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The Vasseur BALTIC Artists’ Award 2022

Ima-Abasi Okon / Laleh Khorramian / Fernando García-Dory

9 Apr - 2 Oct 2022

The Vasseur BALTIC Artists’ Award 2022

BALTIC's biennial award was established to recognise artists deserving of an international platform and offers a step-change moment in their career, each receiving an exhibition at BALTIC, 25,000 GBP to realise new work and a 5,000 GBP artist fee. Three established international artists are invited to nominate an artist in the early stages of their career. For the 2022 iteration, Otobong Nkanga has nominated Ima-Abasi Okon, Mika Rottenberg has nominated Laleh Khorramian and Hito Steyerl has nominated Fernando García-Dory.

In its 20th anniversary year, BALTIC renames the award The Vasseur BALTIC Artists’ Award, in memory of the late Isabel Vasseur, an admired figure who inspired a generation of curators and artists with her fearless approach to putting art in the public realm. Through the 2022 Award, BALTIC Legacy Patron, Vasseur continues to support the growth of contemporary art.

Vasseur's career spanned more than thirty years, encompassing photography and experimental film, important curatorial initiatives at festivals in Glasgow, Gateshead and Edinburgh, and through her London agency, Art Office, she commissioned public art projects throughout the UK. Vasseur served on the Board of Trustees for BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (2004-08) and lectured on the influential Curating Contemporary Art MA at the Royal College of Art (1993–2003).

Fernando García-Dory
Fernando García-Dory´s work engages with the relationship between culture and nature, as manifested in multiple contexts, from landscape and the rural, to desires and expectations in relation to identity, crisis, utopia and the potential for social change. Interested in the harmonic complexity of biological forms and processes, his work addresses connections and cooperation, microorganisms, social systems, traditional art languages and collaborative agro-ecological projects and actions. Since 2009, García-Dory has developed INLAND, a collaborative platform and para-institution dedicated to agricultural, social and cultural production.

García-Dory studied Fine Arts and Rural Sociology, and is now preparing his PhD in Agro-ecology. His work has been shown at Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Reina Sofia, Madrid; SFMOMA, San Francisco; amongst others. He has participated in biennials in Athens, Lisbon, Gwangju, Jeju, and in Documenta 13. He is a fellow of Council of Forms in Paris and a board member of the World Alliance of Nomadic Pastoralists. He was awarded the Creative Time’s Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change.

Laleh Khorramian
Laleh Khorramian’s work spans animation, drawing, monotypes, collage, paintings, sculpture and clothing. Her practice combines the cosmological thinking of ancient cultures, their complex mythologies and spiritual vocabularies within her own imagined worlds, synthesising them into histories that are both futuristic and ancient. By removing cultural or historical specificity from her narratives, she uses the ordinary to portray the epic, the universal and the transient, in a search for worlds beyond our own.

Born in Tehran, Iran, Khorramian lives in Upstate New York. She studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and received her undergraduate degree from The Art Institute of Chicago, and her MFA from Columbia University, New York. She has exhibited in the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, US; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Art Basel, Switzerland; Ballroom Marfa, Texas; Istanbul Museum of Art, Istanbul; the Sundance Film festival; Midnight Moment, Times Square, New York and Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane, Australia.

Ima-Abasi Okon
Ima-Abasi Okon works with sculpture, sound and video to produce installations that explore the historical and political charge of materials. She employs exhibition-making as an exercise in syntax, adopting linguistic and grammatical structures as a way of complicating the construction of knowledge. In her recent works, Okon has repurposed industrial and handmade objects, removing their use-value or function in order to explore the formation of taste, subjectivity, productivity and excess.

Okon lives between London and Amsterdam. She has exhibited at Turf Projects, London and Void, Derry-Londonderry; Chisenhale Gallery, London; Kingsgate Project Space, London; 13th Dak’Art Biennale, Dakar, Senegal and The Showroom, London. In 2018, she was awarded the Nigel Greenwood Research Prize and the Summer Residency at Hospitalfield, Scotland. She participated in the residency programme at Rijksakademie voor beeldende kunsten (Academy for Fine Arts), Amsterdam.