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C/O Berlin Talent Award 2020

Anna Ehrenstein . Emily Watlington

C/O Berlin is delighted to award this year‘s C/O Berlin Talent Award in the category Artistic Photography to the German-Albanian multimedia artist Anna Ehrenstein. Her award-winning work Tools for Conviviality will be presented in a solo exhibition from January, 30 to April, 24 2021 at C/O Berlin in the Amerika Haus, Hardenbergstraße 22-24, 10623 Berlin.

The C/O Berlin Talent Award 2020 in the category of Theory goes to US author Emily Watlington. She will be writing the first art theoretical essay on the work Tools for Conviviality by Ehrenstein. Watlington’s essay and an interview with the artist will be presented in a monograph published by C/O Berlin with Spector Books on the occasion of the artist’s planned solo exhibition.

The four artists Laura Ben Hayoun (FR), Esther Hovers (NL), Alexander Rosenkranz (DE) and Alina Schmuch (DE) are nominated for the Shortlist 2020.

The jury of experts for the category Artistic Photography, Dr. Eva-Maria Fahrner-Tutsek (Chairperson of the Board, Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung, Munich), Florian Ebner (Head of the Photography Department, Centre Pompidou, Paris), Michael Mack (publisher and founder, Mack Books, London), Taiyo Onorato (artist, Zurich and Bovec, Slovenia), Dr. Kathrin Schönegg (curator, C/O Berlin), and Trine Skraastad (photo editor for magazines including Dummy, Fluter, and Die Dame, Berlin), nominated the winner and the four artists for this year‘s shortlist. The works of the shortlist candidates will be featured in the C/O Berlin Newspaper and presented in cooperation with Der Greif online. The expert jury selected Anna Ehrenstein‘s project Tools for Conviviality for its convincing use, exploration, and critique of new digital forms. In this work, the artist reflects on the media of our time and explores the socio-cultural consequences of digitalization in a global context with a humorous tone. Ehrenstein’s project, which was created in Senegal, replaces the documentary outside perspective with a method of collective research in a foreign place. It incorporates local creatives who reflect, refract, and challenge the European perspective on technologies and life concepts in the West African region. Tools for Conviviality was developed in collaboration with Awa Seck, Don Kafele, Lydia Likibi, Saliou Ba, and Nyamwathi Gichau.

Christina Töpfer (Editor-in-Chief, Camera Austria) and Kathrin Schönegg (Curator, C/O Berlin) selected art historian Emily Watlington from 32 international entries at a jury meeting for the category Theory in April 2020. Watlington’s work impressed the jury with its expertise, theoretical depth, and analytical yet accessible style. The author’s previous work has addressed the topics of digital culture and circulation, Internet feminism, and geopolitical power structures between West and East. She thus represents the ideal scholarly reflection of this year’s award-winning artwork.

Winner
Anna Ehrenstein (b. 1993 AL/DE) explores the exchange between human and object in the digital age. She studied photography and media art at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Dortmund and completed a postgraduate program in media art at the Academy of Media Arts with Mischa Kuball and Julia Scher. Her work has been shown in international group exhibitions including Format Situations at Fotomuseum Winterthur, CH, (2019), the photo festival Les Recontres d‘Arles (2018), and the Triennial of Photography in Hamburg (2018). C/O Berlin will present her first institutional solo exhibition. Ehrenstein has been nominated for various awards and is currently working on a research project in Bogota, Colombia, on a DAAD grant. Anna Ehrenstein lives in Berlin, Cologne, and Tirana.

Emily Watlington (*1993, USA) writes about contemporary media art and feminist ethics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in art history (BFA) and a master of science in architecture studies (SMArchS) in the History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture and Art (HTC) program at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Watlington spent 2018/2019 in Berlin as the holder of a Fulbright Fellowship for Journalism and is currently working as an Assistant Editor at Art in America. Her essays have been published in exhibition catalogues, anthologies, magazines, and journals including Art in America, Hyperallergic, Haunt Journal of Art, Frieze, Another Gaze, Mousse, Art Review, and Spike Art Magazine. Emily Watlington lives in New York.

Shortlist
Laura Ben Hayoun (b. 1984, FR) questions borders, migration, and imaginary territories. She studied visual anthropology in Lyon before pursuing master‘s degrees in documentary film then in photography and contemporary art in Paris. Her work has been shown at the Tate Modern, London (2014), at the Festival de la Photographie Méditerranéenne in Nice (2017), and at the Outono Fotográfico in La Coruña, Spain (2017). She has received numerous prizes and was a finalist in the 2019 Unseen Dummy Awards with the submitted project. Laura Ben Hayoun lives in Paris and currently works in Alger (Algeria) and Yerevan (Armenia).

Esther Hovers (b. 1991, NL) work revolves around the question of how power, politics, and control are exercised through urban planning and the use of public space. She studied photography at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, and has exhibited at the Aperture Foundation in New York City (2019), the Lianzhou Photo Festival in China (2018) and FOAM in Amsterdam (2017), among others. In 2017, her works were part of the exhibition WATCHED! Surveillance, Art & Photography at C/O Berlin. Hovers has been the recipient of various awards and was an artist-in- residence at the NARS Foundation in Brooklyn, New York, in 2019. Esther Hovers lives in the Hague, the Netherlands.

Alexander Rosenkranz (b. 1987, DE) rejects a purely documentary conception of photography and instead embraces the visual power of photography as material. In 2019, he graduated from the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig under Joachim Brohm and is currently a master student of Ludovic Balland. His work has been shown at the f/stop Festival in Leipzig (2016), at FOAM, Amsterdam (2017), and in the Photographische Sammlung / SK Stiftung Kultur, Cologne (2017), among others. In 2019, he was in finalist in Bookcall #1 of the Institute for Book Art, Leipzig. Alexander Rosenkranz lives in Berlin and Leipzig.

Alina Schmuch (b. 1987, DE) explores the interactions between visual media and reality in her work. She studied fine arts at the Kunstakademie Münster and media art at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe. Her works have been shown at Künstlerhaus Bremen (2018), the Museum of Photography, Braunschweig (2018), and ZKM Karlsruhe (2016), among others. She has received awards including the Wüstenrot Foundation Documentary Photography Award (2015/2016) and the Mak Schindler Fellowship in Los Angeles (2016). Alina Schmuch lives in Berlin.