• Artists of Tomorrow Award 2019
Statement of the Jury
December 6, 2019

The jury gathered in Prishtinë yesterday and today to select the winner of the Artists of Tomorrow Award 2019. We were delighted to view the exhibition and meet each of the finalists Somer Şpat, Edona Kryeziu and Dion Zeqiri to discuss their work.

The jury of the 2019 “Artist of Tomorrow” prize is very impressed by the quality of the work as well as its exhibition in the Boxing Club this year. Those of us who have been on an “Artist of Tomorrow” jury in the past are proud to state that this iteration presents a successful step forward in the development of the prize and is likewise a sign of the progress that young artists are making in Kosovo. For all of us, the high level of the work made the task of choosing a winner very difficult and we spent two days full of deliberation before we came to our collective decision.

The three artists in this year’s prize are: Dion Zeqiri, Edona Kryeziu and Somer Spat.

Dion Zeqiri is shortlisted for the prize for a second time; the jury was pleased to see noted development in his work. The intimate nature of the portrayal of his father and the consequences of his stroke is emotionally loaded, yet by using digital printing and computer imaging of the brain, he distances viewers from his personal relation to his father. This paradox is teasingly intriguing and the jury felt that this stance can be even more explicitly addressed in the future. The jury was appreciative of his formal use of light such as how he drew a parallel between a stroboscopic effect and its ability to induce seizures in some persons. Likewise, Zeqiri’s investigation of biomedical ethics, particularly concern about where identity is situated in the body, is a subject that we hope he continues to explore in the future.

The jury was drawn to the filmic qualities of Edona Kryeziu’ work, especially how she wove two personal narratives together so that they came to represent a wider social and political commentary on migration and the multiple identities that so often characterise contemporary European society. We appreciated how the artist folded and unfolded her sociological research through the work’s staging, which in turn opened the narratives to different subjective interpretations. In the future, the jury felt that Edona’s attempt to resolve these tensions would benefit from further development.

Somer Spat’s research and discovery of material from the building of railways around Prizren is impressive. In making reference to the socialist past of Kosovo and Yugoslavia, the jury believes that he explores an important historical subject that is ripe for further artistic interventions. The installation of the work, in which he combines archival material with contemporary images of the railway system and its state of decay is mature and intelligent. The way viewers are guided towards the large image of proud workers only to turn round and stand with them to spy the current reality of their labours is a compelling dramaturgy that translates the passage of time into a physical experience. The videos are well-composed though their installation could be more thought through in a similar way to the successful presentation of the photographs.

The jury felt that each artist deserved the prize and its decision was a hard one. However, we have made a choice. We appreciated above all the intelligence and precision of one installation, a work which points to great potential for the artist’s future. We were equally impressed by the research and production put into the work that sheds light on unexplored aspects of Kosovo’s socialist past and perhaps offers a new route for art’s engagement with the history of the region and its contemporary implications.

For these reasons, the jury has decided to award the prize to Somer Spat. The jury would like to congratulate all the finalists this year, and to encourage Edona Kryeziu, Dion Zeqiri and all artists under 35 working in Kosovo to continue their work and to seriously consider applying for the 2020 award.
And we would like to use this opportunity to encourage public institutions and other private donors to increase the support for the Artists of Tomorrow Award which facilities greater access and international exchange for young artists working in Kosovo today.

The Jury of the Artists of Tomorrow Award 2019
Charles Esche
Qëndresë Deda
Adam Kleinman
Sezgin Boynik
Jelena Vesić

October 4, 2019

Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina is pleased to announce that the jury of the Artists of Tomorrow Award 2019, comprised of Charles Esche, the director of the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Qëndresë Deda, artist, winner of Artists of Tomorrow Award 2018, Adam Kleinman, an independent curator and writer as well as the Regional Curator for North America at the Kadist Art Foundation, Sezgin Boynik, theoretician and editor based in Helsinki, Jelena Vesić curator, writer, editor and independet lecturer based in Belgrade, has selected three finalists to the Artists of Tomorrow Award 2019.

The jury has issued the following statement:

We members of the jury of the Artists of Tomorrow Award 2019 were happy to review the 16 applications received by practicing artists from Kosovo who have applied in the open call for the Artists of Tomorrow Award 2019. For jury members that were part of the jury on previous editions, it was encouraging to see a wider range of media and themes than before and even greater professionalism in many of the applications. It seems to us that critical artistic practice in Kosovo is developing well, and we hope the Artist of Tomorrow Award and Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtin can continue to contribute to an exciting future for the country’s artists.

We are delighted to announce that the finalist of the Artists of Tomorrow Award 2019 are: Somer Şpat, Edona Kryeziu, and Dion Zeqiri.

Somer Şpat has been shortlisted for his remarkable project relating to the rise and fall of the railway industry in Kosovo. His work showing the collective efforts of modernization of Kosovo in the Yugoslavian period is contrasted with the social transition and leftovers of industrial progress and how their remains are incorporated into everyday Kosovar life in remarkable ways.

Edona Kryeziu is a young artist who explores the personal and emotional consequences of the Kosovar diaspora and the experience of growing up away from your familial culture. Her work recognizes a common Kosovar reality with ambivalence and humor, always aware of the fraught nature of migration.

Dion Zeqiri is shortlisted for the second time for the Artist of Tomorrow Award for his clever sculptural work that exhibits both a knowledge of materials and a sophisticated reading of their symbolic and metaphorical possibilities.

The jury is delighted with the finalists and looks forward to the prize exhibition in December.

The winner of Artists of Tomorrow Award 2019 will be announced on December 6 2019, at the Boxing Club in Prishtina, in the closing of the exhibition of Artists of Tomorrow Award 2019.

Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina thanks all Kosovo artists who applied for the Artists of Tomorrow Award 2019 for their continuous work and collaboration.

Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina thanks the Jury of the Artists of Tomorrow Award 2019 for their work and collaboration.

The Artists of Tomorrow Award 2019 organized by Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina is supported by the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo, Trust for Mutual Understanding (TMU), Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of the Republic of Kosovo, Municipality of Prishtina, Technomarket, x-print and DZG.