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28 March 2013

The results of the second edition of the Fu­ture Generation Art Prize were made known at the Kiev Planetarium in December 2012. After a short webcam introduction by jury members Massimiliano Gioni and Hans Ul­rich Obrist, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and Agnaldo Farias announced five Special Prize winners: Marwa Arsanios, Rayyane Tabet, Mi­col Assaël, Jonathas de Andrade and Ahmet Ögüt. In the end, Victor Pinchuk generously declared that the sum of the Special Prize was to be slightly increased because of the number of winners. He followed up with a genuine gender-bending joke to congratulate the ear­lier announced Main Prize winner, artist and writer Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

Lynette’s vivid paintings presented an es­pecially poetic and political challenge within the project. Significantly, the exhibition gives the impression of structure and integrity, and does not seem to be collaged together, a feat considering that works by 21 shortlisted artists from 16 countries were brought together in one space. This indicates not only the unified selection process of the jury and the rigorous curatorial work of Bjorn Geldhof, but also sup­ports some general expectations about what “artists under 35 years of age” are currently pursuing in their work.

The Future Generation Art Prize concen­trates on art as a social tool — in the most open and productive way this can be imple­mented. For instance, a smartly discreet in­stallation by Yan Xing, followed within the same hall by André Komatsu’s Construção de Valores (Construction of Values, 2012) offers a sophisticated rebellion against cultural con­ventions. And rebellion here does not become yet another artistic cliché.

Still, the return of aesthetics is evident when we think about the first edition of the Future Generation Art Prize, the international shortlist of which included no paintings what­soever. The only oil on canvas pieces belonged to Artem Volokitin, who holds the Pinchu­kArtCentre Prize for Ukraine-based artists (the winner of which automatically joins the short­list for the worldwide prize the following year).

The shortlist bravely showcases unconven­tional beauty, irony and conceptual sophisti­cation in a variety of formats — whether an objet trouvé installation by Abigail DeVille, in Tala Madani’s works on the verge of mock­ery, in a minimal and reflexive series by Emily Roysdon, or in videos by the recipient of the People’s Choice award, Meiro Koizumi, who adroitly plays with cultural sentiments.

Author: Lesya Prokopenko
Source: Flash Art Magazine