The Jury have announced the five artists shortlisted for the BelgianArtPrize 2020: Agency, Sammy Baloji, Saddie Choua, Jacqueline Mesmaeker and Joëlle Tuerlinckx. Each of the five shortlisted artists will present a new artistic project to be shown at the Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR) from March 19 to May 24, 2020. The winner will be announced in May 2020 at an award ceremony at BOZAR.
The shortlisted artists were chosen from an extensive list of 184 nominated artists compiled by 79 art professionals and collectors. The organizers called upon an advisory committee to carefully set up this renewed panel of nominators who represent the diversity of the ecosystems that make up and contribute to the richness of the Belgian art scene. The nominators were invited to nominate up to 5 artists taking into account the BelgianArtPrize’s aim to focus on a specific moment in an artist’s career and to support artists whose work has developed substantially over the years but who have not yet benefited from the acknowledgement they rightfully deserve. The artists’ oeuvre does not only testify to its own maturity, but also engages in a true dialogue with contemporary reality.
The organizers made a conscious effort to diversify the panel of jury members and brought together personalities truly engaged in the current contemporary art scene, from different backgrounds, and with a variety of activities in both institutional and private spheres. The BelgianArtPrize 2020 jury members are: Olga Dreesmann Ramos-Esteban (collector, supporter of several art institutions and philanthropic causes, board member of several institutions); Wilfried Cooreman (collector, board member of several cultural institutions); Dries Douibi (co-director of Kunstenfestivaldesarts, dramaturge); Otobong Nkanga (artist, BelgianArtPrize winner 2017); Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez
(independent curator, editor and writer) and Nicolaus Schafhausen (curator, author and editor). The jury was presided by Sophie Lauwers (Exhibitions director BOZAR). The finalists were chosen by the BelgianArtPrize 2020 Jury from the 38 nominated artists who obtained 3 or more votes.
“The jury was impressed by the quality of the nominations and the significant number of artists nominated for the BelgianArtPrize 2020 edition, reflecting and confirming the diversity of the Belgian art scene and the complexity of the existing practices.
A long, transparent and thoughtful debate preceded the difficult decision of choosing the finalists of the BelgianArtPrize. The jury members, with different backgrounds and a variety of activities stemming from public and private spheres, all closely examined various aspects of the artist’s work and career,
looking into the artist’s practice from distinct angles and taking into account the singularity of each artist, generating a particularly engaging debate.
The jury took on the challenge to not only consider the relevance of each artist’s work and practice, but also the conditions and the climate in which the works exist and respond to current challenging reality, determining the relevance of the position of the artist in today’s tumultuous world. The jury also looked at the artist’s accountability towards their subject matter, and at the diversity in both their practices and the audiences they address.
The jury deliberately selected 5 finalists and did not want to make up a list of reserve candidates. The jury argued that each of the 5 finalists open up multiple ways of being, existing and seeing the world. The jury members are convinced that the finalists’ works can help develop a multiple perspective, both physically and emotionally, about our reality as they each have a very accurate eye on their position and history, as well as the capacity of insightful analysis of their immediate social and cultural surrounding.
All of the finalists express their own personal views on the complicated times we live in and offer at the same time possibilities to engage with various positions and viewpoints we must take into account, whilst being concerned about the fact that notions and matters that we take for granted are being questioned. The jury emphasizes that the finalists’ works therefore do not only echo in Belgium but resonate transnationally. By selecting these 5 finalists for the BelgianArtPrize, the jury truly wishes to enable the artists to deepen the dialogue they have already engaged with the public(s) as they deserve a wider recognition, as aimed by this Prize.”
Jacqueline Mesmaeker, born in Uccle in 1929, lives and works in Brussels. Building on her early, experimental and creative work in architecture and design, and her career as a stylist from 1962 to 1972, Jacqueline Mesmaeker has subsequently focussed on the study of visual problems, analyzing visual and textual questions with gentle humour through drawing , installation and video, and making use of archive photographs, films, postcards and scraps of text or objects she has collected over time.
She graduated in 1967 from the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels (where she worked in Georges Vlaminck’s studio), before moving on to the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels in La Cambre, where she later taught from 1979 to 1984. She is the author of a body of work influenced by the romantic and literary conceptualism of Marcel Broodthaers.
Jacqueline Mesmaeker had solo-shows at a.o.: La Verrière – Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, Brussels (2019), Rectangle, Brussels (2015), Nadja Villenne Gallery, Liège (2015, 2013, 2011), Congres station, Brussels – JAP (2012), (SIC), Brussels (2009), Etablissements d’En Face, Brussels (2010; 2007), Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels (2005). She participated in many group shows: M HKA, Antwerp (2018); (SIC), Brussels (2017); Projetcs Arts Centre, Dublin (2015); Extracity, Antwerp (2014); MAC’s, Hornu (2014);Mu.ZEE, Ostend (2014); Unscene II, Wiels, Brussels (2012), Les Brasseurs, Liège (2003)