October 21, 2020

Rabih Mroué receives Schering Stiftung Award for Artistic Research 2020

Schering Stiftung

Rabih Mroué, Leap into the Void, 2006–11, Photography, text, Courtesy the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery. Photo: Olaf Pascheit.

Rabih Mroué is the recipient of the 2020 Schering Stiftung Award for Artistic Research (with support from the State of Berlin). Mroué was born in 1967 in Beirut. As actor, director, and dramaturg, he has written and directed numerous internationally performed plays. Since the late 1990s, he has also created internationally shown video works, installations, and drawings. Mroué is editor of The Drama Review/TDR (New York) and co-founder of the Beirut Art Center (BAC). From 2012 until 2015, he was a Fellow of the International Research Center “Interweaving Performance Cultures” at FU Berlin. During the directorship of Matthias Lilienthal, he held the position of theater director at the Münchner Kammerspiele.

The jury statement explaining its selection out of 11 nominees reads as follows:

“Working across the span of different disciplines and formats ranging from visual arts, performance, theater, literature, philosophy, political theory, and historiography, Mroué has contributed significantly to the meaning of artistic research today. In his works he has challenged notions of truth, research, and facts by creating ficto-factual and interdisciplinary artworks. Mouré is a pioneer of the lecture-performance or "non-academic lecture" (as he prefers to call it) as a mode of delivery of artistic research.

His work can be understood as a way of "re-occupying" the contested politico-historical events of the Civil War in Lebanon. By interrogating the tricky relationship between personal memory and official history he combines artistic fiction with a scrupulous analysis of cultural, social, and political realities.”

The prestigious jury consisted of Krist Gruijthuijsen (director, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin), Anna Daučíková (artist, Prague, and winner of the 2018 Schering Stiftung Art Award), Isabel de Sena (independent curator, Berlin), Elke Bippus (Professor of Theory and History of Art, Zurich University of the Arts, and board member of the Gesellschaft für Künstlerische Forschung, Berlin), and Charlotte Klonk (Professor of Art and New Media, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and member of the Foundation Council of the Schering Stiftung, Berlin).

The Award for Artistic Research has grown out of the Schering Stiftung Art Award, which from 2005 until 2018 was presented every two years to international artists. The award was redesigned in 2019 in cooperation with the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. The award is presented in cooperation with KW for the fifth time. The 15,000-euro award also includes a solo exhibition at KW, curated by Nadim Samman (Curator Digital Sphere), which is scheduled to open on October 16, 2021. As part of the exhibition, the artist will create a new work, an accompanying catalogue will be published.

In recent years, Mroué’s artworks have been shown in institutions such as Kunsthalle Mainz (Germany), 2016; Museum of Modern Art, New York (US), 2015; Kunsthalle Mulhouse (France), 2015; Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid (Spain), 2013; documenta 13, Kassel (Germany), 2012; Kunstverein Stuttgart (Germany), 2011; and BAK – basis voor aktuelle Kunst in Utrecht (Netherlands), 2010. He also participated in group exhibitions at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Institute of Contemporary Art Boston; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; MACBA Barcelona; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and Tate Modern, London. His works are part of the collections of, among other places, MoMA, Centre Pompidou, MACBA, and the Van Abbe Museum in Rotterdam. 

The following curators and artists were invited to nominate one artist each: Sam Bardaouil & Till Fellrath (affiliate curators, Gropius Bau, Berlin), Ute Meta Bauer (director, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore), Mélanie Bouteloup (co-founder and former director, Bétonsalon, Paris), Nikita Yingqian Cai (curator, Times Museum, Guangzhou), Stuart Comer (curator, MoMA, New York), Katherina Gregos (freelance curator, Brussels), Maria Hlavajova (director, BAK, Utrecht), Krist Gruijthuijsen (director, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin), Otobong Nkanga (artist, Antwerp), Agustín Pérez Rubio (member of the curatorial team of the 11th Berlin Biennale), and Alya Sebti (director, ifa Galerie, Berlin, and member of the curatorial team of Manifesta 13, Marseille).

The Schering Stiftung Award for Artistic Research (with support from the State of Berlin) honors international artists who have developed unique forms of knowledge creation through aesthetic means. The former Schering Stiftung Art Award was redefined in cooperation with the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe, which in 2020 launched a funding program for artistic research that has received much attention across Europe. As a joint initiative combining public and private funding, the award aims to honor pioneers in the field of artistic research. Besides honoring artistic achievements, the award also aims to awaken public interest in artistic research and to show, through using outstanding examples, in what ways art contributes to knowledge in society.

The activities of the Schering Stiftung focus on promoting projects at the intersection of art and science. The Foundation is dedicated to the promotion of science and art, with a special focus on the natural sciences and the contemporary fine arts. In addition, it supports science and cultural education projects for children and youth and seeks to contribute to the dialogue between science and society.

Former award recipients include Cornelia Renz, Nairy Baghramian, Renata Lucas, Wael Shawky, Kate Cooper, Hiwa K, and Anna Daučíková.

For press inquiries, please contact:

KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Karoline Köber, Head of Press and Communication
T +49 (0) 30 24 34 59 41, kk [​at​]

Schering Stiftung
Anna Papenburg, Project manager, art
T +49 (0) 30 20 62 29 65, papenburg [​at​]

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