Lili Reynaud Dewar Wins Prix Marcel Duchamp, France’s Most Coveted Art Prize
Lili Reynaud Dewar, Oops, I think I may have lost my lighter somewhere on the ground... Could someone please be so kind to come here and help me find it?, (2018). Billboards. Photo: Markus Tretter. Courtesy of the Artist. © Lili Reynaud Dewar, Kunsthaus Bregenz.
'It has been difficult to decide between four personalities promised to a brilliant artistic career,' said Xavier Rey, Director of the Musée National d'Art Moderne and a member of the prize's jury.
'But since it must be so,' he continued, 'enthralling discussions between the members of the jury have honoured Lili Reynaud Dewar whose universal approach, effective institutional and social critique, and especially the risks taken with her own body, are particularly moving.'
Born in 1975 in La Rochelle, France, Reynaud Dewar studied classical dance and public law before pursuing contemporary art. She frequently dances naked in her work, often covered in brightly coloured body paint, to communicate ideas about vulnerability and sexuality. But the themes of her practice—mostly executed in installations, films, and performances—are far more wide-ranging.
Reynaud Dewar's recent works include My Epidemic (2015), a musical installation about AIDS; an exhibition called Teeth, Gums, Machines, Future Society (2018) that juxtaposes gangsta rap and grillz with Donna J Haraway's 'Cyborg Manifesto'; and the art world horror movie Beyond the Land of Minimal Possessions (2018), in which the artist plays a professor chaperoning students on a trip to see works by Donald Judd in Marfa, Texas. As the group begins to understand Marfa's gentrification and transformation into an 'art destination', people start to have nightmares, go missing, and die.
For the Prix Marcel Duchamp exhibition, Reynaud Dewar showed the film Rome, 1st and 2nd November 1975 in which she asked friends and family to play the roles of Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini and his lover Giuseppe Pelosi, who confessed to killing Pasolini. She also interviewed her collaborators in depth, publishing a booklet of their responses to questions about their sexuality, schooling, and careers.
Reynaud Dewar now lives in Grenoble and is represented by Clearing Gallery (Brussels / New-York) and Emmanuel Layr (Vienna / Rome). Future solo exhibitions by the artist will take place in 2023 at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, and the Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal (MACM) in Montréal. —[O]