26 January 2023

Ellen Auerbach Fellowship for Photography Awarded to
Joanna Piotrowska in 2023

The Akademie der Künste is awarding the 2023 Ellen Auerbach Fellowship for Photography to Joanna Piotrowska. The artist, born in Poland in 1985, works in various media: photography, film and performance. The fellowship grant, endowed with 20,000 euros, is awarded biannually for outstanding international photography. It is financed by photographer Ellen Auerbach’s estate, which has been entrusted to the Akademie der Künste. The fellowship will be awarded on 9 March 2023 at the Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz.

Joanna Piotrowska was selected at the suggestion of photographer Johanna Diehl, in a joint decision with photographer Barbara Klemm and curator and cultural studies specialist Hubertus von Amelunxen, both of whom are members of the Akademie. In their statement, the jury wrote: “Photography that approaches the essence of life is made with care and humour. That is the art of Joanna Piotrowska.”

Joanna Piotrowska’s staged photography and videos examine domesticity in abstract representations of intimacy. The artist focuses on the exploration of interpersonal relationships and their physical expression. She shows people entangled in their involvements within social systems and the fight against manifestations of power, emotional dependencies and human violence. Her interests lie in themes that include family, security, home and homelessness, the positions of women and girls’ rebellion, the human need for control and the subjection of animals. The black-and-white gelatin silver prints she develops herself and her 16mm films are to be viewed more like recordings of a performance or a spectacle than as documentation.

Joanna Piotrowska (b. 1985 in Warsaw) currently lives and works in London. She studied photography at the Royal College of Art in London and the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. Among other venues, her works have been shown at the Biennale di Venezia (2022), the Biennale d’art contemporain de Lyon (2022), the 10th Berlin Biennale (2018) and in the group show Being: New Photography 2018 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Piotrowska’s solo exhibitions include presentations of her work at the Kestner Gesellschaft, Hanover (2022), the Stiftung Insel Hombroich / Raketenstation (2021), the Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw (2020), Tate Britain, London (2019) and the Kunsthalle Basel (2019). Piotrowska has received the Lewis Baltz Research Fund Award and the MACK First Book Award, among other distinctions.

Ellen Auerbach Fellowship recipients in recent years were Ferhat Bouda (2020), Annette Frick (2018), Stephanie Kiwitt (2016), Julian Röder (2014), Natalie Czech (2012) and Anastasia Khoroshilova (2010). The Ellen Auerbach fellows are part of the JUNGE AKADEMIE fellows’ circle.

Award Ceremony for Joanna Piotrowska, Recipient of the Ellen Auerbach Fellowship for Photography in 2023
Thursday, 9 March 2023, 7 pm, free admission
Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin
Welcome: Kathrin Röggla, vice president of the Akademie der Künste; laudation: Hubertus von Amelunxen; discussion: Juliane Bischoff with the award recipient; music by Hania Rani