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  • Nov 03, 2020

Global Urban Space-focused Artist Wins 2020 Han Nefkens Video Award

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On October 29, the Han Nefkens Foundation announced researcher, filmmaker, and curator Tekla Aslanishvili as the recipient of its 2020 Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Award, which highlights emerging and midcareer video artists in West and Central Asia who have not yet been recognized internationally. Aslanishvili will receive USD 15,000 for the production of a new limited-edition video to be exhibited internationally by five collaborating institutions following its planned completion in November 2021. 

Lauded for her body of work that responds to geopolitical and economic discourses, Aslanishvili investigates the impact of algorithmic governance within global urban spaces such as the construction of smart cities, and the development of technology for social and political change like the future of extractive industries. For example, her documentary Algorithmic Island (2018–19) examines the development of a futuristic city, featuring snapshots of cityscapes in her native Georgia along with a voiceover that discusses the relationship between technology and architecture.

Born and based in Tbilisi, Aslanishvili, who also works in Berlin, studied visual arts at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts between 2005–09 and obtained her MFA from Berlin University of the Arts where she studied under filmmaker Hito Steyerl in experimental film and new media art. Aslanishvili’s work has been exhibited in these countries including at the 20th International Film Symposium in Bremen in 2015.

In total 12 artists were shortlisted this year by 11 art critics and curators from West Asia and Europe. Aslanishvili was chosen by the final jury, comprised of the Foundation’s founder Han Nefkens and representatives from each of the collaborating institutions where her work will be exhibited, which includes Carles Guerra of Barcelona’s Fundació Antoni Tàpies, director of Brussels’s WIELS Dirk Snauwaert, director and curator of Manila’s Museum of Contemporary Art and Design Joselina Cruz, head of exhibitions at Dubai’s Jameel Arts Centre, Nora Razian, and founding director of NTU Center for Contemporary Art Singapore, Ute Meta Bauer. 

Founded in 2009, the Barcelona-based Han Nefkens Foundation has focused exclusively on supporting emerging and midcareer artists through awards, residencies, and grants since 2016. Exhibition dates for Aslanishvili’s commissioned video have yet to be announced.

Stephanie Siu is an editorial intern at ArtAsiaPacific.

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