The Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco has announced that Love Is the Message, The Message Is Death (2016) by Arthur Jafa has been selected as the winner of the 2019 PIAC – Prix International d’Art Contemporain (International Prize for Contemporary Art).
Nominated by South African curator Tumelo Mosaka, Love Is the Message, The Message Is Death is a seven-minute video which shows a montage of historic and contemporary film footage tracing African American history and experience.
Mosaka said that the artwork: “traces the representation of Black identity through a spectrum of largely popular images. From violent protests against police brutality in the United States, to bodies celebrating on streets as a testament about media representations of blackness. This work captures how Black existence has endured attempts of injustice and exclusion.”
Arthur Jafa said: “I am honoured to be receiving this prestigious award, and excited by the opportunity to show Love Is the Message, The Message Is Death, exhibited in this new context.”
The artist will receive EUR 75,000, including funding to produce a new work. The winning artwork, Love Is the Message, The Message Is Death (2016), which was screened during the award ceremony, will be exhibited from November 1, 2019 until November 13, 2019 at Palazzo Madama in Turin, Italy during Artissima.
The two other works shortlisted for the 2019 edition of the award were Tree Identification for Beginners (2017) by Yto Barrada nominated by Adrienne Edwards and FRAGMENTS (2016-ongoing) by Rayyane Tabet nominated by Lorenzo Giusti.
PIAC – Prix International d’Art Contemporain is awarded every three years for a recent work by an artist at the forefront of their practice. Established in 1965, PIAC has been organised by The Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco since 1983. In recent years, the Prize has been awarded to artists of international repute, each nominated by a leading art world professional. Past finalists have included: Carlos Garaicoa, Saâdane Afif, Candice Breitz, Didier Marcel, Su-Mei Tse, Guido van der Werve, Dora García and Rosa Barba.