The Paris-based Canadian artist Kapwani Kiwanga receives the 20th Marcel Duchamp Prize. Her work Flowers of Africa (2012-ongoing) was chosen out of four nominees for the 20th edition of the renowned prize.
Kapwani Kiwanga’s work often manifests as installations, sound, video, and performance. She intentionally confuses truth and fiction in order to unsettle hegemonic narratives and create spaces in which marginal discourse can flourish. As a graduate of Anthropology and Social Science, she occupies the role of a researcher in her projects. Afrofuturism, anti-colonial struggle and it’s memory, belief systems, vernacular and popular culture are some of the research areas which inspire her practice.
Kapwani Kiwanga, Flowers for Africa (installation view, Stories of Almost Everyone at Hammer Museum, Los Angeles), 2018, protocol to guide the reconstruction of floral arrangement with the use of iconographic documentation, variable dimensions. Courtesy of the artist, Galerie Jérôme Poggi-Paris, Galerie Tanja Wagner Berlin, Goodman Gallery SA. Photo: Brian Forrest
Among the proposals of the four finalists – Kapwani Kiwanga for Flowers of Africa, Alice Anderson for Chromatic Random, Hicham Berrada for Présage and Enrique Ramirez for Uncertain – the jury was won over by the work of Kapwani Kiwanga produced from visual archives relating the process of independence of each African country. Binding botany and history, the visual artist and “ethno-botanist” has succeeded in designing floral arrangements faithful to those observed in these video archives. No longer intervening after their disposal, Kiwanga leaves to time the care of withering these flowers, true metaphors of memory.
In 2018 she already won the Frieze Artist Award and the Sobey Prize. The Marcel Duchamp Prize is endowed with € 35,000.
The selection jury was made up of Bernard Blistène (director of the Musée national d’art moderne, Center Pompidou), Chris Dercon (president of the Réunion des Musées Nationaux-Grand Palais), Gilles Fuchs (president of the ADIAF and collector), Michèle Guyot-Roze (vice-president of the Hippocrene Foundation and collector), Gitte Ørskou (director of the Moderna Museet in Stockholm), Akemi Shiraha (representative of the Marcel Duchamp Association) and Marie-Cécile Zinsou (president of the Zinsou Foundation and collector).
Until March 2021, the works of the four nominees will be on view at Center Pompidou, Paris.
Kapwani Kiwanga, Proximity, 2019. Chalk line on 120gsm paper 122 x 122cm.
In 2019 Kapwani Kiwanga created a series of 10 unique drawings in support of C&. The work entitled Proximity and consists in two colorways. To purchase and for further information please contact email@example.com.