Emily Jacir Wins $100K Hugo Boss Prize

emily jacir.jpgYesterday, while perusing the contemporary sale offerings at Phillips (the spectacular Judd alone was worth braving the downpour for), we spotted several Hugo Boss-logoed black vans idling outside; was an announcement of this year’s winner of the art prize sponsored by the German fashion haus imminent? Indeed. Last night, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Hugo Boss announced that Palestinian-American artist Emily Jacir (pictured at left) is the winner of the 2008 Hugo Boss Prize. She will receive $100,000, and an exhibition of her work will be on view at the Guggenheim Museum from February 6 through April 15 of next year. Established in 1996, the biennial award “is conferred upon artists whose work represents a significant development in contemporary art,” according to Hugo Boss and the Guggenheim. Past winners include Matthew Barney, Pierre Huyghe, and Tacita Dean.

Based in Ramallah and New York, Jacir is known for work that explores the implications of conflict through mediums ranging from video and photography to performance and installation. “As a member of the Palestinian diaspora, she comments on issues of mobility (or the lack thereof), border crises, and historical amnesia through projects that unearth individual narratives and collective experiences,” noted the international jury of museum directors and curators in its statement. “Jacir combines the roles of archivist, activist, and poet to create poignant and memorable works of art that are at once intensely personal and deeply political. It is the refined sophistication of Jacir’s art and the relevance of her concerns—both global and local—in a time of war, transnationalism, and mass migration that led us to award her the 2008 Hugo Boss Prize.” Jacir was selected from a shortlist that also included Christoph Büchel, Roman Signer, Patty Chang, Sam Durant, and Joachim Koester. As you may recall, we announced the shortlist back in January—via haiku.

Previously on UnBeige:

  • Hugo Boss Prize Finalists Announced (Haiku Special!)