ars viva Prize



Fogo Island Arts (FIA) will offer the 2019 recipients of the prestigious ars viva Prize for Visual Arts a residency on Fogo Island as part of a special partnership, now in its third 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 young artists living in Germany whose work is distinguished by a high level of artistic quality and a contemporary outlook. This year, the jury selected 12 finalists from the 49 nominated artists. The winners of the 2019 ars viva Prize are Niko Abramidis & NE (1987), Cana Bilir-Meier (1986) and Keto Logua (1988).

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

“The ars viva award is one of Germany’s most highly regarded honours in visual arts,” said Nicolaus Schafhausen, Strategic Director of Fogo Island Arts and Director, Kunsthalle Wien. “We’re delighted to welcome these three exceptional young artists and offer them focused opportunities to work, reflect, and forge connections with the unique culture and community of Fogo Island through our residency program.”

The work of Niko Abramidis & NE reflects on power structures, future utopias, and global urban development. Cana Bilir-Meier’s film and sound works centre on materials from her family’s archive and her Turkish roots to approach universal narratives and collective memories. Keto Logua’s sculptures and films often refer to natural phenomena and socio-cultural issues, and call into question the relationship between fiction and reality.

The ars viva jury, chaired by Ulrich Sauerwein, included members of the Kulturkreis’ Committee of Visual Arts, Mathilda Legemah and Franziska Rieger, and cooperating partners Julia Höner (KEI 10 | Arthena Foundation), Dr. Nina Zimmer (Kunstmuseum Bern), Zita Cobb (Shorefast) and Nicolaus Schafhausen (Kunsthalle Wien, Fogo Island Arts/Shorefast). Bettina Steinbrügge (Kunstverein Hamburg) served as an adviser.

An exhibition of works by the 2019 ars viva winners is on view at KAI 10 | Arthena Foundation, Düsseldorf until January 20, 2019. A subsequent exhibition will take place in the summer of 2019 at Kunstmuseum Bern.

From left: Niko Abramidis & NE, Cana Bilir-Meier and Keto Logua. Photos: Udo Geisler.