At an event in Venice this morning, the organizers of the 57th Biennale Arte announced that Anne Imhof has won the Golden Lion for best national participation, for her chilling show in the German pavilion, which involves a dark, fractured five-hour performance piece accompanied by abrasive music. That exhibition, which is titled “Faust,” has been one of the most talked about of the preview week, and lines to see it have been long. It is an incredible piece of art.
Germany last took home Golden Lion honors just six years ago, with a posthumous presentation of the work of Christoph Schlingensief, who died the year before it opened.
The Golden Lion for the best artist in the central show, “Viva Arte Viva,” curated by Christine Macel, went to Franz Erhard Walther, the veteran German artist of pioneering wearable, participatory fabric sculptures. Large pieces by Walther hold walls in the Arsenale.
In addition, a Silver Lion for the most promising young artist went to Hassan Khan, who presented an intricate, multilayered sound piece on a series of speakers in the gardens at the north end of the Arsenale.
The jury for the prizes was made up of Francesca Alfano Miglietti, a Milan-based curator; Manuel J. Borja-Villel, the director of the Reina Sofia in Madrid; Amy Cheng, a Taipei-based curator; Ntone Edjabe, a journalist and DJ from Cameroon; and Mark Godfrey, the senior curator of international art at Tate Modern in London.
The jurors made a special mention of Cinthia Marcelle’s Brazilian pavilion show, which transformed the space in the Giardini with sloping metal floors. They also offered special mentions for two artists in the central show, Charles Atlas and Petrit Halilaj.
At the ceremony today, a Golden Lion for lifetime achievement was also officially awarded to Carolee Schneemann–that prize had been announced in the run-up to the show.