In collaboration with the Mondriaan Fund, the Kunsthal will present the work of the shortlisted candidates for the Prix de Rome Visual Arts 2017 that were selected earlier this year. The nominees are Melanie Bonajo (1978), Rana Hamadeh (1983), Saskia Noor van Imhoff (1982) and Katarina Zdjelar (1979).
Criteria such as an innovative attitude, the work’s intrinsic complexity and potential for further artistic development all played an important role in the selection process. From 2 December new work by these four artists will be shown at the Kunsthal Rotterdam. The winner Prix de Rome Fine Art 2017 will be chosen on the basis of the new work and will officially be announced on Friday, 15 December. The winning artist will be presented with a € 40,000 cash prize and a work period at the American Academy in Rome. A publication produced by nai010 will accompany the exhibition. The Prix de Rome is the oldest and most generous award for visual artists under the age of 40 in the Netherlands. The purpose of the award is to track down talented visual artists and promote their further development and visibility. In 2009, the Kunsthal presented a large retrospective exhibition entitled ‘200 years Prix de Rome’. Since 2012, the award is organised and funded by the Mondriaan Fund.
Saskia Noor van Imhoff (Mission/Canada, 1982), lives and works in Amsterdam. She studied at the Rietveld Academy and was a resident at De Ateliers and Kunstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin. Her fascination with the systems of exhibiting, archiving and conserving art objects gives rise to layered installations. Van Imhoff takes the arrangements that art institutions apply to their collection, the context that determines the value and truth of an object, and the architecture that forms part of this narrative, and uses these for her own associative reading of new connections between art and the everyday. Her installations are built up from a rich diversity of original and found objects, artworks created by herself and others, texts, diagrams, an archive of images found online, and the documentation of previous exhibitions.
In her installation for the Prix de Rome, #+31.00, Van Imhoff investigates how a space may serve as an artificial showcase in which various subjects are connected to each other in an associative way, so as to form a new meaning. The showcase does not just literally serve as form, but as a time interval that can be connected to a personal, mental and physical state. Objects in a showcase are presented as static, as if in a vacuum; in a similar way, we attempt to smooth down and conserve ourselves. In #+31.00, Van Imhoff asks herself where something begins. Doesn’t the dissection of a subdued system in itself create a new construction? How do invisible, immaterial and associative properties of a space define our understanding of our surroundings?