Award Winners

EMAF Award: "Untitled Sequence of Gaps" by Vika Kirchenbauer

The EMAF Award for a trend-setting work in media art, endowed with 3,000 euros, goes to "Untitled Sequence of Gaps" by Vika Kirchenbauer (DE 2020)

In their statement, the jury writes

"In 'Untitled Sequence of Gaps' Vika Kirchenbauer links a number of recurrent topics she deals with in her body of work, starting with the early and very personal work 'Like Rats Leaving a Sinking Ship' to more recent video works and sound performances, or even theoretical essays on aesthetics and contemporary economies of affectivity in relation to the othered body. Which images can we use to describe the meandering search for identities without running into the traps of identity politics and its storytelling? By combining childhood images and thoughts on lost or overwritten memories with general thoughts on the physics of vision and visibility, Kirchenbauer creates a dense reflection on the power structures of seeing and being seen. While oscillating between public and personal imagery, scientific and personal insights, physical phenomena and subjective feelings she recurrently points her finger at the gaps within memory production - not to close them but to leave them as open spaces for the still invisible. The way 'Untitled Sequence of Gaps' combines different techniques, genres and source material to create an open field of thought and reflection, also the clear placement of this piece within the artist‘s earlier body of work, has inspired our decision to give the 2020 EMAF Award to Vika Kirchenbauer."

"Untitled Sequence of Gaps" (DE 2020) by Vika Kirchenbauer

Honourable Mention EMAF Award: "Billy" by Zachary Epcar

The International Jury gave an honourable mention to Zachary Epcar´s work "Billy".

"Billy" by Zachary Epcar

Dialogue Award: "Once Removed" by Lawrence Abu Hamdan

The Federal Foreign Office's Dialogue Award for the Promotion of Intercultural Exchange, which is endowed with 2,000 euro, goes to "Once Removed" by Lawrence Abu Hamdan.

In their statement, the jury writes
"The Dialog Award of the Federal Foreign Office goes to `Once Removed´ by Lawrence Abu Hamdan. This video is an incredibly layered contemplation of the act of conversation, the complexities of research, and the fluidities of memory. The question is raised about how to weigh the significance of multiple lives lived in the past and how they come to bear on the troubled present. At the same time the video investigates the horrors of war and the universal folly of societies that have a challenge in recognising and valuing cultural difference. All of this is negotiated with the sensitive and confident hand of an accomplished artist still ascending the peaks of his talent and successes."

"Once Removed" by Lawrence Abu Hamdan

Honourable mention Dialogue Award: "Apiyemiyekî?" by Ana Vaz

The International Jury also gave an honourable mention to "Apiyemiyekî?" by Ana Vaz in the context of the Dialogue Award.

"Apiyemiyekî?" von Ana Vaz

International Jury

The International Jury has awarded the EMAF Award and the Dialogue Award. It consisted of Tasja Langenbach (Köln), Tinne Zenner (Kopenhagen) und Greg de Cuir Jr (Belgrad)

International Jury: Tasja Langenbach (Köln), Tinne Zenner (Kopenhagen) und Greg de Cuir Jr (Belgrad)

EMAF Media Art Award of German Filmcritics (VDFK): "Untitled Sequence of Gaps" by Vika Kirchenbauer

The EMAF Media Art Award of German Filmcritics (VDFK), which is endowed with 1,000 euro, goes to "Untitled Sequence of Gaps" by Vika Kirchenbauer.

In their statement, the jury writes

"Societal violence can take many forms. Its depiction usually follows specific conventions that focus on the visible and locate violence in obvious areas, such as the military, war or obvious evidence on injured bodies. Violence can of course always be structural and have hidden repercussions. What traces does it leave behind in this case? The fact that both the images and the narrative self in UNTITLED SEQUENCE OF GAPS elude our grasp and have an at times almost ghostly presence is intentional. How to find images for traumatic experiences that lie buried in the black hole of memory is the question that Vika Kirchenbauer poses through the means of film and spurs her to innovative pictorial inventions. The artist approaches the "untitled gaps" alluded to in the title with an impressive collage of heterogeneous material, which in the montage of found footage, (erotic) staging and visualisations from the field of image research is directed towards the in fact un-representable parts of memory. They find their echo in non-visible light: microwaves, infrared and black light. The result is an evocative, haunting narrative of fluctuating identities, forms of memory and traces of violence."

Vika Kirchenbauer

Honourable mention EMAF Media Art Award of German Filmcritics: "Pigeons and Architecture" by Anne Linke

The jury of the EMAF Media Art Prize of the Association of German Film Critics (VDFK) also gave an honourable mention to "Pigeons and Architecture" by Anne Linke.

The Jury wrote:
"The question of how and with whom we want to live forms the basis of many societal concerns. This is inevitably followed by questions of participation - for both human and non-human actors. With a consistent visual language and a personally tinged voice-over, PIGEONS AND ARCHITECTURE opens up a cinematic reflection on participation and marginalisation. With her observation of pigeons, director Anne Linke outlines a precise but often overlooked urban space that manifests itself primarily in the corners and crevices of concrete. Pigeons undermine every architectural measure to restrict their movement, and thus these (mostly unloved) urban dwellers in the film become a model of subversion of architecture often criticised as "inhuman"."

"Pigeons and Architecture" by Anne Linke

Jury of the German Filmcritics (VDFK)

The VDFK Jury consisted of film journalists Annette Brauerhoch (Frankfurt), Esther Buss (Berlin) and Hannes Wesselkämper (Berlin). They awarded the EMAF Media Art Award of the German Filmcritics (VDFK).

Online conferenz of VDFK Jury consisting of film journalist Annette Brauerhoch (Frankfurt), Esther Buss (Berlin) and Hannes Wesselkämper (Berlin).