Winning artwork for the 4th Ithra Art Prize reflects the changes that Covid-19 has caused
Nadia Kaabi-Linke, a Berlin-based Tunisian artist, is the winner of this year’s Ithra Art Prize…
A rising arrow – that’s the winning artwork that was selected out of 1,500 submissions by an esteemed panel of international art experts for the 4th edition of the Ithra Art Prize.
Nadia Kaabi-Linke’s proposed project, “E Pluribus Unum – Modern Fossil,” is a large-scale installation that uses the symbol for growth to represent the economic disruption caused by the pandemic.
According to the Tunisian conceptual artist who currently lives in Berlin, the rising arrow is also depicted as directing humanity to a safer exit from the crisis.
“E Pluribus Unum” explores the impact of the global pandemic by looking at the aviation industry as a marker of economic growth, back when lockdowns and flights were cancelled worldwide due to Covid-19.
And at the same time, Kaabi-Linke’s artwork highlights humanity’s shared experience of being grounded on Earth – a reminder of the power of hope and solidarity.
Kaabi-Linke will receive up to $100,000 to bring her proposal to life, which will be unveiled at the inaugural Ad-Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale, the Kingdom’s first biennale, in December 2021 before joining Ithra’s prestigious permanent collection.
“The standard of submissions for the 4th edition of the Ithra Art Prize was as high as we’ve come to expect from the Prize, while the international element added further provocative perspectives. We are thrilled with this year’s competition, and Nadia Kaabi-Linke is a worthy winner. We look forward to seeing her realise this dream project,” said Farah Abushullaih, head of Ithra Museums.
Kaabi-Linke’s previous works have included site-specific installations and large-scale prints that use many different media, artefacts, symbolisms, and codes to reflect on cultural and historical, social and political issues on a very human level. In addition, her multinational background and history of migration have greatly influenced her works.
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The Ithra Art Prize was established to create a platform for artists to exhibit their works beside other distinguished artists within the region and internationally. It also focuses on local artists’ enablement and knowledge transfer enhancement between artists.
Kaabi-Linke joins the ranks of previous winners Ayman Zedani (Meem, 2018), Dania Al-Saleh (Sawtam, 2019) and Fahad Bin Naif (Rakhm, 2020).