Slavs and Tatars Win Audience Award at Preis der Nationalgalerie 2015
The Polish-Iranian collective shortlisted for the prestigious Preis der Nationalgalerie has won the Audience Award.
Established in 2000, the Preis der Nationalgalerie has become one of the most important art awards in Germany and Europe. In January 2016, this year's winners were selected by an international jury: Bernard Blistène, director of the Pompidou Centre in Paris; Manuel Borja-Villel, director of Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid; Elena Filipovic, director and curator of Kunsthalle Basel; Gabriele Knapstein, associate of Nationalgalerie and exhibition manager at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin; and Udo Kittelmann, director of Nationalgalerie.
The main prize was awarded to German artist Anne Imhof, while the collective Slavs and Tatars won the Audience Award. Christian Falsnaes and Florian Hecker were the other nominees. Apart from being shortlisted, the artists had a chance to exhibit their work at Berlin’s Hamburger Bahnhof, where Slav and Tatars presented the Qit Qat Qlub installation.
The Slavs and Tatars duo was formed in 2006 by two young artists: a Tel Aviv-based Pole, and an American of Iranian descent living in Paris. Over the years, they have been joined by other artists from all over the world whose goal is to work in the ‘area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China, known as Eurasia.’
Interested in anthropology and politics, they think of themselves as ‘archaeologists of the everyday’ as they dig up the deeper layers found within traditions, customs and languages. Their work is full of emotion and humour, but at the same time it carries a distinct and clear message. Slavs and Tatars’ art objects, installations, performances and public interventions play with archival and historical sources such as Zoroastrian calendars, Persian road maps, and Azeri comics from the turn of the 20th century. Although they are scattered all over the world, the artists share one goal: to bring Eurasian culture back to life.
Sources: rastergallery.com, preis2015.de, compiled by AS, translated by OK, 22 Jan 2016