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Birgit Jürgenssen Award Winner 2024: Ayala Shoshana Guy

The Birgit Jürgenssen Prize 2024, endowed with 5,000 euros, goes to the artist Ayala Shoshana Guy. The award ceremony will take place on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, at 6 p.m. in the auditorium.

The Birgit Jürgenssen Prize has been awarded annually since 2004 in memory of the artist Birgit Jürgenssen, who formerly taught at the Academy. The award is presented in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Arts, Culture, Public Service and Sport and the Hubert Winter Gallery to a student of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna for work in the fields of video or (digital) media art, drawing, artistic photography, sculpture, but also painting.

Jury statement

A concise, cross-media visual and narrative language characterizes the work of Ayala Shoshana Guy. In her multidisciplinary work, documentation, fiction, and poetry merge with autobiographical inquiries and universal issues. In doing so, the artist lovingly and resolutely exposes herself to the social contexts of everyday life, which she phenomenologically penetrates, artistically questions, and thereby expands into new possible spaces—using her own body in the process. This brave engagement with the creative process is a testament to remarkable personal and artistic integrity. Moreover, her compelling, independent aesthetics impress, especially with collage-like animation. One should not overlook her examination of collective trauma and human existence.

In her 19-minute short film I will take your shadow, 2022, for instance, the artist processes the story of her grandfather, told through fragments of memory, as an animation. She intertwines his ephemeral memory of fleeing Vienna from the Nazis with her inner images, thus creating an outstanding surreal and poetic collage of factual and fictional elements. The choice of black-and-white drawings and monotypes acts like a filter, creating abstraction and distance yet simultaneously a touching intimacy and fragility. The artist's clear and understandable stance on her creative process and the themes addressed in her works significantly contribute to the authenticity of her artistic endeavor.

The theme of Ayala Shoshana Guy's works is elevated to an abstract level, inviting viewers to think beyond the immediate representation. Her art is imbued with a fragility between linearity and non-linearity, appeals emotionally, and touches profoundly.