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Shortlist Prix de Rome Visual Arts 2017 announced

The international jury of the Prix de Rome has selected four visual artists for the shortlist of the Prix de Rome 2017. The nominees are: Melanie Bonajo, Rana Hamadeh, Saskia Noor van Imhoff and Katarina Zdjelar.

Each artist will receive a working budget and will be given the opportunity to create new work during a five-month period. The work will be exhibited at Kunsthal Rotterdam from the beginning of December. Based on the new work, the jury will announce the winner in mid-December 2017. The winning artist will receive 40,000 euros and a residency at the American Academy in Rome.

The jury made its selection from a list of 111 artists, some of whom were proposed by 22 scouts engaged by the Mondriaan Fund. Other artists initiated proposals themselves or were nominated by a third party. The four shortlisted artists were nominated by both scouts and third parties.
The jury was impressed by the extent and the quality of the artists presented to them. In their selection of candidates for the shortlist, criteria like an innovative attitude, the layered structure of the work and further potential for development played a key role. Furthermore, the jury was looking for an artist who could grow at international level too and who would be a good representative of the current Dutch art world. The jury found work that reflects on the time in which we live particularly compelling. After careful consultation, the jury overwhelmingly chose four artists who possess these qualities. The jury is very much looking forward to the plans which these artists will elaborate during their work period and the subjects which they will incorporate in their new work.

Melanie Bonajo, Home Coming Queen, HD-videostill, 2017 - work in progress

Melanie Bonajo, Home Coming Queen, HD-videostill, 2017 – work in progress

Melanie Bonajo (Heerlen, 1978, lives and works in Amsterdam). She studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and completed residencies at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam and ISCP in New York. Her work consists of videos, performances, photos and installations about technological developments and the increasing alienation from their nature that people experience today. The jury loved the vulnerable, playful and engaged way in which Bonajo breaks through taboos and physically confronts her viewers with modern dilemmas and the relationship between humankind, nature and human nature. The jury is also enthusiastic about her clever use of modern images and image flows which are generated via (social) media.
Melanie Bonajo was proposed by Jeroen Kooijmans and Emma Ines Panza.

Rana Hamadeh, The Sleepwalkers, 2016

Rana Hamadeh, The Sleepwalkers, 2016

Rana Hamadeh (Beirut/Lebanon, 1983, lives and works in Rotterdam). She studied among others at the Dutch Art Institute/ArtEZ in Enschede. Based on certain objects or events, and in performances, discussions, texts and installations, she explores the production of knowledge and meanings. Commending the personal role which Hamadeh plays in her performances and with which she brings her work alive, the jury calls her courageous. The subjects that she addresses are relevant to our current era and initiate a dialogue about art, (art) history and their appropriation. The jury calls her an intelligent and inquisitive artist who is averse to tested formulas and who has great potential to continue growing in her designs.
Rana Hamadeh was proposed by Otobong Nkanga, Maaike Gouwenberg and Annie Fletcher.

Saskia Noor van Imhoff, #+21.00, 2016, De Appel, Foto: Gert Jan van Rooij; courtesy by Fons Welters

Saskia Noor van Imhoff, #+21.00, 2016, De Appel, Foto: Gert Jan van Rooij; courtesy by Fons Welters

Saskia Noor van Imhoff (Mission/Canada, 1982, lives and works in Amsterdam). She studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and did a residency at de Ateliers in Amsterdam. Her work consists of installations in which she uses sculptures and photos to break through the hierarchies of original art works, replicas and everyday implements. The jury is impressed by the uncompromising and intelligent way in which she develops her formal studies and the sensitivity of her use of materials. The results are of a hypnotising beauty that transport the viewer into a phenomenal parallel world, a mysterious environment which also says something about our own world. There is also an intuitive element in her plan and the jury looks forward to seeing the result.
Saskia Noor van Imhoff was proposed by Rudi Fuchs en Jules van den Langenberg.

Katerina Zdjelar, AAA (Mein Herz), 2016 (still)

Katerina Zdjelar, AAA (Mein Herz), 2016 (still)

Katarina Zdjelar (Belgrade/Serbia, 1979, lives and works in Rotterdam). She studied among others at the Piet Zwart Instituut in Rotterdam. In her videos, audio works and other projects, she explores the codes of language, the tangibility of speech and the way in which people relate to multilingual environments. The jury calls Zdjelar’s videos technically perfect. With great filmic craftsmanship, she films so close to the skin of her characters that we seem to penetrate their thoughts. The jury is also impressed by the way in which Zdjelar approaches the central theme of language and thus addresses subjects like migration. Finally the jury looks forward to seeing the new steps which Zdjelar is currently taking in her work.
Katarina Zdjelar was proposed by Priscilla Fernandes and Annie Fletcher.

The jury consists of Ferran Barenblit (director MACBA, Barcelona), Mariette Dölle (director Museum Kranenburgh, Bergen), Folkert de Jong (visual artist), Petra Noordkamp (visual artist), Francesco Stocchi (curator Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam).The chair is held by Birgit Donker (director Mondriaan Fund).

The Prix de Rome is the oldest and most generous Dutch award for visual artists below the age of 40. The purpose of the award is to identify talented visual artists and to encourage them to develop and increase their visibility. The Mondriaan Fund has been responsible for the award from 2012 on. For Prix de Rome 2017 the Mondriaan Fund will collaborate with Kunsthal Rotterdam (exhibition) and nai010 publishers (publication).

Exhibition shortlist artists
2 december 2017 – 25 februari 2018
Kunsthal Rotterdam

Publication shortlist
december 2017
nai010publishers