“Future of Europe“
The original motivation behind the art prize was to stimulate active discussions on the socialist past and the process of the EU’s expansion towards the east. Originally, the prize was directed towards artists from eastern Europe. In 2009 it was opened up to include artistic positions from beyond the former eastern block states and outside of the European Union countries. Thus it addresses a Europe that describes a common cultural and intellectual space, the borders of which are not defined in a rigid sense.
The aim of the art prize, as indicated by its name, is to support a generation of artists who actively contribute towards the shaping of the cultural space of Europe, both in the present day and in the future.
Leon Kahane (DE)
Anna Witt (Germany)
Anna Witt was born in Wasserburg am Inn in 1981. She studied at the art academies in Munich and Vienna. She is a prize-winner of the BC21 Art Award for 2013. Her works are part of the collections of Museum Belvedere Vienna, Museum Ludwig Cologne, Columbus Art Foundation Ravensburg and Kunstmuseum St. Gallen. Anna Witt lives and works in Vienna.
Taus Makhacheva (Dagestan)
Taus Makhacheva was born in Moscow in 1983. She completed a Bachelor’s degree in fine arts at Goldsmiths College, London, and a Master of Arts at the Royal College of Art, London. She is a prize-winner of the ”Innovation Prize“, the Russian prize for contemporary art, in the category “New Generation“. She was also nominated for the Kandinsky Prize in the category “Media Project of the Year“. Makhacheva’s works have been shown at exhibitions in e.g. Makhachkala, Venice, Milan, at the Liverpool Biennial and the Moscow Biennale.
Lala Raščić (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Lala Raščić was born in 1977 in Sarajevo. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb and at the National Academy of Fine Arts Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam. She has exhibited in Zagreb, Sarajevo, Mostar, Belgrade, Graz, Istanbul, Milan, New Orleans and New York.
Iris Touliatou (Greece)
Iris Touliatou was born in 1981 in Athens. She studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris. Touliatou has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo (Paris), K44 and REMAP KM (Athens) and DUVE (Berlin). Her work has also been shown at group exhibitions in London, Paris, São Paulo and Lisbon.
Christodoulos Panayiotou (Cyprus)
Christodoulos Panayiotou was born in 1978 in Limassol. He studied performing arts, theatre and anthropology. Panayiotou has taken part in numerous group exhibitions including the Berlin Biennale 8, and his work has been shown at important art institutions in Stockholm, London, Zurich, Hong Kong, Belgrade and Paris.
Ahmet Ögüt (Turkey)
Ahmet Ögüt was born in 1981 in Diyarbakir. He studied in Istanbul at the Yildiz Technical University, Faculty of Art and Design, and in Amsterdam at the National Academy of Fine Arts Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam. His works have been presented in Amsterdam, Berlin, Istanbul, Venice, Basel, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Sydney, Johannesburg and New York. Ögüt is an active member of the Silent University, an independent platform for the exchange of knowledge, initiated and designed by migrants, asylum seekers and refugees.
Kamen Stoyanov (Bulgaria)
Kamen Stoyanov was born in 1977 in Ruse. He completed his studies of art and cultural science in 2005 at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Stoyanov regularly participates in international exhibitions, e.g. at the 17. Biennial in Sydney, the Aichi Triennial, Nagoya, the MANIFESTA 7 (European Biennial for contemporary art, Trentino). He is a co-founder of the “0gms“ project in Sofia.
Ioana Nemeş (Rumania)
Ioana Nemeş was born in 1979 in Bucharest, where she studied photography and video art at the University of Fine Arts. Her works have been shown at exhibitions in Bucharest, Vienna, New York, Prague and Istanbul. Ioana Nemeş died in New York in 2011.
Jakub Ferri (Kosovo)
Jakub Ferri was born in 1981 in Pristina. He studied art at the Art Academy in Pristina, and later at the National Academy of Fine Arts Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam. His works have been exhibited in e.g. New York, Karlsruhe, Istanbul, Amsterdam and Ljubljana. Ferri is a prizewinner of the Buning Brongers prize, Amsterdam.
Rafał Bujnowski (Poland)
Rafał Bujnowski was born in 1974 in Wadowice. He studied architecture at the Technical Institution of Higher Education in Cracow, and went on to study at the Art Academy in Cracow. During this time he was a co-founder and member (until 2001) of the artists’ group “Ladnie“ (Eng. pretty). In 1998 he opened the Gallery Owarta in Cracow, which he ran until 2001. Bujnowski has exhibited at numerous art institutions and galleries in Europe and the USA.
Kristina Leko (Croatia)
Kristina Leko was born in 1966 in Zagreb. She studied at the Art Academy in Zagreb and the Berlin University of the Arts. Between 1996 and 2001, alongside her numerous art projects, she also worked as an authoress and journalist for Croatian art and culture journals, for newspapers and for the radio (cultural radio) and for art programmes on television. Leko is a lecturer of art in context at the Berlin University of the Arts.
The first five prizewinners received a glass object in the form of a star, designed by the Bulgarian artist Plamen Dejanoff (* 1970 in Sofia). He gave the following reasons for choosing the form of a star: “The shape of a star has a dual meaning for me. On the one hand it is a symbol of the socialist past, and on the other it symbolises the future, a future with no walls, no divisions between European states.“
When the orientation of the art prize changed, from 2010 onwards, a new prize trophy was commissioned. The artist Oliver Kossak (*1967 in Tel Aviv), who lives in Leipzig but grew up in various cultural contexts, designed a sculpture named “Formulator”. In both a metaphorical and in a practical sense, this refers to a kind of glue that can stick various things together. His sculpture, also made of glass, joins together the abstracted forms of two tools, the painter’s pestle and the magnifying glass. In this way, it links together the two main components of artistic work: craftsmanship and conceptuality. Kossack comments: “The formulator connects the architecture of the sculpture, which is both futuristic and organic, with aspects of materiality, function and tools. It functions in the sense of mediation between the idea, the process and the result, as well as between the artist, the sponsor and the mediator. Crafted in the raw material glass, and manufactured by hand, formulator not only seems to absorb the space around it, but also to radiate into it.“
The nomination jury, consisting of curators, artists and art theorists from European institutions of art and science, changes each year. It puts forward a total of fifteen candidates, whose work is then evaluated by a selection jury made up of five to seven persons, which changes every five years. The members of the selection jury work together to decide on the prizewinner.
Jury since 2014
Curator, Director of the Future of Europe Society for contemporary art
Clemens von Wedemeyer
Artist, professor of media art at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig
Director, Bergen Kunsthall, Norway
Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig
Elke aus dem Moore
Head of the art department at ifa (Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations)
Author, lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig until 2011
Matthias Wagner K
Director of the Museum of Applied Arts, Frankfurt am Main
Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig since 2012
Beatrice von Bismarck
Art theorist, professor at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig
Curator, director of the Fridericianum art gallery in Kassel
Artist (first prizewinner)
Art historian, curator
Chairman of the Leipzig Verlags- und Druckereigesellschaft (until 2009)
Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig