Lili Reynaud-Dewar, whose videos, performances, and sculptures have mined the intimate relationship between bodies and politics, has won France’s top art award. The Prix Marcel Duchamp, which comes with €35,000 ($41,000), was given to Reynaud-Dewar at the Centre Pompidou in Paris on Monday.
Reynaud-Dewar’s work has often involved the use of her own body, typically in service of statements about the ways that the human form is tethered to largely sociological and ideological developments. In her videos, she has shown herself and other performers dancing in the nude within spaces that more normally play host to clothed visitors—the galleries of the New Museum in New York, for example, or the Arsenale, where the Venice Biennale’s main exhibition is typically mounted.
Having studied ballet and public law, Reynaud-Dewar, who is based in Grenoble, France, has explored topics ranging from safe sex to grillz, and has paid homage to artists such as Henri Matisse and Bruce Nauman. Coursing throughout her various bodies of work are musings on the relationship between public and private realms. In addition to the New Museum and the Venice Biennale, her work has been shown at the Gwangju Biennale in South Korea, the Kunsthalle Basel in Switzerland, and the Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria.
She was picked this year from a pool of four nominees that also included Julian Charrière, Isabelle Cornaro, and Julien Creuzet. All four are currently showing their work at the Centre Pompidou.
In a statement, Xavier Rey, the newly installed director of the Centre Pompidou, praised Reynaud-Dewar, “whose universal approach, effective institutional and social critique, and especially the risks taken with her own body are particularly moving.”