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Shortlist announced for €20,000 Henrike Grohs Art Award

Em’kal Eyongakpa (Cameroon), Georgina Maxim (Zimbabwe) and Makouvia Kokou Ferdinand (Togo) have been shortlisted for the first Henrike Grohs Art Award, conceived by the Goethe-Institut and the Grohs family. The winner will be announced on 6 March and awarded on 13 March in Abidjan. Em’kal Eyongakpa is an inter media artist who approaches the experienced, the unknown, as well as collective histories through a ritual use of repetition and transformation. His recent ideas draw from indigenous knowledge systems and aesthetics, ethno botany, applied mycology as well as technology.

Georgina Maxim’s work combines weaving, stitch work and the utilisation of found textiles creating objects that evade definition. The dresses are deconstructed, and at times reconstructed to find new ways of giving tribute to and reflection upon the person that owned the original garment. In Makouvia Kokou Ferdinand’s sculptural and performance work, he plays with borders and mixes memories, materials and cultural references. Building on traditional Mina culture, his gaze on contemporary society is unique, sometimes ironic and often moving.

The Henrike Grohs Art Award is a biennial prize dedicated to artists who are living and working in Africa and practicing in the field of visual arts. It recognises the lifetime achievements of the former Head of the Goethe-Institut in Abidjan, Henrike Grohs, who was killed on 13 March 2016 in a terrorist attack in Grand-Bassam, Côte d’Ivoire.

The prize “aims at strengthening artists and encouraging them in their quest for a world of togetherness and dialogue”, said jury members Koyo Kouoh (Artistic Director, RAWMaterial Company, Dakar), Laurence Bonvin (artist and representative of the Grohsfamily, Berlin), Raphael Chikukwa (Chief Curator, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare) and Simon Njami (Curator, Paris).

High res photos: http://goo.gl/8rgQco

Nominee videos:

Full Shortlist: https://youtu.be/XsimhDE2fw4

Em’kal Eyongakpa: https://youtu.be/xkagubNL6ZA

Georgina Maxim: https://youtu.be/2sTfNETFLM4

Makouvia Kokou Ferdinand: https://youtu.be/lZCcRSab2hA

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