by Sukanya GargSep 20, 2019
Lithuanian artist Emilija Škarnulytė won the Future Generation Art Prize 2019, the fifth edition of the global art prize for artists under 35, established by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation in 2009. The winner was announced by an international jury at the award ceremony held at the PinchukArtCentre, Kiev, Ukraine, on March 22, 2019. Škarnulytė received USD 60,000 as cash prize, and USD 40,000 as funds for her artistic practice.
An additional USD 20,000 were awarded between Special Prize winners Gabrielle Goliath (South Africa) and Cooking Sections (UK).
The winners were chosen by the prize’s distinguished international jury, consisting of Pablo León de la Barra, curator at large, Latin America, Solomon R Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, New York; Björn Geldhof, artistic director, PinchukArtCentre, Kiev; Gabi Ngcobo, curator, 10th Berlin Biennale; Tim Marlow, artistic director, Royal Academy of Arts, London; and Hoor Al Qasimi, president, Sharjah Art Foundation and International Biennial Association.
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the prize, Björn Geldhof, artistic director, PinchukArtCentre, said, “It is exciting to be part of a prize which champions current, dynamic and talented young artists. The truly global nature of the prize allows creative voices from all over the world to be represented. Aptly for this year’s edition of the Future Generation Art Prize, which is now in its 10th year, the work explores the ‘archaeology of the future,’ questioning the possibilities of tomorrow. All the artists in this year’s exhibition have shown an undisputed quality of artistic acumen - deciding the ultimate winner was incredibly difficult.”
Škarnulytė, who is a Vilnius-based nomadic artist and filmmaker, won the prize for her video installation t 1/2. Displayed in a room with a mirror ceiling, the video work showcased 3D scans which refer to the architectural structures the artist discovered at a nuclear power plant in her country as well as in a Japanese neutrino observatory. Her work, then, is a commentary of nuclear warfare and the ensuing ecological destruction. She currently also co-directs Polar Film Lab, a collective for 16mm analogue film practice located in Tromsø, Norway.
Commenting on Škarnulytė as the winner of the Future Generation Art Prize 2019, the Jury said, “Emilija Škarnulytė’s work t 1 ⁄ 2 stems from deep and extensive research which has been translated into a coherent and confident way. The jury found its scale, rhythm and pace mesmerising alongside its capacity to deal with vast expanses of time in a precise manner.
Her use of video expands into a multi-dimensional experience, confronting many of the major issues facing humanity which are often left unspoken. Without being overtly didactic, the work stays open-ended and poetic while raising fundamental questions about where we come from, who we are and where we might end-up.”
All the shortlisted artists will take part in the Future Generation Art Prize 2019@ Venice group exhibition organised by the PinchukArtCentre as an official collateral event of the 58th Venice Biennale at Palazzo Ca’ Tron. As the winner of the Future Generation Art Prize 2019, Škarnulytė will present her solo show at the PinchukArtCentre in Kiev, in 2020.
This was the fifth edition of the Future Generation Art Prize. The list of previous winners includes Dineo Seshee Bopape and Phoebe Boswell (2017); Nástio Mosquito and Carlos Motta (2014); Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (2012); and Cinthia Marcelle (2010).