Palestinian Swedish Artist Tarik Kiswanson Has Won the Marcel Duchamp Prize, France’s Most Prestigious Art Award

The exhibition of the nominees' work will be held at Artcurial after being moved from the Pompidou due to a worker strike.

Marcel Duchamp Prize 2023 winner Tarik Kiswanson. Photo ©Julie Ansiau, courtesy of the Centre Pompidou, Paris.

Palestinian Swedish artist Tarik Kiswanson is the 2023 winner of the Marcel Duchamp Prize, France’s most prestigious art award. He will receive €35,000 ($37,000) and a residency at Villa Albertine, a French organization headquartered in New York with outposts across the U.S.

The award, which was introduced by the Association for the International Diffusion of French Art (ADIAF) in 2000, is presented to artists who are either French or living in France, The organization conducts about 60 studio visits with eligible artists annually; members are each invited to nominate four artists before a selection committee finalizes the short list.

Each year since 2016, four nominated artists are given €10,000 ($10,500) apiece to stage an exhibition of their work at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The current edition, on view through January 12, 2024, features Kiswanson, Bertille Bak, Bouchra Khalili, and Massinissa Selmani. A seven-person jury comprising Pompidou director Xavier Rey, Claude Bonnin, Akemi Shiraha, Jimena Blàzquez Abascal, Josée Gensollen, Béatrice Salmon, and Adam D. Weinberg selected the winner.

“With Tarik Kiswanson, we are honoring a multidisciplinary approach that is extremely accomplished both in its formal dimension and in its relationship with history,” Rey said in a statement. “Drawing on the energetic relationships between different elements, his works aim, with great sensitivity, for a universal message.”

Marcel Duchamp Prize 2023 nominees Tarik Kiswanson, Bertille Bak, Massinissa Selmani, and Bouchra Khalili. Photo ©Julie Ansiau, courtesy of the Centre Pompidou, Paris.

Marcel Duchamp Prize 2023 nominees Tarik Kiswanson, Bertille Bak, Massinissa Selmani, and Bouchra Khalili. Photo ©Julie Ansiau, courtesy of the Centre Pompidou, Paris.

The award ceremony for the prize had to be relocated at the last minute from the Centre Pompidou to the Artcurial auction house when workers from the museum went on strike on Monday. (Staff is demanding job protections ahead of a planned renovation that would see the institution close at year’s end up through 2027.)

Kiswanson, who was born in Sweden in 1986 and now lives in Paris, has a multidisciplinary practice encompassing sculpture, writing, performance, drawing, sound, and video. Much of his work is inspired by his family’s experience immigrating from Palestine, exploring themes of rootlessness, belonging,  memory, and heritage.

“I’m best known for sculpture, but here I wanted to make a cosmology of pieces in different media to explore all the subjects at the heart of my work—the question of being uprooted, transformation, metamorphosis, and migration,” Kiswanson said of his presentation at the Pompidou, which includes cocoon-inspired sculpture, a sound piece about his mother’s first day in Sweden, and a slo-mo video of a young boy appearing to float as he falls out of a chair.

Tarik Kiswanson, <em>The Wait</em> (2023), exhibition view, Prix Marcel Duchamp 2023, Centre Pompidou, Paris. 
Photo by Bertrand Prévost, courtesy of the artist and Carlier Gebauer, Berlin/Madrid, ©Centre Pompidou.

Tarik Kiswanson, The Wait (2023), exhibition view, Prix Marcel Duchamp 2023, Centre Pompidou, Paris. 
Photo by Bertrand Prévost, courtesy of the artist and Carlier Gebauer, Berlin/Madrid, ©Centre Pompidou.

The artist has had a busy year, having shown at the Salzburger Kunstverein, the Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, and the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. The Marcel Duchamp Prize nominee exhibition is his second outing at the Pompidou, following a performance staged as part of the museum’s “MOVE 2019” festival.

Kiswanson also had a solo show at the M HKA-Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp in 2022 and appeared in the 2018 Gwangju Biennial, the 2019 Performa biennial in New York, the 2019 Ural Biennial, and the 2022 Lyon Biennial of Contemporary Art. He is represented by Carlier Gebauer in Berlin and Madrid, and Sfeir-Semler Gallery in Hamburg and Beirut.

Previous Marcel Duchamp Prize winners include Kader Attia, Mimosa Echard, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, and Melik Ohanian.


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