ars viva Prize



Fogo Island Arts (FIA) will offer the 2020 recipients of the prestigious ars viva Prize for Visual Arts a residency on Fogo Island as part of a special partnership, now in its fourth year, with Kulturkreis der deutschen Wirtschaft im BDI e. V. (Association of Arts and Culture of the German Economy at the Federation of German Industries).

The ars viva Prize is awarded annually to three young artists based in Germany whose work is distinguished by a high level of artistic quality and an awareness of contemporary social and cultural questions. The jury selected this year’s awardees from 49 nominated artists under the age of 35. The winners of the 2020 ars viva Prize are Karimah Ashadu, Thibaut Henz and Cemile Sahin.

The ars viva Prize includes two exhibitions at renowned art institutions in Europe, a financial award of 5,000 Euros each, and a bilingual catalogue to be published by Kerber Verlag. For the fourth time since the inception of the prize in 1953, recipients will also have the opportunity to spend a month on Fogo Island as part of Fogo Island Arts’ residency program.

Karimah Ashadu’s video works weave together documentary elements with fiction, and examine topics of labour, often within the socioeconomic context of Nigeria, focussing on the male-dominated structures that have developed in the country. In Thibaut Henz’s photographic snapshots and portraits, unusual perspectives and details often take centre stage, while his compositions play with new aesthetics and viewing habits in the digital era. The use of word and image plays a crucial role in Cemile Sahin’s artistic practice, which includes narrative cinematic works, collages and lecture performances.

The jury, chaired by Ulrich Sauerwein, consisted of members of the Kulturkreis der Deutschen Wirtschaft’s Committee for Visual Arts along with cooperating partners Julia Schäfer (Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig); Bettina Steinbrügge (Kunstverein Hamburg); Zita Cobb, Willem de Rooij and Nicolaus Schafhausen (Fogo Island Arts); and Dr Franziska Nentwig and Mathilda Legemah (Kulturkreis der deutschen Wirtschaft). Dr Stephanie Rosenthal (Gropius Bau) served as an adviser.

From left: Thibaut Henz, Karimah Ashadu and Cemile Sahin.