The past and the present of Future Generation Art Prize

PinchukArtCentre presents 21 artists selected for the 5th edition of the Future Generation Art Prize, which is celebrating its 10 year anniversary.

Hector Zamora, BAM – Construction of the Century!, 2010. The Future Generation Art Prize @ Venice © Artem Volokytin, Courtesy PinchukArtCentre, Photo by Sergey Illin

On 9 February, in Kyiv, Ukraine, PinchukArtCentre is introducing an exhibition devoted to the 21 shortlisted artists for the 5th edition of the Future Generation Art Prize. It will be focused on the presentation of recent and newly produced works.

Consequently, on 22 March, Future Generation Art Prize 2019 will announce its fifth winner (previously: Dineo Seshee Bopape in 2017; Nástio Mosquito - Carlos Motta in 2014; Lynette Yiadom-Boakye in 2012; Cinthia Marcelle in 2010) through an award ceremony. This year, the prize marks the 10th anniversary of the prize's founding.

The Future Generation Art Prize is a biannual global contemporary art prize to discover, recognise and give long-term support to a future generation of artists. All artists aged 35 or younger from anywhere in the world, working in any medium are invited to apply. The Victor Pinchuk Foundation, supporting the initiative, is an international, private and non-partisan philanthropic foundation based in Ukraine, and it was established in 2006 by businessman Victor Pinchuk.

It empowers the young generation to change their country and the world. To this end it implements projects and builds partnerships in Ukraine and worldwide. Since 2006, the Foundation has invested over US$ 125 million to transform Ukraine.

A major contribution to the open participation of younger artists in the dynamic cultural development of societies in global transition, the Prize has supported the artistic development and production of new works of over 84 artists in exhibitions at the PinchukArtCentre in Kyiv and the Venice Biennale. Alongside an open call, a global network of partner platforms and special correspondents work as ambassadors to encourage artists to apply for the prize.

In 2019, the shortlisted artists are: Alia Farid (Kuwait), Monira Al Qadiri (Senegal), Yu Araki (Japan), Korakrit Arunanondchai (Thailand), Kasper Bosmans (Belgium), Madison Bycroft (Australia), Gabrielle Goliath (South Africa), Rodrigo Hernández (Mexico), Laura Huertas Millán (Columbia), Marguerite Humeau (France) Eli Lundgaard (Sweden), Taus Makhacheva (Russia), Toyin Ojih Odutola (Nigeria), Sondra Perry (United States), Gala Porras-Kim (Columbia), Emilija Skarnulyte (Lithuania), Jakob Steensen (Denmark), Daniel Turner (United States), Anna Zvyagintseva (Ukraine) and artist collectives Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme and Cooking Sections.

These artists have been commissioned to create new works on view in exhibitions at the PinchukArtCentre in Kyiv and the Venice Biennale, curated by Björn Geldhof (artistic director, PinchukArtCentre). We speak to them on the occasion of the Ukrainian vernissage.

Firelei Báez, The Last One Who Remembers it (or the lucky meeting of a carpathian time traveler in Cap-Haїtien), 2017. Provided by the PinchukArtCentre © 2017. Photo Sergey Illin.
Firelei Báez, The Last One Who Remembers it (or the lucky meeting of a carpathian time traveler in Cap-Haїtien), 2017, PinchukArtCentre © 2017, Photo Sergey Illin

When your committee has been appointed, which was the specific aim you had in front of the Future Generation Art Prize 2019?

The Jury is asked to award a main prize of 100.000 USD and up-to 5 special prizes worth in total 20.000 USD. For this the jury travels to Kyiv and visits the exhibition. Based on the works they have seen we hold a discussion on who is going to be awarded. But it’s up to the jury to define the criteria for awarding the prize. This means it’s up to the jury to define how they see and understand the meaning of winning an award as the Future Generation Art Prize.

On your opinion, which kind of common threads, or highlights could be revised among the selected artists’ practices, on this 2019 Prize edition?

I think I cannot speak of highlights as all 21 artists have gone through a rigorous selection process together with 5,500 other artists who did not end up in the shortlist. That being said, I do recognise some tendencies. First is the idea of an archeology of the Future. It explores the past and present through the eyes of tomorrow, using high-end technologies, with the works questioning the possibilities of interpreting knowledge in todays world. The second theme surrounds an investigation of the self. On the one hand it realises through a poetic and psychological journey. On the other hand, it draws from sociol-cultural values and traditions. The works manifest a discrepancy between those traditions and shifting realities in a globalised world. 

Solo Exhibition of Dineo Seshee Bopape, Future Generation Art Prize 2017, Photographs provided by the PinchukArtCentre © 2018. Photographed by Maksym Bilousov, Valentіna Tsymbaliuk.
Solo show by Dineo Seshee Bopape, Future Generation Art Prize 2017, PinchukArtCentre © 2018, Photo by Maksym Bilousov, Valentіna Tsymbaliuk.

Which kind of different visions and several institutional backgrounds could be revised among the Selection Committee members?

Each edition we bring together a jury that represents a global view on the world. They possess indisputable qualities in terms of curating, artistic knowledge and institutional accumen. We try to invite members who have earned international recognition through their work and are both trusted by artists and the art community. This gives us jury meetings with refreshing discussions and insightful conversations that are needed to define what winning the “Future Generation Art Prize” could mean. 

Could you please describe how the exhibition in Ukraine will be developed? Did the curators found a title or a common topic?

The exhibition is curated by Tatiana Kochubinska and myself. From a curatorial perspective we were mostly interested in enabling the artists to show new produced works for the prize. Sometimes that is not possible and then we look towards recent work that tries to represent the artistic practice in the best way. The exhibition itself is approached in such a way that each artist has an own space. This means we work towards 21 solo-statements that are not necessarily connected through a thematic approach. 

Could you please express or formulate a message to be forwarded to the next FGAP 2019 winner?

I can rather give the message that being shortlisted for the prize is winning in itself. Through both the exhibition in Kyiv and Venice, we ensure the artists an exposure that gives them momentum. But for the winner, he or she has 100,000 USD to spend! Of this we ask they use 40,000 USD to invest in a new project without any limitation.

Exhibition Title:
5th Future Generation Art Prize
Opening dates:
From February 9 to April 14, 2019
Curated by:
Tatiana Kochubinska and Björn Geldhof
1/3-2, "А" Block, Velyka Vasylkivska/Baseyna Str., Kyiv, Ukraine, 01004

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