Future Generation Art Prize 2021

September 25, 2021 - February 27, 2022
The PinchukArtCentre presents an exhibition of the 21 shortlisted artists for the 6th edition of the Future Generation Art Prize. Running from September 25, 2021 to February 27, 2022, the show gives a remarkable view on the artistic vision from the next generation of artists. Established by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation in 2009, the Future Generation Art Prize is a biannual global contemporary art prize to discover, recognize and give long-term support to a future generation of artists all over the world.

Featuring new works from all artists, the exhibition explores the world we live in today and how past experiences compel us to face a more inclusive future. Geopolitics is a recurring theme, with an emphasis on the global flows of labour, capital, and technology; the works reflect upon the unhealed scars of colonisation, ongoing conflicts, and the gradual exhaustion of natural resources. This close relationship to the natural world introduces a line of spiritualism within the exhibition that suggests the artist's intangible or physical practice as a tool to care for each other's communities. The interhuman relations become a crucial point for a whole number of projects, including the fragile intimacy and tension of queer identity.

The shortlist of the Future Generation Art Prize 2021 includes: Alex Baczynski-Jenkins (UK), Wendimagegn Belete (Ethiopia), Minia Biabiany (Guadeloupe), Aziz Hazara (Afghanistan), Ho Rui An (Singapore), Agata Ingarden (Poland), Rindon Johnson (USA), Bronwyn Katz (South Africa), Lap-See Lam (Sweden), Mire Lee (South Korea), Paul Maheke (France), Lindsey Mendick (UK), Henrike Naumann (Germany), Pedro Neves Marques (Portugal), Frida Orupabo (Norway), Andres Pereira Paz (Bolivia), Teresa Solar (Spain), Trevor Yeung (China), and artist collectives Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff (USA), Yarema Malashchuk and Roman Khimei (Ukraine), and Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings (UK).

Curator: Björn Geldhof, artistic director of the PinchukArtCentre. Assistant curators: Oleksandra Pogrebnyak and Daria Shevtsova.

  • Alex Baczynski-Jenkins
    Artist and choreographer, Alex Baczynski-Jenkins engages with queer affect, embodiment and relationality. Through gesture, collectivity, touch and sensuality, his practice unfolds structures and politics of desire. His works trace the relations between sensation and sociality, embodied expression and alienation, textures of everyday experience, utopian and latent queer histories. Previous and solo exhibitions include: Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2019); Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw (2018); and Chisenhale Gallery, London (2017). Baczynski-Jenkins has also presented work at: Meetings on Art at the 58th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, Venice (2019); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2019); Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2017); Swiss Institute Contemporary Art, Νew York (2016). Baczynski-Jenkins is co-founder of Kem, a Warsaw based queer feminist collective focused on choreography, performance and sound at the interface with social practice.
Federico is an 8-minute choreography for two performers touching hands. Baczyński-Jenkins' choreographies engage with queer affect, embodiment, and relationality. Through gesture, collectivity, touch, and sensuality, his practice unfolds structures and politics of desire. Relationality is present in the dialogical ways in which the work is developed and performed, as well as in the materials and poetics it invokes.

This includes tracing relations between sensation and sociality, embodied expression and alienation, the textures of everyday experience and latent queer archives. He approaches choreography as a way of reflecting on the matter of feeling, perception, and collective emergence.

His artistic practice extends into his experience as the co-founder of the Warsaw-based queer feminist collective Kem, which focuses on choreography, performance, and sound, at their interface with social practice. Through various experimental formats and community building, Kem engages in critical intimacy and queer pleasure.
  • Wendimagegn Belete
    Wendimagegn Belete (b.1986, Ethiopia) received an MA in Contemporary Art from Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art, University of Tromsø, Norway in 2017, and BFA from ASFAD, Addis Abeba University, Ethiopia in 2012. He works across a variety of media, including video, painting, archival photography, text and found materials. Wendimagegn works are focus on how history, memory and identity are formed and constituted, with specific infancies on his own background as an Ethiopian. His approach is also concerned with appropriation and reinterpretation of historical archives. He's also fascinated by the idea of the epigenetic inheritance, this idea of a memory that transfers over generations. He has taken part in numerous solo and group exhibitions.
Wendimagegn Belete's installation for the Future Generation Art Prize 2021 continues his exploration into questions on how history, memory, and identity are formed and constituted, and the concept of epigenetic inheritance, a memory that transfers over generations.

In the form of a large-scale mural, the work includes archival portraits taken during the second Italo-Ethiopian war (1935-1941). Ethiopia not only survived the invasion and won the struggle, but as a result it was honored as a country that was never colonized when the pan-African movement adopted the color scheme of Ethiopia's historical flag. Collected from the digital archives, the photographs are conspicuously missing information about the depicted figures, a feature that highlights the risk of the individuals losing connection with their context and fading from collective consciousness. The work attempts to not only capture the memory of the person and the specific historical moment, but also transform the immaterial digital representation into a physical object. The grid composition is inspired by traditional Ethiopian painting and also serves as a visual expression of interdependence and harmonious coexistence, while the scale of the work creates an immense physical presence that elevates the forgotten individuals to almost heroic status.

Creating a further layer, a collection of objects is placed over the photographs. Originating not only from Ethiopia, but also from other African countries, they create a visual diversity that intentionally detaches the narrative of the work from one specific location in order to resonate with wider context. The process of assembling each photo with the accompanying objects involves both a conscious and subconscious approach, tapping into the idea of inherited memories which might surface through artistic gestures or linger in the materials themselves.

Your Gaze Makes Me weaves together digital and physical archival material to create a dynamic visual library that holds stories from the past and present, while also gesturing towards a more inclusive future in terms of the way we approach both history and art.
  • Minia Biabiany
    Minia Biabiany (born in Guadeloupe, 1988) works between Mexico City and Guadeloupe. She uses the layering and the fragmentation of narrations, framed in the Caribbean context, to build ephemeral poetics of forms in installations, videos and drawings. She observes the interrelation between colonialism, the action of weaving and the notion of territory in oral and written languages. She initiated the artistic and pedagogical collective project Semillero Caribe in 2016 and continues with the ongoing project Doukou, to explore pedagogical decolonial practices with the body and from concepts of Caribbean authors. Her work has been shown in the Xth Biennale of Berlin, TEOR/éTica in Costa Rica, Witte de With in Rotterdam, Cràter Invertido in México, Prix Sc Po 2019 in Paris, SIGNAL in Malmö.
In the practice of Minia Biabiany, drawing within space represents a thinking process and a way to interact with one's perception in an active and guided way. For the Future Generation Art Prize 2021, she presents an onsite installation directing the circulation of the spectator through the room. How is the perception of the space shaped by our own story, both externally, as in the movement of the body through it, and internally, as in the way it is perceived by the body? For several years, the artist has been interested in understanding her own system of forgetting and its relationship with the land in which she lives. Referring to the history of Guadeloupe, she investigates the traces of the plantation slavery system within her, as well as the tools available for recreating relationships with the territory and context in spite of its present day colonial situation — a Caribbean archipelago still controlled by France and actively assimilated into French culture.

The specificity of the guadeloupean context is expressed within the installation by the use of figures and metaphors, such as the patterns of traditional weaving technique that the artist links with conventional storytelling — the sea as it connects the islands, or the flowing water of the river, the active volcano La Soufrière or the constant wind from the Atlantic ocean, the soil polluted by pesticides used on banana plantations... All are parts of the environment in which the artist lives and which she turns into a poetic and political storyline. She understands the reinvention of the autonomous relations between forces and people as part of her own search for healing and the process of resistance.

Dividing the room and forcing the viewer to walk on only certain paths, Biabiany creates small observation events and turns them into parts of the extended body, displaying different densities and rhythms, much like a breathing pattern. Both the bodies and the colonial system she observes become spaces of autonomous learning by allowing the viewer to observe their own sensations.
  • Aziz Hazara
    Aziz Hazara (b. 1992, Wardak, Afghanistan. Lives and works in Kabul, Afghanistan and Ghent, Belgium) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Kabul and Ghent. He works across mediums including photography, video, sound, programming languages, text and multimedia installations, exploring questions of identity, memory, archive, conflict, surveillance and migration in the context of power relations, geopolitics and the panopticon. "The visual exploration of my work is deeply entrenched in the geopolitics and the never-ending conflict that afflicts my native Afghanistan. The relevance of such issues, however, overcomes geographical specificities and appeals to a contemporary condition that is globally shared."
Aziz Hazara focuses in his artistic practice on issues of memory, identity, archive, loss, and trauma. Appealing to the history of his native country of Afghanistan, he explores the effect that war and military conflict have on the life of individuals.

In the multichannel video installation Bow Echo, the title of which refers to a dangerous and destructive storm, five boys resist the wind by attempting to blow a bright plastic bugle. Their act represents the story of repression and suffering that their community has experienced unabated. In contrast, however, to the tradition of sounding a bugle in remembrance of those who have lost their lives, the notes of this flimsy instrument appear quite powerless. The sound blurs together with the noise of the wind and approaching drones.

Against the forces of nature, the boys' efforts to play the bugle and hold their ground on the rocks seem incredible. Their fragility and insecurity become even more pronounced against the background of the mountain landscape of Kabul, now the site of their traumatic experience. Through pure picture and sound, Hazara creates a monument to the dramatic and violent struggle that generations of people in Afghanistan have experienced in the never-ending war.
  • Ho Rui An
    Ho Rui An is an artist and writer working in the intersections of contemporary art, cinema, performance and theory. Working primarily across the mediums of lecture, essay and film, he probes into the ways by which images are produced, circulate and disappear within contexts of globalism and governance. He has presented projects at the Asian Art Biennial (2019), Gwangju Biennale (2018), Jakarta Biennale (2017), Sharjah Biennial (2017), Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2014), Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2018), Haus de Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2017), Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center, Manila (2017), NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (2017) and Para Site, Hong Kong (2015). In 2019, he was awarded the International Film Critics' (FIPRESCI) Prize at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany. In 2018, he was a fellow of the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm.
The key work in the exposition is the second chapter of an ongoing film project that maps the hundred-year history of the development of the textile industry and its many afterlives within the Greater China region. Each of the three chapters, namely Lineage, Lining, and Landing, is situated around a historical turning point and examines the shifts in the conditions of labour, capital, and technology as one socio-economic system gives way to another.

The second chapter, Lining, begins with the movement of Shanghai's cotton mills to Hong Kong on the eve of the Communist takeover, and extends into the Reform era during which Hong Kong's industrial base would in turn be displaced to the mainland, this time concentrated around the southern region of Guangdong. Weaving together archival material, interviews with former factory workers and managers, and observational footage shot between Hong Kong and Guangdong, the narrative describes the postindustrial turn of Hong Kong and how its relationship with Guangdong exemplifies the horizontal "lines" of connection within contemporary global capitalist networks.

There are two posters included in the installation. They draw upon imagery extracted from publicity materials of the China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair, during the 1970s. As one of the few occasions where Chinese trade representatives met foreign businessmen, the fair was where one could observe the ideological shifts of the Party as it gradually transitioned to a market economy integrated within global flows of labour, capital, and technology. The somewhat ironic pairing of the images with a set of devised slogans invokes the depoliticisation of technology that occurred as a part of these shifts, while questioning whether technological flows can ever be extricated from the lines of ideology.
  • Agata Ingarden
    Agata Ingarden (born '94, in Poland / lives and works in Paris, France) graduated from Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris (2018) and studied at The Cooper Union, New York (2016). Her practice is driven by material research as well as investigations in post-humanities, science fiction and mythical narratives. She works with multiple media including installation, sculpture and video. Her installations evoke the interrelationship between human and its surroundings, both living and nonliving. Playing with natural properties of organic materials Ingarden displaces common objects out of their usual contexts. She has exhibited in Europe and the United States with exhibitions at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Frac Ile-de-France, Paris, Silesian Museum, Katowice, Künstlerhaus Wien, Mo.Co Montpellier Contemporain, Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden.
Agata Ingarden's installation consists of architecture made out of windows, retrieved from an office building in Kyiv. Multiple types of objects appear in these forms such as wooden molds, bronze sculptures, textile suites of two designs, modified cycling shoes, and video screens. The room itself has been stripped from its white plasterboard and false ceiling, uncovering the ventilation system and the eclectic composition of the innards of the exhibition space. From in between the reflections of the kaleidoscopic, semi-transparent glass systems of elevators, corridors, and basements are revealed, constructing an emotional dimension that exists partly in reality and is partly accessible through video screens.

The wooden and bronze objects come from the form of a rescue dummy which is a mannequin used for water rescue training. The wooden molds are populated with 3D scanned tree mushrooms that usually grow parallel to the ground. Here, turning in all directions suddenly they indicate a different or changing point of gravity and at the same time mimic an imaginary system of internal organs. Bronze pieces, covered with red modelling wax on the outside, with polished insides and oxidized edges, resemble armour. Costumes are sewn together from many coatings with visible stitches. Playing with the idea of a mould, Ingarden introduces us to different sculptural shells, referring to the multiplicity of layers.

This setting introduces the audience to a game-like world. Dream House — an imaginary program generating a real-life simulation for a group of characters called Butterfly People who are supervised by characters called Emotional Police. Sometimes separate, sometimes merging as one character, the Butterfly People explore the boundaries of their bodies, emotional states and communication through dance and unorganised movement. On one hand, their efforts and energy fuel the entire program, and on the other become a form of revolt against generalised social norms and a way to free themselves from the system. The emotional dimension is a playground to explore the experience of becoming a "being", or the idea of memory and constructing/recomposing identity as an individual and as a group.
  • Rindon Johnson
    Rindon Johnson is an artist. His solo exhibitions in New York and London will open as a co-commission of Sculpture Center and Chisenhale Gallery in winter and fall of 2021. Johnson has participated in group exhibitions at Brooklyn Museum; Literaturhaus, Berlin; SculptureCenter; FACT Liverpool; National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne and HeK, Basel. Johnson has performed at Artists Space, MoMA PS1, Human Resources and The Poetry Project. He is the author of Nobody Sleeps Better Than White People (Inpatient, 2016), the VR book, Meet in the Corner (Publishing-House.Me, 2017) and Shade the King (Capricious, 2017). His most recent film, "Meat Growers: A Love Story" was commissioned by Rhizome and Tentacular. He lives in Berlin where he researches VR at the Universität der Künste, Berlin.
The installation emerges around a sci-fi novel called Clattering. The story, written in collaboration with writer Diana Hamilton, began as a proposition for open-mindedness, multiplicity, and opposition to the organizational states of our world, which is mostly built on various forms of dualism. Rindon Johnson's practice is bound up with writing, which he scales up to spatial installations that contain various elements or media.

In the novel, Clattering, the authors question our accustomed perspective on relationships, hierarchical structures, reproductive systems, and resource control. Johnson and Hamilton ask these questions by creating subtle but important differences between humans and their human-like characters. The authors decided early on that in Clattering there would be no gender, no hunger, no war, no physical violence. Against this backdrop the conventions of our actual world look very different.

The story unfolds when the main characters of the book discover that the initial inhabitants of their planet were immortal until a certain knowledge was taken away from them. Among five protagonists only one enters the exhibition space, a glassmaker called Sima. A replica of Sima's dream is seen as a central large-scale installation of an iridescent cloud depicted in stained glass. This visual experience brought them to the understanding that in one beam of light all colors exist at once. This comprehension suggests a perspective of inclusion and fullness.

The LED wall, which both opposes and illuminates the glass piece, shows the Bay of Jaffir, one part of the landscape of the video game version of Clattering. The video invites viewers to watch the shifts in light across the bay, through the trees, as the three planets move through the sky over the course of a day and a night.
  • Bronwyn Katz
    Bronwyn Katz is a multi-disciplinary artist. Incorporating sculpture, installation, video and storytelling, Katz's practice engages with concepts of mapping, memory and language relative to land and culture. Conceptually, her works refer to the political context of their making, embodying subtle acts of resistance that draw attention to the social constructions and boundaries that continue to define those spaces. Katz is also a founding member of iQhiya, an art collective and network of black women artists and cultural workers in South Africa and Botswana.
Bronwyn Katz's large-scale installation, /xabi, is an extension of a system of notation she has been developing to signify the phonetics of a creole language, which is typically made by mixing two different languages into a new one. Her iteration of creole gestures towards the Southern African click-based dialect of !Ora. The installation is manifested as a single, immersive environment. In it, a series of rock and steel sculptures — denoting the letters or symbols of Katz's imagined language — are surrounded by what she identifies as curtains of rain, materialised as lengths of copper coated carbon steel joined together with hemp twine.

The rock and steel "letters" reference the forms found at Driekopseiland, a site of rock engravings with which the artist has been working over the last 5 years. The site is located along the Riet river in the Northern Cape of South Africa, originally known as the Gama-!ab, a !Ora name meaning "muddy". The petroglyphs of Driekopseiland are covered by the waters of Gama-!ab in the rainy season and exposed during the summer drought. Katz is interested in this collaborative intervention of water in the creation of signs, symbols, and language.

Elaborating on the generative and healing possibilities of moving water, the installation includes a sound recording of the artist moving salt water around in her mouth following the extraction of her tooth. Resonating throughout the space, the sound creates an awareness of the connection between earth and body — both living entities marked with scars and memory. The title, /xabi, is a !Ora word that can be translated as a spurt of water from the mouth, and Katz is invested in the potential of the action suggested by this word. With this installation, she posits that language, and its close relationship to the natural world, as a tool for the care of the self, and, by extension, the community and the earth.
  • Lap-See Lam
    Lap-See Lam, born 1990, based in Stockholm (SE). Lap-See Lam draws attention to the cultural history of increasingly-scarce Chinese restaurants in Sweden which are intimately intertwined with the imprints of the Hong Kong-Chinese diaspora across the world. Using fiction as a tool and the particular interior aesthetics of the restaurants as a formal language, Lam considers how the concept of a place constructs notions of cultural identity and belonging. Lam utilises technologies including VR, 3D-scanning and 3D-printing to create complex, immersive and poetic environments in her work. Recent exhibitions include: Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm (2020), Uppsala Art Museum (2020), Performa 19 Biennial, NY (2019); Fondation Cartier, Paris (2019); Moderna Museet, Malmö (2019-2018) and Luleå Biennial (2018). Lam is a recipient of the Maria Bonnier Dahlin Foundation Grant in 2017.