Reman Sadani’s project considers the urge for travel as a strange and mysterious element of the human condition, by renegotiating ideas around the modern displacement of people – from forced migration to cultural exploration. The project follows a nomad protagonist who has resettled in a UK city through a narrative that breaks beyond realism to introduce fragments of fantasy. The protagonist is visited by a group of young people who seek to live out a nomadic way of being within the urban spaces they’re bound to. In a city apartment, the group create a miniature, fantasy landscape within which to move and explore. As this part-fantastical, part-real world slowly disintegrates under the pressure of external elements, Sadani creates a tension between the fixed conditions of urban space and the irresistible impulse of travel.
Guy Oliver’s project is a multi-chapter rumination on the cultural dilemma of the disgraced popular icon. Considering how collective, systematic failure led to cases of abuse from powerful figures in the cultural scene, this work proposes a conflict between the enjoyment of and respect for their creative work and what we now know (or at times failed to recognise) about their behaviour. Can we erase the existence of abusive yet influential figureheads, or should we acknowledge and discuss their actions alongside their work? Through a piece that uses elements of film musical and music video traditions within the form of an experimental essay, Oliver takes the pulse of society’s reaction to this fast-evolving and contentious subject.
Following a nationwide call for applications earlier this year, each artist has been awarded £25,000 to develop significant new moving image works. The finished films will be shown from 31 March to 31 May 2020 at Jerwood Space, London, before touring across the UK. The shortlisted artists for this year’s awards were: Bryony Gillard, Jennifer Martin, Anna Raczynski and Lisa Selby/bluebaglife.
Reman Sadani’s practice encompasses film and writing. Shaped by a childhood growing up between different Arab countries, she identifies with the place of the stranger in search of different manifestations of belonging. The fictional narratives of her films address the imaginary constructions that people employ for survival. She is curious about how people seek commonality through ‘shared’ emotions, language and/or technologies; together with the historical and political narratives associated with those pursuits.
Guy Oliver’s interdisciplinary practice employs video as well as text, digital print, painting, collage and performance. His work excavates the landscape of contemporary popular culture, drawing heavily on archival material of the recent past and is primarily interested in notions of identity, masculinity, comedy and tragedy.
“It was an incredibly tough job to whittle the candidates down to a final six that were invited for interview and an even harder job to select the final two. I would just like to congratulate all the candidates who made it to the interview stage and of course this year’s two winners, who both articulated complex and difficult terrain in their (very different) responses to the theme of Hindsight. I’m sure the rest of the jury are as intrigued as I am to see how these projects develop, manifest and dialogue with one another and the wider ecosystem of artists’ moving image…”
Shezad Dawood, Artist and panel selector
“The Jerwood/FVU Awards responds to a need for significant major commissions for early-career moving-image artists, enabling them to create ambitious, timely and often challenging new works. With over 200 applications to the awards for 2020, the exceptional strength and breath of moving-image practice in the UK reiterates the importance of this support. We are delighted to be working with Guy and Reman over the coming months to realise their thought-provoking proposals and look forward to presenting the final works in the gallery at Jerwood Space next year.”
Harriet Cooper, Head of Visual Arts, Jerwood Arts
The artists were selected by Shezad Dawood, artist; Irene Aristizábal, Head of Curatorial and Public Practice, Baltic and Co-curator British Art Show 9 (2020); Steven Bode, Director and Susanna Chisholm, Programme Development Director, Film and Video Umbrella; and Harriet Cooper, Head of Visual Arts and Lauren Houlton, Gallery Manager at Jerwood Arts.
Over the past seven editions the Jerwood/FVU Awards have provided a significant platform for the selected artists, with all recipients gaining further critical recognition following their exhibitions at Jerwood Space. 2018 recipient Maeve Brennan has subsequently exhibited work at the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin and The Palestinian Museum, Birzeit. Fellow 2018 recipient Imran Perretta’s commission has been acquired by the Arts Council Collection and he is currently working on a major commission for Chisenhale Gallery, Spike Island, and The Whitworth, University of Manchester. He has recently been shortlisted for the Jarman Award 2019. 2017 recipient Lawrence Lek’s commission went on to show at the Venice Biennale in 2017, and he has been showing at major institutions around the world for the last two years, including London’s Barbican Centre. He was also shortlisted for the prestigious Jarman Award and the Arts Foundation Experimental Architecture Award in 2018. In 2019 Lek released AIDOL, the sequel to his Jerwood/FVU Awards commission Geomancer (2017), at Sadie Coles HQ, London to critical acclaim. Fellow 2017 recipient Patrick Hough is exhibiting his commission as part of Artists’ Film International until April 2019, touring major international institutions since 2017. Hough is now in the early stages of production with a new commission with FVU, The Black River of Herself, which will be released in 2020.