Emeka Ogboh awarded the 2016 Prize of the Böttcherstraße in Bremen

Monday, July 11, 2016
Emeka Ogboh awarded the 2016 Prize of the Böttcherstraße in Bremen

The jury of the Prize of the Böttcherstraße in Bremen announces Emeka Ogboh (nominated by Johan Holten, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden) as the 2016 winner of the €30,000 prize. The award ceremony will be held on Sunday, 28 August at 11 am in the Kunsthalle Bremen. Works by the prize winner and the other nine nominated artists will remain on view at the Kunsthalle until 18 September 2016.

Emeka Ogboh awarded the 2016 Prize of the Böttcherstraße in Bremen

The jury of the Prize of the Böttcherstraße in Bremen announces Emeka Ogboh (nominated by Johan Holten, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden) as the 2016 winner of the €30,000 prize. The award ceremony will be held on Sunday, 28 August at 11 am in the Kunsthalle Bremen. Works by the prize winner and the other nine nominated artists will remain on view at the Kunsthalle until 18 September 2016.

The artist Emeka Ogboh (born 1977 in Enugu, Nigeria, lives in Berlin) participates in the Prize exhibition at the Kunsthalle Bremen with the installation The Continental Entrée.
The expression "Food is ready!" is a familiar call at home when it is time for a meal. In Emeka Ogboh's room installation, the sign marked "FOOD IS R€ADY" represents a complex reference structure on the connections and the consequences of food, culture and migration. On the one hand it is an indirect reference to the restaurants and street corner food vendors that promote their ready-to-eat meals with the slogan "Food is ready" in many parts of Africa. On the other hand, it refers to the European Union as the travel destination of many migrants of African origin. In his installation Ogboh draws on various cultural contexts to broach the meaning of food which is much more than simply a means of survival. Ogboh attaches particular value to the socio-cultural context of food, forming identity and establishing a sense of community. In doing so he reflects the continued Western and non-Western traditions of philosophical discussion about nourishment and current political discourses.

Emeka Ogboh, The Continental Entrée, 2015/16, neon, road signs, audio
Installation view Kunsthalle Bremen, Courtesy the Artist, photo: Tobias Hübel

Jury Statement:
“The jury was very impressed by the high quality of the works of art nominated for the award. In the course of selecting the winner of the Prize, ‘The Continental Entrée’ by Emeka Ogboh was most convincing. This installation explores the relationship of food and migration by means of sound, symbols, neon script, graphic design and quotes. The Euro symbol used in the title lights up in neon script at regular intervals, surrounded by the continuous stream of restaurant noises and voices. The everyday activity of eating and the current challenge of global migration movements are combined with the hierarchy of Michelin stars for favoured European migration destinations. Different references and levels of visual meaning converge to form a critically stimulating atmosphere. Communities both inside and outside of Europe come to mind. The decision of the jury was unanimous.”

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Luc Tuymans, Flemish Village 1995.  Collection MuHKA, Antwerp

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