Guy Raz: ”A Yemenite Portrait” u. a.

Laudatio: Ines Weizman, NS-Dokumentationszentrum München, 7. November 2019

Guy Raz studied photography in Tel Aviv at the School of Art in Tel Aviv, the Bezalel Academy of Art in Jerusalem and later also at the Hebrew University. As a jury, we were impressed by the work and engagement of Guy Raz, that began as a photographer and later moved increasingly to research projects and curating exhibitions. His portfolio shows this very noticeably – how he began his practice as a photographer reflecting on, observing and documenting the country in which he lived and how it was so radically transformed through the history of conflict between Israel and Palestine.

In the early 1990s he managed to capture portraits, streets scenes, landscapes in Gaza, the Westbank, or Lebanon – places to which it is today impossible to travel as an Israeli – at least not in a non-military mission. Over the long period of time we see how the views into the beautiful landscape – and of course, the passages and livelihood of Palestinians – are being interrupted and parcellated by Israeli roadblocks and checkpoints, watchtowers. Raz’ images show sensible scenes of the everyday on both sides of the borderlines. The paradoxical spatial fragmentation and militarization of the land call for the shared humanity of the region. His collection of treacherously-pleasant-to-look-at colourful photographs of painted new roadblocks – opens however to other border structures that go back to earlier military conflicts or to early divisions set up under the colonial orders of the French and the British mandate governments. It involved interviews that Raz conducted over many years with locals, the re-reading of landscapes and historical research. Raz’ trajectory hence evolved from taking, collecting and exhibiting his photographs, which of course, involved the rearrangement and reading of his own archive, to other image archives and collections that had been largely forgotten or that called for new ordering principles and readings.

As a curator Raz set about to research and exhibit early photography in Palestine since 1839 to counter its far-reaching transformations with the scenic and cultural reality of the present. He devoted a particularly noteworthy research to women photographers who were forced to flee the national socialist regime in Europe and who struggled to continue their artistic works in British Mandate Palestine. I do envy you for the key you have to these wonderful treasures of images and collections, and it would be so wonderful if these image collections and your exhibitions could also be shown again or made available to the public in all parts of Israel/ Palestine, in the region and elsewhere internationally.

Working with photographs. Living with photographs. Is always a looking again. And every time we look at them again we are in them – in different details that connect to different histories. And this depends on context. We also need to revisit these photographs and collections presented by Guy Raz with new audiences, but we should also find a way to make them accessible across borders – especially in Israel/ Palestine and the wider region – where photography has been all-too ideologically  recorded and encoded. Guy Raz, as you are planning for years to establish an institution devoted to the history of photography of the region, and to make it a medium for exchange between artists and photographers across borders, it would be most delightful if this prize would help you to realise this project. 

Kollektiv BLOK (Ana Kutleša, Ivana Hanaček und Vesna Vuković ): The Art of the Collective – Case Zemlja (2016–2018)

Laudatio: Luise Schröder*. NS-Dokumentationszentrum München, 7. November 2019

But who is BLOK? BLOK is a curatorial collective which was founded in 2001in Croatia. It operates at the intersection of art, urban research and political activism. Over the past 18 years, the collective has designed and produced various projects platforms for collective work of artists, curators, researchers, political activists and anyone interested in the politics of space. 

Since 2016 they also run an artistic and social venue in the Zagreb neighborhood of Trešnjevka, called BAZA. This place is dedicated to the production of contemporary art, to education and to activism in the neighborhood and beyond.

BLOK applied for the Hans-and-Lea Grundig Award 2019 with an outstanding research and exhibition project called: The Art of the Collective – Case Zemlja. It deals with the activities of Zemlja, a left-wing artist association, operating from 1929 to 1935 in the area of Zagreb and in the surrounding towns and villages. It consisted of 34 professional artists, architects, professors, as well as peasants, factory workers, health workers and children. BLOK researched, collected and exhibited various art works and archive materials of Zemlja, that were scattered among many private and public archives and has never been shown to a public before. By mapping the member’s political biographies, their works and their connection to the worker’s movement within three exhibitions in Zagreb, Pula, Petrinja (2016-2018) BLOK made ot possible to re-read Zemlja’s artistic activities and to stress the connectedness of art production and the development of radical social movements within the interwar period in the area. The way BLOK curated and exhibited their research, makes it possible to acknowledge the heterogeneous legacy of Zemlja and to deal with discussions and discourse on antagonisms within collective artistic production in general. A subject which is as topical/important today.

By awarding the Hans-and Lea-Grundig award for art mediation and art history to the BLOK collective the jury wants stress the importance and necessity of BLOK’s work in the field of artistic production, art mediation and political activism in local and international contexts. 

*Luise Schröder konnte aufgrund anderweitiger Verpflichtungen nicht an der Preisverleihung teilnehmen. Ihre Laudatio wurde von Oliver Sukrow gehalten.

November 7, 2019
Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism, Munich
Award Ceremony, Hans and Lea Grundig Prize 2019

On November 7, 2019, the Hans-and-Lea-Grundig Foundation will award the 4th Hans-and-Lea-Grundig-Prize in the three categories Fine Arts, Art History and Art Education. The event is a cooperation with the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism and will take place in the Auditorium.
During the award ceremony, the movie Exodus auf der Donau (1998) by director Péter Forgács will be presented to the public and introduced by Prof. Dr. Mirjam Zadoff (Director Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism) and Dr. Eckhart Gillen (Co-chair of the jury of the Hans-and-Lea-Grundig-Prize). Greeting words are spoken by Mirjam Zadoff and Dr. Florian Weis (Managing Director Rosa-Luxemburg-Foundation). For capacity reasons we ask you to register until 01. November 2019 here.

Hans-and-Lea-Grundig-Award Winner 2019

The Hans-and-Lea-Grund-Prize 2019 under the patronage of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation will be awarded to the Berlin-based artist Dorit Bearach, to the Zurich-based photographer Christoph Oeschger, to Ana Kutleša, Ivana Hanaček and Vesna Vuković from the collective BLOK (Zagreb), as well as to the art historian and exhibition curator Guy Raz (Tel Aviv), as the jury decided after intense discussion in a two-day meeting on May 22 and 23, 2019.

The Hans-und-Lea-Grundig 2019 prizes will be awarded on November 7, 2019 at the Munich Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism. More information will be released soon.

Honorable mentions by the jury are the submissions in the field of fine arts by Martin Barzilai, Sonja Hamad, and Fides Schopp, as well as the submission of Rachel E. Perry in the field of art history / art education. Paul Greven (born 1934) deserves special mention for his sculpture park and museum Kunsthof Greven in the Eifel.

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Call for entries for the Hans and Lea Grundig Prize 2019

A prize named in commemoration of the artists Hans Grundig (1901–1958) and Lea Grundig (1906–1977), under the patronage of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation will be awarded for artistic and art historical achievement, as well as for achievement in the communication of art. Applications should be submitted by March 31, 2019.

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