EYE Art & Film Prize
In 2015, EYE launched a new prize for work at the intersection of visual art and film. The prize is awarded to an artist whose work in recent years has made a valuable contribution to this particular area. The prize money of £25,000 has been made available by the Paddy and Joan Leigh Fermor Arts Fund in English.
Each year an international jury and advisory board, made up of key figures from the art and film worlds, selects a winner. The first exhibition is scheduled for the spring of 2018 and will feature work by the first three winners. The winner of the fourth EYE Art & Film Prize will be announced at the opening.
Hito Steyerl (EYE Art & Film Prize 2015)
Based in Berlin, Hito Steyerl (b. 1966) is one of the most prominent video artists working today. Educated as a filmmaker at the Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film in Munich, she effortlessly transcends the boundaries between film and visual art in her perceptive and often humorous work. In addition, she explores the role of the media in a globalized world, and the staggering speed at which images and knowledge circulate thanks to digital technology, a phenomenon that, in one of her essays, she has called ‘circulationism’. She argues that most images no longer just represent reality, but actually intervene in that reality.
From the jury report: “Steyerl is one of those filmmakers who observes our thoroughly globalized and digitalized world with remarkable perceptiveness. Her work is a pioneering exploration of the language of the new digital era. She investigates, probes, and makes that language the very subject of discussion. She questions the impact of the internet and digitalization on everyday life. By making use of a whole host of audio-visual techniques, Steyerl is an essayistic filmmaker and artist par excellence.”
Ben Rivers (EYE Art & Film Prize 2016)
The work of Ben Rivers (b. 1972) explores the intersection of documentary and fiction. He often films people who, in one way or another, have dropped out of society. From this rough film material, Rivers crafts subtle stories about alternative ways of living on the margins of society. Rivers is building up a significant body of work that makes an exceptional contribution to developments at the interface between visual art and film.
Sandra den Hamer, director of EYE and chairwoman of the EYE Art & Film Prize: “Ben Rivers is one of the powerful new voices of his generation, someone for whom the line that divides cinema from other arts is completely irrelevant. His visually stunning work demonstrates his commitment to society. With his poetic eye, Ben Rivers reveals himself to be a refined and empathetic observer of life and nature.”
Wang Bing (EYE Art & Film Prize 2017)
Based in Beijing, Wang Bing (b. 1967) has amassed a significant body of work that ranges in scope from documentary and feature film to video installation. As a filmmaker and visual artist, Wang Bing explores in his work the changes occurring in Chinese society. Wang's monumental films, such as West of Tracks, are often composed of strikingly long takes that interweave time and reality. These films call into question the bigger narratives within contemporary China by emphasizing ordinary, everyday humanity. Wang works almost entirely independently, using a digital camera, natural light and ambient noise.
Sandra den Hamer, director of EYE and chairwoman of the EYE Art & Film Prize: “Wang Bing is a genuine and authentic artist whose uncompromising way of working demonstrates his concern for contemporary society and his vision of the human condition. His skilfully composed work reveals a profound knowledge of the visual language and possesses a strong presence, both in the cinema and in art. Although he expresses an explicitly political viewpoint, Wang Bing does not force his audience to embrace his views. His wonderful and courageous work offers space for ambiguity.”
EYE Art & Film Prize
EYE Art & Film Prize Jury, 2015 - 2017
Advisory board, 2015 - 2017
The EYE Art & Film Prize is supported by the Paddy and Joan Leigh Fermor Arts Fund in England.
Accompanying the exhibition is an extensive programme of films, talks and events in the cinemas at EYE.