Coco Fusco: Finalist for 2013 Absolut Art Award


Coco Fusco, Cuban-American artist and writer based in New York, is one of the finalists for the 2013 Absolut Award. The list includes five artists and five art writers. This is the first time the award is being presented to both an artist and a writer. The winners will be announced on September 20 in Sweden during a weekend festival celebrating the country’s contemporary arts scene.

American installation artist Theaster Gates, whose work was part of the Whitney Biennial in New York in 2010, will compete against fellow American artist Seth Price, Egypt-born painter and drawer Anna Boghiguian, Brazilian artist Renata Lucas, and Swedish duo Goldin+Senneby for the top prize of €20,000 in cash. The winner will also receive a budget of up to €100,000 to develop and produce a new art work.

Art historian and curator Lars Bang Larsen earned a nod in the art writing category, as did American academic Coco Fusco, who currently teaches at Parsons The New School for Design. German-born artist Hito Steyerl,Chicagoan curator Hamza Walker, and the German-born [Uruguayan]academic Luis Camnitzer also made the cut. The winning writer will receive €20,000 in cash plus an additional €25,000 for the publication and distribution of a new book in collaboration with a leading publishing house.

“We are delighted with this year’s finalists,” Vadim Grigorian, the spokesperson for Absolut Art Bureau, told ARTINFO UK. “They entirely reflect the challenge we gave to the jury and nominators, to be inclusive rather than exclusive and to develop a major art prize that is entirely independent of geographical, age or gender constraints. All the shortlisted artists and writers also have a strong social aspect to their work, something that is very dear to Absolut.”

An international panel led by 2013 jury president Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev selected the shortlisted artists and art writers. Finalists were selected from a diverse pool of talent that was unrestricted by age or geography. Over 61 artists and 15 writers were nominated for the award and the jury selected five finalists from each category.

This year, Absolut extended the prize to art writing, continuing the brand’s support for research and development of critical theory.

“We believe that good art writers are those who create a critical discourse and have the capacity to change your point of view,” said Grigorian. “It was particularly important to us to also establish the art writing category in order to support those who contextualize artistic practice through the written word and theory, as well as supporting the artists themselves.”

The Absolut Art Award was launched in 2009 to mark 30 years of collaboration with artists. Previous winners include Anri Sala, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Keren Cytter.

“Our ambition is to bring something new and exciting to the art world, something that goes beyond pure sponsorship, and something that otherwise would not exist,” Grigorian said of the award.

For original article, see

Also see more on Fusco’s work at

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