, the show will be on view at the Palazzo Ca' Tron from 11 May until 18 August 2019. The 21 exhibited artists, chosen from amongst 5,800 entries, include the winner of the Future Generation Art Prize 2019, the Lithuanian artist Emilija Škarnulytė, and the winners of the Special Prize, Gabrielle Goliath (South Africa) and Cooking Sections (UK).
In addition there will be new work by the other shortlisted artists, inluding: Monira Al Qadiri (Kuwait), Yu Araki (Japan), Korakrit Arunanondchai (Thailand), Kasper Bosmans (Belgium), Madison Bycroft (Australia), Alia Farid (Kuwait), Rodrigo Hernández (Mexico), Laura Huertas Millán (Colombia), Marguerite Humeau (France), Eli Lundgaard (Norway), Taus Makhacheva (Russia), Toyin Ojih Odutola (Nigeria), Sondra Perry (United States), Gala Porras-Kim (Colombia), Jakob Steensen (Denmark), Daniel Turner (United States), Anna Zvyagintseva (Ukraine) and artist collectives Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme.
"I find myself preoccupied with history these days, and how not knowing it affects our future.
There is a physical impossibility of experiencing the past fully, yet as people we make the most sincere effort to relive it somehow. My work reflects on time as a place and a way of thought."
"I find inspiration from the surrounding context, and an artwork is a way for me to re-interpret, re-play or re-make my sense of it. Being fascinated by the interconnectedness of things, my interest lies in finding a thread to interweave these various elements that I refer to."
"The stable ground is at times gently vibrating and at other times abruptly exploding. The only stable thing left in a world could be the recognition of your own breath. I would like to think that this recognition will exist past the point where you could breathe, when your body no longer exists."
"By using these farfetched and sometimes eccentric examples, I attempt to prevent any contemporary activistic interpretation, but that doesn't mean they cannot keep us vigilant. Vigilance is enough."
"I work in an associative manner – this thing is like this thing which feels like this other thing. But I am interested in the forms of association in which it is not always easy to articulate a commonality – where a mutuality is illegible, outside language or logic. Following on from this, it is important to ask myself how to relate across difference, without homogenizing something into a comfort zone. Like an intransitive verb, how can I act in a way that does not take an object? 'About', here, does not pin something down or reveal it, but moves around it, is to the side of it, or in the key of pathos, invites it to move through me."
"When language fails us, when conventional therapy fails us, art allows for a different kind of encounter, a more human encounter, perhaps. One in which the differences that mark our experiences of the world become – in all their discomfort, hurt and contradiction – the grounds of our mutual acknowledgement and care."
"For me, it was important to give shape to short-living moments through this specific technique and with metal, because I need to put a real imprint of my own body and force in the work. The metaphor of a hand that attempts and fails to grasp, requiring my own hand to make a mark that renders it visible, is a contradiction I still see keeping the work alive."
"Aesthetic miscegenation has been for me an important topic of reflection and research: from the cultural anthropophagy that inspired my previous films to 'ethnographic fiction'. On the one hand, if one considers ethnography as an ensemble of narratives rooted in colonialism, it might be understandable as a form of fiction-making. On the other hand, some of the most interesting contemporary practices of ethnography have embraced a de-colonial turn, sometimes by integrating the fictional language tools within their own elaboration."
"My works aim at reenacting, resuscitating, activating extinct, invisible, ancient and future ecosystems, voices, creatures and beings. Together with experts I speculate on what those worlds might be, might have been or might become. I formulate hypotheses that I then translate into physical experiences involving sound, sculpture, drawings and various other components and concoctions."
"I often explore spaces where meaning collapses, and when the boundary between something shifts or disappears. I aim to manipulate, deconstruct and reconstruct the world around me, to erase or blur common definitions and concepts and to look at what can neither be confirmed nor dismissed. In the space between fact and fiction, I want to turn the seemingly familiar into something strange and foreign."
"No other field can give you the intellectual, emotional and psychological experience you receive when interacting with art. I want to do something of the kind. What matters is not a finished work as such, but rather the viewer's experience, and her or his dialogue with the artwork."
"I think when people see wealth, they see status, when they see any sort of glamorous presentation, even if it is a people of colour. I'm trying to make people aware that the pictures they take for granted, these images of wealth and glamour, are, in fact, constructed the same way race is constructed, the same way gender presentation is a construct."
"Much of the work that I've made deals with historical artifacts that people might not have an idea what they were used for. I work a lot with historians and conservators and curators to ask: 'What do you think was the original function of this?' To find the discrepancy between the scientific method and the creative writing element, which I think is a more honest way of talking about history; to say 'I don't know'."
Winner of the Main Prize
Emilija Škarnulytė's work "t 1 ⁄ 2" stems from deep and extensive research which has been translated in a coherent and confident way. The jury found its scale, rhythm and pace mesmerising alongside its capacity to deal with vast expanses of time in a precise manner.
Her use of video expands into a multi-dimentional experience, confronting many of the major issues facing humanity which are often left unspoken. Without being overtly didactic, the work stays open-ended and poetic while raising fundamental questions about where we come from, who we are and where we might end-up.
Škarnulytė, performing as a siren herself, links the past and future by exploring the memoryof Etruscan cemeteries, a nuclear power plant in Lithuania – twin sister of the ChernobylAES –, the Super-Kamiokande neutrino observatory in Japan, the Antimatter Factory, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Duga radar and a Cold-War submarine base above the Arctic Circle. t1/2 encounters all that is larger than us and larger than life – a looming climate catastrophe, natural phenomena, ideological constructions, massive scientific structures, recent geopolitical processes and what we know as human knowledge. All have left scars on planet Earth.
"I show my virtual environments within larger physical installations, which mimic the ambience and material of the digital worlds. I do not see my work as purely digital, but as installations of landscapes where organic materials from the past meet the present, in physical and virtual forms. I am interested in how organic materials and infrastructures weave into our lives, influencing how we sense and imagine our relationships to the world."
"Drawing is a very good topic: it is a topic, not only a tool. I often dissect the very idea of a drawing line as a thinking line, and I want to develop it further and further in my practice. For me, the idea of drawing is related to how a person thinks."
"The erasure of entire communities is a violence enacted not just on the individual and communal body but also to places and things; lived tructures, vegetation and land, not to mention lived history, community and memory. Ultimately, it is a violence enacted on our imaginary or any sense of futurity."
"For us, CLIMAVORE became quite an operative way to observe environmental degradation and the role of food systems in man-induced transformations. Over the years, several projects helped us develop a critical approach to the construction of spaces of food production and consumption. As our work evolves, we have become more and more interested in how critical thinking can also develop into critical propositions by exploring practices that enable alternative social, environmental and political platforms to emerge."