The Jury Drempelprijs Autonomous Practices 2017 included Maziar Afrassiabi (Chairperson, Director Rib), Kris Dittel (Curator/Editor Onomatopee), and Sarah Züst (Prizewinner Autonomous Practices Drempelprijs 2013).
A Drempelprijs comprises laudatory phrases, an air of jubilation, and a commission by the Rotterdam Arts Council.
Though the 2017 nominees, not surprisingly, confronted the Jury with a wide scope of remarkable approaches, design strategies dominated. Presentations ranged from subversive housing, meticulous archiving, masturbating facilities, soundscapes, sports gear, selfie fashion, an Opera House, a voyeuristic film, an OCD project, humanoid speculations, camera situationism, drone-reconnoitring, and 3D learning, to an itchy animation, a children’s book (‘SAAR’), and virtual mapping. They all were promising signs that asked for attentive considering.
On closer inspection, the Jury decided to zoom in on four most daring and original propositions. In doing so, the Jury was led by the conviction that Autonomous Practices should witness to exploratory cogency, timely urgency, and a relentless commitment to the ore of self that lies at the base of every individuated articulation.
The Jury sees individuated articulation as an essential characteristic that allows for a novel reorientation in our post-everything twenty-first century world, where autonomy is no longer a royal prerogative of fine art. Willem de Kooning Academy rightfully insists on an extended exploration of autonomous operations in all kinds of professions that its students are aspiring to exercise. Experimental stamina does wonders here. In view of autonomous perseverance, Willem de Kooning Academy has a bright future ahead.
Only on these premises, it was felt, four nominees could be selected by this Jury as agents epitomizing a persistent astuteness that allows for a self-assured presence, full of the desire to succinctly testifying to the dynamics of their ventures. They give us a glimpse of that sine qua non of all imaginative utterance, a persuasive inner cadence that calls attention for a momentum in the rift between what is going to happen and whatever they would wish to happen. And this artistic determination is the very singularity the Jury wants to value in this years’ Threshold Award Autonomous Practices.
Our first candidate, though winner nor second-best, yet deserves special mentioning and public praise. Lisanne Lambregts confronts her audience with experiencing a reality of compulsively repeated acting. Her images are drenched with uncomfortable drama and eerie attractiveness. OCD metamorphoses into a delicate testimony that stubbornly defies the shameful upshot of episodes full of trauma and rebuke. The Jury wants to air its admiration for this sensitive display of understanding and compassion.
Rotterdam, 01-07-17 Jan van Heemst
Secretary to the Jury Threshold Award Autonomous Practices 2017 on behalf of Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam