Yes Men Claim Leonore Annenberg Prize For Art Award
By Creative Time / AG, 01 Oct 2009
Creative Time has announced the inception of a new, annual, $25,000 award: The Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change, presented by Creative Time to an artist who has committed her/his life’s work to social change in powerful and productive ways.
The first recipient of the prize is The Yes Men, and it will be bestowed during the opening ceremony for The Creative Time Summit: Revolutions in Public Practice, on October 23 at the historic Stephen A. Schwarzman building of the New York Public Library. The ceremony will feature an introduction by Amy Goodman, the host of the award-winning program Democracy Now!. The award is generously supported by The Annenberg Foundation.
The Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change and The Creative Time Summit further Creative Time’s 35-year-long commitment to commissioning and presenting groundbreaking, historically important artwork and fostering a culture of experimentation and change.
The Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change is named in honor of Mrs. Annenberg’s life-long dedication to supporting the artistic voice in our culture, and to the vital role of art in educating and expanding our cultural dialogue. The Yes Men, a legendary group of culture jammers is, through their longstanding practice of invading and subverting modes of corporate communication, at the forefront of a movement to produce substantive change in our world. The Yes Men were selected by a distinguished jury of artists and thinkers.
The Yes Men agree their way into the fortified compounds of commerce, ask questions, and then smuggle out the stories of their hijinks to provide a public glimpse at the behind-the-scenes world of business. Over the years they have also launched some very unconventional products—from the Dow Acceptable Risk calculator (a new industry standard for determining how many deaths are acceptable when achieving large profits), to Vivoleum (a new renewable fuel sourced from the victims of climate change. The gonzo political activists were the subject of a documentary film, “The Yes Men” (2003), and their new documentary film, “The Yes Men Fix the World” (2009), was awarded the prestigious audience award at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Their film “The Yes Men Fix the World” recently debuted in theatres in the UK and on HBO in the United States, and will be released nationally in theatres in October. More information about the film and a trailer can be found at theyesmenfixtheworld.com.
The Yes Men perfectly capture the spirit of the award, which honors an artist or artist group for historically significant work that has an expansive impact on society. At the ceremony, they will give an interactive, performative lecture.
These artists, thinkers, and activists range from anarchist collectives to art world luminaries. Their approaches intend to not only reflect, but also act upon moments of historic change, breaking the traditional barriers between art, culture, and politics. The Creative Time Summit will give attendees a chance to see a vast array of artistic practices in rapid-fire presentations, taking place back-to-back all day. These artistic practices defy easy museological categories, and aggressively blend art, politics, and space. Presenters include Okwui Enwezor, Thomas Hirschhorn, Temporary Services, Baltimore Development Cooperative, Not An Alternative, and many more.
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