The prize

With the awarding of The Mondrian Prize 2023, the first steps have been taken in the development of a vibrant, international community around the artist colony. With its 9-month living and working period, the prize occupies a unique position within the international residency landscape, which often focuses on short-term work periods.

The Mondrian Prize is awarded annually to an internationally recognized professional active in the arts. The first prize was awarded in 2023 to Sophia Al-Maria (1983, United States). Al-Maria is a Qatari-American visual artist, writer and filmmaker. Her project proposal – aimed at creating a collective video work – has been chosen by the
selection committee for the Mondrian Prize 2023 – consisting of Beatrix Ruf, Ivo van Hove and
Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli.

Award winners 2023-present

Sophia Al-Maria, ‘Exquisite Corpse’ (2023)
Contributors: Tia Campbell, Joshua Fay, Sin Wai Kin, Shuang Li, Ruoru Mou, Lydia Ourahmane, Martine Syms, Ryan Trecartin & Joshua Woolford

Emanuele Coccia, ‘Metropolitan Nature’ (2024)
Contributors: TBA


Sophia Al-Maria

Emanuele Coccia

Sophia Al-Maria (1983, United States) is a Qatari American artist, writer, and filmmaker living and working in London. Though her work spans many disciplines including drawing, film, and screenwriting for TV, it is united by a preoccupation with the power of storytelling and myth, and with imagining revisionist histories and alternative futures. Her cinematic artist’s videos are fuelled by the combination of critical rigour with an affective charge in their explorations of language, imperialism and counter-histories – a deep investigation and dramatization of the socio-political, economic, and environmental present.
Al-Maria’s debut exhibition at the Whitney Museum of Art in 2016, attended to the Gulf’s embrace of consumerism. Black Friday features primarily of shots of empty shopping centres in Doha. An unseen narrator declares the mall as the place “where the glamorous heart of evil is born”, a place of entrapment and confusion complete with faces blurred beyond recognition and bodies collapsed on the floor.

Exhibitions, publications and prizes
Al-Maria was Whitechapel Gallery’s Writer in Residence 2018, resulting in her exhibition BCE comprising of films, performances, and readings, including her first collaboration with the artist Sin Wai Kin. Her most recent collection of essays and writings, ‘Sad Sack’, was published by Book Works in 2019. In 2019, Al-Maria started working on a trilogy of videos that began with Beast Type Song at Tate Britain, London. In 2021, the sequel Tender Point Ruin, was debuted at the Luma Foundation, Arles. In 2022, the
concluding chapter of the trilogy, Tiger Strike Red, was on show at the Applied Arts Pavilion as part of The Milk of Dreams | 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia.

Emanuele Coccia (1976) is an Italian philosopher who lives in Paris, where he is associate Professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS). He was Assistant Professor at the University of Freiburg from 2008-2011 and was a visiting professor at the universities of Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Düsseldorf, Columbia and Harvard.
After earning his doctorate in medieval philosophy and philology at the University of Florence, Emanuele received post-doctoral grants at the Max Planck Institut in Frankfurt am Main, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. After working on the history of European normativity and aesthetics, Emanuele’s current research focuses on conceptions of life and on the ontological status and normative power of images in art, fashion and advertising.

Regarding these matters, he has published numerous books, including his most famous ‘The Life of Plants: A Metaphysics of Mixture’ (2016/2018), in which the author proposes a new reading of the genesis of life starting from plants. Other publications include ‘Goods: Advertising, Urban Space and the Moral Law of the Image’ (2018) and ‘Sensible Life. A Micro-Ontology of the Image’ (2010/2016). Together with philosopher Giorgio Agamben he edited a book on the representation of angels in Judaism, Christianity and Islam: ‘Angeli. Ebraismo Cristianesimo Islam’ (2009). Further, together with Dutch photographer Viviane Sassen, he published ‘Modern Alchemy’ (2022).

Cross-overs between philosophy and the arts
Emanuele has become a key figure in the global contemporary art scene, often hosting art talks, most recently at Thaddaeus Ropac and Centre Pompidou. Further, he recently joined forces with renowned artists in the making of animated videos, such as Quercus (2020, with Formafantasma – Andrea Trimarchi & Simone Farresin), Heaven in Matter (2021, with Faye Formisano) and The Portal of Mysteries (2022, with Dotdotdot). In 2019, Emanuele co-curated Trees, an ambitious exhibition devoted to these exceptional living beings with unexpected faculties and yet widely threatened today, which was held at the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain in Paris. IN 2022, he edited the catalogue for the 23rd Triennale di Milano, Unknown Unknowns: An Introduction to Mysteries. Emanuele is currently working alongside Alessandro Michele, Creative Director of Gucci, on a publication which explores the relationships between fashion and philosophy. As part of the course “The Ego in Things: Fashion as a Moral Laboratory” at Harvard, Emanuele invited Alessandro to discuss his poetics and the role of fashion in creation of identity.