The intersection between film and visual art is an important focus of exhibition policy at EYE. To underline this, EYE and the Paddy and Joan Leigh Fermor Arts Fund launched an annual prize in 2015 to commission new work from artist filmmakers whose work has demonstrated an important contribution to this interdisciplinary field. The first exhibition devoted to the EYE Art & Film Prize features the work of the first three winners, all of whom display social commitment in their artistic practice. They are Hito Steyerl (b. 1966, Germany), Ben Rivers (b. 1972, Britain) and Wang Bing (b. 1967, China). The winner of the fourth EYE Art & Film Prize will be announced on 5 April.
Hito Steyerl (EYE Art & Film Prize 2015)
Based in Berlin, Hito Steyerl (b. 1966) is one of the most prominent video artists working today. Educated as a filmmaker at the Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film in Munich, she effortlessly transcends the boundaries between film and visual art in her perceptive and often humorous work. In addition, she explores the role of the media in a globalized world, and the staggering speed at which images and knowledge circulate thanks to digital technology, a phenomenon that, in one of her essays, she has called ‘circulationism’. She argues that most images no longer just represent reality, but actually intervene in that reality.
Ben Rivers (EYE Art & Film Prize 2016)
The work of Ben Rivers (b. 1972) explores the intersection of documentary and fiction. He often films people who, in one way or another, have dropped out of society. From this rough film material, Rivers crafts subtle stories about alternative ways of living on the margins of society. Rivers is building up a significant body of work that makes an exceptional contribution to developments at the interface between visual art and film.
Wang Bing (EYE Art & Film Prize 2017)
Based in Beijing, Wang Bing (b. 1967) has amassed a significant body of work that ranges in scope from documentary and feature film to video installation. As a filmmaker and visual artist, Wang Bing explores in his work the changes occurring in Chinese society. Wang's monumental films, such as West of Tracks, are often composed of strikingly long takes that interweave time and reality. These films call into question the bigger narratives within contemporary China by emphasizing ordinary, everyday humanity. Wang works almost entirely independently, using a digital camera, natural light and ambient noise.