Jury Statement: Live Art Prize 2020

As a jury we would like to express the complexity of our arriving at a decision, in particular given the difficult conditions of this year 2020. The current pandemic has impacted all areas of life bringing forth and enhancing a number of pre-existing socio-political issues while adding a whole range of other challenges to all of us as a social collective.

In  respect to ANTI Festival, the ongoing circumstances of the restrictions of the pandemic have  led to a number of limitations, making it impossible for some artists and one of the jury members to be able to attend ANTI in person. We would therefore like to start our considerations by acknowledging the extraordinary work by the whole team of ANTI in materialising such a brilliant program in less than ideal conditions. We have experienced a passionate and highly professional setting and would like to enthusiastically congratulate you on a wonderful experience in Kuopio. An added thank you goes to the audience whose forceful interest in and support of ANTI is important, many of the audience being local people for whom the festival has been an enduring and important feature over the years.

As a jury working within the conditions of the pandemic we have worked together whilst being distributed across locations and time zones, with Fiona Winning in the unceded land of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation also now known as Sydney, and João Laia and Kira O’Reilly in Helsinki and Kuopio.

ANTI Festival has done its utmost to enable solutions that facilitate our workings in these circumstances. We have all viewed extensive documentation of the considerable bodies of works by each of the artists, and all the artists SHORTLIST LIVE works have been experienced in person by one or more of us. We have discussed at length the import and impact of this, the difficulties and discomforts this affords, and with that –  the trust and confidence we have strived to cultivate in working together. It has not been easy – and yet what a privilege this stimulating difficulty has been.

We would like to recognise and endorse the four exceptional artists and collective in this year’s Shortlist Live, our appreciation of their work being presented thus, and of the ideas, possibilities and provocations they have all brought to fruition to us their audiences and indeed to us their communities. Therefore we would like to address each artist and to truly give to this moment the proper attention and recognition they each so amply deserve.

We are now going to share with you our statements about each artist in alphabetical order after which we will announce the winner.

Ingri Fiksdal

Within the worldings of Ingri Fiksdales work lies the choreographic assembling of matter / – choero\graphic assemblages that activate systems of interaction – between bodies – all manner of bodies –  that unfold over time. We as viewers are implicated by being  offered the proposition of a fictioning, one with real world implications with which to rethink the received hierarchies of bodies that matter.

In Ingri’s work with her collaborators, objects, materials and things there a minimal imposition of compositional forces – so that all aspects of the materials and processes of the works are acknowledged as agential choreographic forces – combining in durational assemblages with the full political implications of what it is to assemble, to gather, to co-create and to be – together.

These are potent and pivotal concepts that are brought into striking activation in her approach to site, using landscape and place as a dramaturgy within which these abstracted bodies are given agency, and audience positions itself in relation to, so as to experience an embodied cognition of work.

We are moved by the direction of this accumulated body of work and it’s futures, the horizons it acknowledges and moves towards, co-creating with those who Ingri seeks to involved and to include.

Geumhyung Jeong

Geumhyung gives life to objects through her body and in turn hers – the artist’s body is transformed through the objects.

The risks Geumhyung takes in her work are considerable, both in what she reveals and the mechanisms of how she does so by the means in which she structures the relations between her own physicality and that of those she is operating and tending to. Lines of power, desire, and politics of care are animated through these performed orientations of interactions.  There is an enormous sensitivity in her manipulation of the figures, models and parts – which she imbues with life and liveliness,  bringing us the audience into experiences of precarity, to the edges of failure and to intense trepidation.

The traditional gendering of literacies and discourses found in  engineering rationales and of technologies are subtly undone. There is a confidence and assurance of competency in the handling and articulation of the figures, machines and objects, whose tender reciprocal sensitivities enact critical questions around relationships between humans and machines. These enactments  invite speculation as to the implications and prevarications of the technologies we build, care  and think about, our affective interiors are mirrored in these models, figures and mechanics.

Brian Fuata

Brian’s work across various modes of presentation is framed through structured/timed improvisation that dialogues directly with his audience. He performed a riveting monologue for the Jury via Zoom and for a live audience at Performance Space’s Liveworks Festival in Sydney, each time carefully  considering the mode of reception for his audience.

He located his genealogy, his geography within the colonial fiction of Australia and the Pacific, and his practice in the context of contemporary performance, visual and live art. The merging of hisphysicality, his musicality of language and playful associative subject matter is brimming with relevance to the contemporary moment. From care during the pandemic, to being a queer Samoan Australian in the contemporary art world, and from the women in his artistic milieu to the Black Lives Matter movement. He embodies apparitions, ghosts in our culture – that call up the unspeakable and the wondrous. His performance is delicate and agile – alive with criticality, generosity, energy and love.


W A U H A US decided not to be an individual but a collective – one that is dynamic, fostering worlds that build through the connectivity of their exchanges and processes. They demonstrate this integrity and with it their position as game changers in the Finnish context, and by extension internationally.

Wauhaus has created a powerful body of work which pushes boundaries by questioning institutionalised conceptions regarding art, performance and humanity. Materialising an expansive and yet highly coherent practice, Wauhaus engages with key issues marking the now, offering other forms of perceptual knowledge which sharply question what the world is and what it might become. Such an opening into the other is of key relevance in a global panorama where exclusionary ideas and positions have been progressively gaining traction and recovers strangeness as a powerful poetic and political tool. Likewise by operating as a collective, Wauhaus emphasises the need to revive communal forms of understanding and agency, countering the ongoing drive towards individualism and replacing it with caring and empathic shared ways of doing.