Winners of the Inaugural MobileCoin Art Prize Announced!

by Emily Huh
12/06/2021

MobileCoin and New Art Dealers are excited to announce three recipients of the inaugural MobileCoin Art Prize, an award that highlights, celebrates, and supports artwork addressing the critical topic of privacy.

Writer and curator Andrew Berardini and MobileCoin Art Director and contemporary artist Inga Bard selected three artists and projects that underlined the importance and nuances of the topic of privacy to share the award: Gabriella Torres-Ferrar at Embajada, Puerto Rico, Hangama Amiri at Towards, Toronto, and Black Experience isn’t a Spectacle by afila.si presented by Anteism Books in the Artists’ Book Publishers section of the fair. The prize will be equally divided among the three winners in the form of $7,500 equivalent to MOB.

“With the inaugural MobileCoin Art Prize, we set out to support artists thinking about privacy in the 21st century. Amidst the incredible talent from all over the world at NADA, we witnessed how the endlessly inventive and brilliant artists of our time think through the deeply relevant contemporary issue of privacy in the digital age, one which is central to MobileCoin’s ethos around personal privacy and confidentiality,” said Andrew Beradini and Inga Bard. “Each of these extraordinary artists supports a different and significant facet of privacy in our times, and we are honored to award their meaningful work.”

In Personal Data Mine 003 (from the series Mine Your Own Business, 2019), Gabriella Torres Ferrer connected their mother’s credit card with a screen displaying how our consumer behavior is tracked and our digital privacy is violated by corporations. The work connects a familial tenderness with the troubling practice of data mining by huge corporations towards wealth and profit.

Jesse Katabarwa, Odd.er (Print) featured in afila.si

In Hangama Amiri’s pictorial quilts depicting the domestic lives of women in Afghanistan under the Taliban, the Afghan-Canadian artist reveals how important private spaces become when citizens lose their public rights and freedoms of expression. Such gatherings of women in mutual support reveals how private space is fundamental outside of the punishing rules and surveillance of governments that oppress their citizens.

And in the Artists’ Books Publishers section of the fair, the launch of the digital library of afila.si titled “Black Experience isn’t a Spectacle” encourages its audiences to engage with Afrocentric knowledge productions, rather than through the voyeuristic gaze. On this open platform, artworks are paired with curated libraries that allow the viewer to engage with the theoretical core of the projects. The library is an exploration of complex themes, such as how the fetishization of Black bodies so often removes the private dignity of individuals and how Black artists can powerfully reclaim that experience.

San Francisco Business Teams covered the MobileCoin Art Residency and the MobileCoin Art Prize last week featuring a picture of Inga Bard! Check out the full article here.