25 October 2018

The Käthe Kollwitz Prize 2019 of the Akademie der Künste goes to Hito Steyerl

Hito Steyerl is the recipient of the Käthe Kollwitz Prize 2019. With this award, the Akademie der Künste honours an international artist, whose special interest lies in the media, technology and the dissemination of images. Her work includes texts, performances, multimedia installations and essayistic documentaries, in which she addresses post-colonial criticism, feminist representation logic and the influences of globalisation on the financial, labour and product markets.

"Where is the new form for the new content of recent years?" Käthe Kollwitz asked her diary on 6 November 1919. According to the jury, 100 years later, Hito Steyerl has succeeded in provocatively and astutely combining physical, visual and intellectual information into a single work in a manner unlike almost any other visual artist. When selecting the winner, the judges and academy members Douglas Gordon, Katharina Grosse and Ulrike Lorenz emphasised "that Hito Steyerl, with her montages of images from computer animations, mass media and scenes she has shot herself, responds to the influence of digital information and digital life, drawing attention to current political, societal and social processes with her work."

Hito Steyerl (born in 1966 in Munich) is a Professor of Experimental Film and Video, as well as a co-founder of the Research Center for Proxy Politics at Berlin University of the Arts. She studied cinematography and documentary film direction in Tokyo and Munich. In 2003, she completed her doctorate in philosophy at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Her works have been exhibited at the Biennale in Venice, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, among others. In addition to her work as an artist, she has also worked at the Center for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, and as a guest professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen and the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki. The Royal College of Art, London awarded her an honorary doctorate in 2016.

The award endowed with 12,000 euros will be presented in Berlin in February 2019. On the occasion of the award ceremony, the Akademie der Künste will be showing an exhibition at Pariser Platz. The Käthe Kollwitz Prize has been awarded to artists since 1960; American artist Adrian Piper received the award in 2018.
The prize, the exhibition and the catalogue have been co-financed by Kreissparkasse Cologne, sponsor of the Käthe Kollwitz Museum Cologne, for twenty-six years.