Tarek Atoui Wins 200K Art Prize
By Fion Tse
Paris-based artist and composer Tarek Atoui was announced the winner of the 2022 Suzanne Deal Booth / FLAG Art Foundation Art Prize by The Contemporary Austin (TCA) on August 7. Atoui will receive a USD 200,000 cash award in addition to funding for a solo exhibition at TCA in early 2022, later travelling to the FLAG Art Foundation in New York that same year.
Beirut-born Atoui was selected for his collaborative community projects, which include sound-based installations and performances. Inspired by ethnomusicology and electroacoustic music, Atoui researches and assembles new instruments and sounds with a cross-disciplinary approach. In the announcement, TCA highlighted Atoui’s project WITHIN (2012– ), for which he works with musicians and deaf communities to create wood-and-metal electronic machines that function as instruments, enabling the reception of sound via alternative methods such as texture, movement, and vibration. The project was presented at the Sharjah Biennale in 2013, the Bergen Assembly in 2016, and in 2017, at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels and the Galarie Chantal Crousel in Paris.
Atoui has held numerous international solo exhibitions, such as at London’s Tate Modern in 2016, the Serralves Foundation in Porto in 2018, and at Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center in 2019. He has participated in the Sharjah Biennial in 2009 and 2013, Documenta 13 in Kassel in 2012, the 8th Berlin Biennale in 2014, and the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019.
His upcoming exhibition at the Fridericianum in Kassel, opening on October 3, presents works from his project I/E (2012– ), an archive of audio recordings from harbors and harbor cities. Later this year, his solo show “Cycles in 11” at the Sharjah Art Foundation, developed over 11 years of collaboration with the Foundation, will feature installations, sound labs, and performances. Atoui will also participate in the 13th Gwangju Biennale in February 2021.
The biannual Suzanne Deal Booth / FLAG Art Foundation Art Prize began in 2016 and is funded by trustee Suzanne Deal Booth and nonprofit FLAG Art Foundation. The prize recognizes international artists based on their works and record of museum and gallery exhibitions. The independent advisory committee for the 2022 prize was led by Heather Pesanti, chief curator and director of curatorial affairs at TCA, and includes Darby English, professor at the University of Chicago; Michael Govan, CEO and director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Ingrid Schaffner, curator at The Chinati Foundation in Marfa; Catherine Wood, senior curator at the Tate Modern in London; and FLAG Art Foundation director Stephanie Roach.
Fion Tse is an editorial intern at ArtAsiaPacific.