Negotiating the Space for Possible Coexistences No. 2, 2009 by Babak Golkar

At this year’s Art Dubai, the V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum) announced the shortlist for the Jameel Prize 2011.

Ten artists and designers have been shortlisted for this year’s prize, which is awarded every two years.

Amongst them are five Iranian artists: Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Bita Ghezelayagh, Babak Golkar, Hadieh Shafie, and Soody Sharifi.

Almost 200 nominations for the Jameel Prize 2011 were received, from countries as diverse as the United States, Spain, Nigeria, Egypt and Pakistan. A panel of judges, chaired by V&A Director, Sir Mark Jones, selected the shortlist of ten artists and designers. Mark Jones said: “ The quality of the work shortlisted for this year’s Jameel Prize is outstanding. The output of the finalists is very varied, reflecting the richness and diversity of the Islamic traditions that inspired them. The work shows how complex and eloquent the art and design inspired by this tradition has become.”

The work of the shortlisted artists and designers will be shown at the V&A from July 21st through September 25th, 2011 and draws strongly on the artists’ and designers’ own local and regional traditions, celebrating particular materials and iconography with strong references to traditional Islamic art.

The works on show will range from felt costumes to sculpture made from hand-made terracotta bricks and from mirror mosaic to digital collages inspired by traditional Persian miniature paintings.

In much of the work there is an underlying reference to the artists’ own ‘hybrid’ cultural identity; the mix of old and new, minimalism versus ornament, tradition and modernity, and home versus exile.

The winner of The Jameel Prize 2011 will be announced at the V&A on 12 September 2011.

The Jameel Prize is a £25,000 (~ $40K, USD) international art prize for contemporary artists and designers inspired by Islamic traditions of craft and design. Launched in 2009, the winner of the first Jameel Prize was Iranian artist, Afruz Amighi for her work 1001 Pages (2008), an intricate hand-cut screen made from the woven plastic used to construct refugee tents.

Award-winning architect Zaha Hadid is Patron of the Jameel Prize. She says: “It is a very exciting time for artists working in Islamic art tradition, there is a real spirit of innovation and creativity in the air. Their work now goes beyond established painting, sculpture and calligraphy to explore new media and reflect the diverse cultures and histories of the region. This work has evolved with its own characteristic voice, exploring future possibilities, yet is derived from rich cultural traditions and a timeless history.

“For millennia, the Islamic arts and sciences have bridged the cultural divide between East and West, teaching us that these worlds are not mutually exclusive, but rather layered upon each other and profoundly interlinked. The Jameel Prize gives us a very promising outlook to the future and I am pleased to see the region’s artists pushing new boundaries.”

For more info, please visit: vam.ac.uk.

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