Emily Jacir Winner of HUGO BOSS PRIZE 2008

The Solomon R. Guggenheim FoundationHUGO BOSS PRIZE

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and HUGO BOSS announced on 13 November 2008 that the Palestinian artist Emily Jacir has been named the recipient of the HUGO BOSS PRIZE 2008.

Jacir, who received the Golden Lion Award for an artist under 40 at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007, is the seventh artist to win the prestigious HUGO BOSS PRIZE, a biennial award that was established in 1996 by HUGO BOSS and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to recognize significant achievement in contemporary art.

The prize carries an award of $100,000 and is administered by the Foundation. A jury comprising an international panel of museum directors and curators selected Jacir from a group of six short-listed artists. An exhibition of the prizewinner’s work will be on view at the Guggenheim Museum from February 6 through April 15, 2009.

Emily Jacir


Emily Jacir
Photo: Sarah Shatz
© All rights reserved

In addition to Ms. Jacir, the HUGO BOSS PRIZE 2008 finalists included: two Swiss artists – Christoph Büchel, b. 1966, best known for his large-scale installations, and Roman Signer, b. 1938, known for his sculpture, installations, and films; two Americans – Patty Chang, b. 1972, whose work includes performance, photography, video, and sculpture, and Sam Durant, b. 1961, whose multimedia practice includes installations, photography, sculpture, drawing, and video; and Danish artist Joachim Koester, b. 1962, who creates installations of film and photography.

Emily Jacir (b.1970, Palestine) received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Dallas at Irving and a Master of Fine Arts from the Memphis College of Art. She also participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program in 1998-99 and currently lives and works in Ramallah, Palestine, and New York. Spanning a diverse range of mediums Jacir’s work addresses repressed historical narratives, politicized land divisions, movement (both forced and voluntary) and the logic of the archive. Her practice has involved working directly with the Palestinian community and the larger Arab community both locally and internationally through collaborative exchange and social interventions. In 2007, Emily Jacir received the Golden Lion Award for an artist under 40 at the 52nd Venice Biennale and the Prince Claus Award, from the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, The Hague. She has participated in the National and International Studio Program at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in New York (2000-01) and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Studio Residency Program, New York (1999-2000).

According to the HUGO BOSS PRIZE criteria, the award is given to an artist whose work represents a significant development in contemporary art. The prize sets no restrictions in terms of age, gender, race, nationality, or media, and the nominations may include young, emerging artists, as well as established individuals whose public recognition may be long overdue.

In their statement, the jurors describe their selection: “Emily Jacir’s rigorous conceptual practice—comprising photography, video, performance, and installation-based work—bears witness to a culture torn by war and displacement. As a member of the Palestinian diaspora, she comments on issues of mobility (or the lack thereof), border crises, and historical amnesia through projects that unearth individual narratives and collective experiences. Jacir combines the roles of archivist, activist, and poet to create poignant and memorable works of art that are at once intensely personal and deeply political. It is the refined sophistication of Jacir’s art and the relevance of her concerns—both global and local—in a time of war, transnationalism, and mass migration that led us to award her the 2008 Hugo Boss Prize.”

Emily Jacir


Emily Jacir
Crossing Surda (a record of going to and from work), 2002
Two-channel color video installation with monitor and projection, with sound, 132 min. and wall text, dimensions variable
Photo courtesy the artist and Alexander and Bonin, New York
© All rights reserved

Emily Jacir


Emily Jacir
Ramallah/New York, 2000–05
Two-channel color video, with sound, 38 min.
Photo courtesy the artist and Alexander and Bonin, New York
© All rights reserved

Emily Jacir


Emily Jacir
Embrace, 2005
Rubber, aluminum, motor, and motion sensors, diameter: 70 inches (179 cm), 15 inches (40.6 cm) high, edition of 2
Photo courtesy the artist and Alexander and Bonin, New York
© All rights reserved

Emily Jacir


Emily Jacir
Material for a film (performance), 2005–06 (detail)
Installation and performance, 1000 blank books shot by the artist with a 22 caliber gun, mixed media, and photographs, dimensions variable
Documentary photograph, Zones of Contact: 2006 Biennale of Sydney
Photo courtesy the artist and Alexander and Bonin, New York
© All rights reserved


Publication in conjunction with the 2008 HUGO BOSS PRIZE, the Guggenheim has published a catalogue that features the work of all of the finalists, including special projects by each artist. The catalogue, designed by Helicopter L.L.C., includes essays by T.J. Demos, Liza Johnson, Shanna Ketchum-Heap of Birds, Lars Bang Larsen, and Gerhard Mack, with an introduction by Joan Young, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The catalogue is available for $19.95.

    © The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation


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~ by Stampfli & Turci on January 5, 2009.

One Response to “Emily Jacir Winner of HUGO BOSS PRIZE 2008”

  1. I’m so proud to say I was one of Emily’s college classmates. She always had great energy which she put into her work. Although we haven’t kept in touch, this award gives me an opportunity to congratulate her on her success. Please continue to let the world hear your voice through your art.

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