At a ceremony held this evening in Paris, the Centre Pompidou and the Association pour la Diffusion Internationale de l’Art Français announced that Clément Cogitore has won this year’s Prix Marcel Duchamp, an award given annually to an artist working in France. (Cogitore is based in Paris.)
Mohamed Bourouissa, Thu Van Tran, and Marie Voignier were also nominated for this year’s prize. According to a release, Cogitore is the first filmmaker to win the award.
Cogitore is best known for his feature-length films, most notably Neither Heaven Nor Earth (2015), which follows a troop of soldiers deployed in Afghanistan as they disappear one by one. That film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the César award for best first film.
In addition to his theatrically released work, Cogitore also makes video installations and photographs, and they have been the subject of solo exhibitions around Europe, at venues such as the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, England. The focus of much of his work is the nature of collective memory and the role of rituals within communities. His work shown at the Pompidou’s Prix Marcel Duchamp show focused on a fictional female character whose identity Cogitore constructed entirely through ready-made materials, such as images culled from photo libraries and promotional materials for films.
As winner of the Prix Marcel Duchamp, Cogitore will take home €35,000, or about $40,500. He was selected by a committee that included Bernard Blistène, director of the Centre Pompidou; Gilles Fuchs, a collector and the president of ADIAF; Jean-Claude Gandur, a collector and the president of the Fondation Gandur pour l’Art in Geneva; Maja Hoffmann, a collector and the president of the Luma Foundation in Arles, France; Laurent Le Bon, president of the Musée Picasso in Paris; Marina Loshak, director of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow; and Akemi Shiraha, a representative for the Marcel Duchamp Association.
Past winners of the Prix Marcel Duchamp include Kader Attia (2016), Cyprien Gaillard (2010), Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (2002), Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige (2017), and Thomas Hirschhorn (2000).