Hito Steyerl Wins the First EYE Prize

In November last year I reported that EYE, the Dutch film museum and the previously unheard of Patrick & Joan Leigh Fermor (PJLF) Arts Fund had launched the EYE Prize. The annual £25,000 prize is aimed at supporting and promoting the artist or film-maker whose work unites art and film, and demonstrates quality of thought, imagination and artistic excellence. One of Paddy’s executors, Olivia Stewart is the trustee of this fund. I have repeatedly asked for some background information on this art fund but nothing has been forthcoming from Ms Stewart. The link between Paddy and Joan and the film world is tenuous to say the least (notwithstanding The Roots of Heaven). Perhaps it is more to do with Ms Stewart’s close connections to the film industry? One would have thought that a fund in memory of Paddy and Joan would be more focused on writing and photography.

By Tom Sawford

The latest news is that the first EYE Prize has been awarded to Berlin-based artist and cultural theorist Hito Steyerl.

The £25,000 prize ($37,100) was established by the Amsterdam film museum with the goal of supporting outstanding artists who work primarily in film. Steyerl was presented with the award in April in Amsterdam at the EYE Gala.

The 2015 EYE jury consisted of director and artist Chantal Akerman; MoMA’s chief curator for media and performance art, Stuart Comer; EYE CEO Sandra den Hamer; artist and director Isaac Julien; cultural entrepreneur, advisor, and art collector Martijn Sanders; producer, screenwriter, and Patrick & Joan Leigh Fermor (PJLF) Arts Fund trustee Olivia Stewart; and screenwriter and director Béla Tarr.

Steyerl is represented by Andrew Kreps gallery in New York. A retrospective of her work is currently on view at Artists Space gallery in New York. Her work will be included in a group show at the German Pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale.

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