November 13, 2014

The Independent Vision Curatorial Award

ICI Honors Creativity and Prescience

  • Eva Barois De Caevel
  • nancy spector and doryun chong

The next time you walk through a particularly stirring exhibition, think about the fact that someone put all of the working pieces into place, curating every aspect of what you are seeing. Or the next time you pick up a respected journal and appreciate the effort that went into the research and writing, call to mind the fact that someone spent untold hours honing an opinion on the subject to have been able to present it so profoundly. One organization, the Independent Curators International (ICI), considers these truths with rapt attention, going so far as to tap a number of highly imaginative individuals who accomplish these feats as nominees to receive an award every two years. From these achievers, one exemplar is chosen in recognition of exceptional creativity and prescience in exhibition-making, research, and/or writing.

This Independent Vision Curatorial Award, which ICI bestows upon an early- or mid-career curator to support the honoree’s independent practice, brings with it a $3,000 stipend, funded by the organization’s Gerrit Lansing Education Fund, to use for a new project. Past Independent Vision Curatorial Awards were presented to Doryun Chong, associate curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), in 2010; and in 2012 to Nav Haq and Jay Sanders—Haq was a curator at Antwerp’s Het Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen at the time and Sanders was then a curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art who co-curated the 2012 Biennial. Of the fifteen emerging curators who were nominated to receive the 2014 award, Eva Barois De Caevel, an independent curator and researcher based in Paris, was chosen as this year’s winner. She will receive the prize at ICI’s Annual Benefit & Auction on November 17th.

Eva Barois De CaevelNancy Spector, the deputy director of ICI, and Jennifer and David Stockman, the chief curator of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, selected the winner from the fifteen nominees that include Stefan Benchoam, the co-founder and co-director of Proyectos Ultravioleta and NuMu; Bao Dong, an independent curator and art critic; Anne Dressen, the curator of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Inti Guerrero, the associate artistic director and curator of TEOR/eTica; Agung Hujatnikajennong, an independent curator and lecturer; Naima Keith, the assistant curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem; Thomas Lax, the associate curator of media and performance art at MoMA in NYC; Tevž Logar, an independent curator; Emile Maurice, the resident curator for the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape; Diana Nawi, the associate curator at the Pérez Art Museum in Miami; Mary Pansanga, an independent curator; Marina Reyes Franco, an independent curator, and co-founder and director of La Ene; Gaia Tedone, an independent curator working in London and Milan; and Natalia Valencia, an independent curator.

From this impressive array of talent, recommended for nomination by 15 internationally established curators for the strengths of exhibitions or projects they have recently produced, it was Eva Barois De Caevel who rose above the pack. Eva graduated from the Sorbonne with a degree in Contemporary Art History in 2011 and with one in Curatorial Training in 2012. She completed a curatorial residency at Raw Material Company in Dakar, Senegal, which consisted of conceiving a yearlong program on sexual liberties in Africa through contemporary African art. She curated the first event of the program titled Who Said It Was Simple, which included screenings, debates, a performance, and a seminar.

Afterwards, she continued her collaboration with director Koyo Kouoh, working with her on Body Talk: Feminism, Sexuality and the Body in the Work of African Women Artists, which will be presented at WIELS in Brussels in February 2015, and Streamlines, a project that makes the oceans the metaphorical focal point for an international group exhibition to examine the cultural repercussion of the global stream of goods and trade between the South and the North. The latter will be staged at Deichtorhallen in Hamburg in October 2015.

Her next projects will focus on ways of displaying colonial legacies and contemporary imperialisms in vernacular and daily elements. In these projects, she will take on a variety of subjects such as sexuality, language, body image, garments and food, and will express cultural issues through an array of art forms and specific curatorial tools. Eva is also the co-founder of Cartel de Kunst, an international collective and solidarity network of emerging curators based in Paris. She was invited to participate in the first TURN Meeting, dubbed On Perspectives, Facts and Fictions, produced by Kulturstifung Des Bundes in Berlin from June 26 to 28, 2014. The purpose of this project, made possible by the TURN fund, was to promote artistic exchange and cooperation between German and African artists and institutions.

Spector and the Stockmans had this to say about the rising star: “Eva Barois De Caevel’s unflinching curatorial practice tackles some of today’s most urgent issues, including sexuality and human rights, in a postcolonial world. Working collaboratively to encourage dialogue and participation among her audiences, with issues both local and global, she is courageously expanding the curatorial field.” The editors of Global Trends would like to say congratulations to the visionary and to each of this year’s nominees, and salute ICI for supporting such brilliant emerging talent in the curatorial world.

Photo credits: Eva Barois De Caevel by E¦ütienne Dobenesque; Nancy Spector by Lina Bertucci.

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