by Annalisa Giacinti // Feb. 7, 2023
Foundwork has selected artist Dominique White as the winner of the 2022 Foundwork Artist Prize. “We were particularly taken with the formal sensibility of Dominique White’s work,” elucidates Frieze London Director and member of the jury Eva Langret, “and their engagement with complex ideas around myth, maritime history, and colonial past.” Based between Marseille, France and Essex, UK, White brings her family’s accounts of the Windrush Scandal into her practice, situated at the intersection of nautical myths of Black Diaspora, and theories of Black Subjectivity, Afro-pessimism and Hydrarchy.
Her installations employ used and worn out materials, such as old sails, burned mahogany or tired ropes, exhibiting the exhaustion and physical struggle of Black bodies on slave ships, as well as their strength, endurance and resilience. White refers to her installations as “the Shipwreck(ed).” Both a verb and state of being, the term alludes to the role played by water in Black history, and insists on its destructive and regenerative quality. White’s shipwrecks encapsulate the essence of the Stateless, the dissolution of utopian ideas of legal immigration, yet they hint at possibilities of regeneration, liberation, the creation of alternative narratives and hopeful futures. More about White’s recurrent use of political commentary and historical events in her work can be read in our recent interview.
The artist will also be part of Foundwork’s ongoing ‘Dialogues’ programme, an interview series that will feature this year’s three shortlisted artists, too. Among them, Chris Zhongtian Yuan uses sound and non-fiction storytelling to examine the processes of politicization of space. Anna Perach’s wearable sculptures and performances explore the ways in which cultural myths and folklore intertwine with personal identities. Multidisciplinary artist Junghun Kim’s works are interactive and collaborative environments meant to guide the audience through the political and spiritual value of ecological care.
Selecting the four artists was a jury made of international curators, gallerists and artists: Edgar Arcenaux, Los-Angeles-based artist working in the fields of drawing, sculpture, installation, performance and video; César García-Alvarez, Founding Executive & Artistic Director of The Mistake Room in Los Angeles; Lauren Kelly, partner at Sean Kelly Gallery in New York; Eva Langret, Director of Frieze London; and Javier Peres, Founder of Peres Projects.
The prize, consisting of $10,000 and studio visits with each of the five members of the 2022 jury, is an initiative of Los Angeles-based platform Foundwork, whose objective is to foster visibility and exposure for emerging and mid-career artists, and encourage a fruitful conversation between artists, curators and collaborators across the globe.