Nazareth born Natour (28), is a multimedia artist who combines drawing, digital printing, video, and installations, proclaimed as by the prize committee as “an inspiring artist that emerges once in a generation.”
The Wolf Foundation has decided to award the 2020 Ingeborg-Bachman Scholarship Prize, established by Anselm Kiefer, to Karam Natour, a multimedia creator who uses drawing, digital printing, video, and installations.
Karam Natour has held solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group exhibitions and projects in galleries and museums. His works have been recognized with prizes and awards. His works were exhibited in Israel and abroad, including the Israel Museum and the Kunstmueseum Bochum, Germany (2020), the Haifa Museum (2019), the Rosenfeld Gallery, and the Umm Al-Fahm Art Gallery (2018), and the Tel Aviv Museum (2017 and 2018).
The jury panel has reasoned its decision as follows: “Natour’s works of art expose worldviews and perceptions as flimsy structures that hinge on the incongruity between linguistic directions and real-life manifestations, which depend on a variety of circumstances. These circumstances range from the limitations on bodily movements, its weight, and sensations to the artist’s relationship with its communities. Thus, the artist’s private action sheds light on our general knowledge of reality and the role we play in structuring the knowledge sets as responding to the incongruity between two paradigms: in the first and objective paradigm, we respond to semiotic and scientific representations. In the second, subjective paradigm, our actions and experiences create unmediated realities.”
The jury panel added, “Natour uncovers the phony nature of self-perception, which assumes that linguistic instructions and linguistic performance are fully proportionate. The paradox of being rational concurrently with being prone to prejudice, mistakes, and humor; and between the malleable, frequently changing ethical, aesthetic, and political infrastructure that serves as the growth bed of complex identities.”
A noteworthy recommendation out of the many endorsements received for Karam Natour, said, “Natour is an artist of the caliber that emerges once in a generation. The quality of his work is an outstanding representation of a contemporary artist profile on the crossroads of forces at work in a given moment. At the same time, he and his work are imbued with a timeless dimension, which he executes with extraordinary talent.” The endorsement elaborates, “Natour proposes an arrangement that replaces the critical dichotomic thinking of the victim and the victimized, analysis and exposure of power structures and the disintegration of guilt. He teams up compassion, humor, prejudice, science, and spiritualism in an inspiring creation about life itself.”
The Ingeborg Bachman Scholarship Prize is awarded by the Wolf Foundation since 1991 to encourage young, promising artists in Israel. The scholarship is funded by the generous donation of Anselm Kiefer, a German artist, and laureate of the Wolf Foundation Painting Award for 1990. Mr. Kiefer chose to name the scholarship after the Austrian poet, Ingeborg Bachman (1926-1973) in recognition of the literary and philosophical creation and a means of realizing his vision to advance young artists.
Former artists who won the Ingeborg Bachman Scholarship Prize include Sigalit Landau, Yael Frank, Daniel Zack, Doron Rabina, Gilad Ratman, Guy Ben-Ner, Ruti Sela, and more.
Reut Inon-Berman, CEO of the Wolf Foundation, said, “The Wolf Foundation takes pride in recognizing and advancing emerging Israeli artists on their way to the hub of the local and global artistic endeavor. Particularly during these times, when culture and art undergo unprecedented upheavals, we are gratified to award the prize to Karam Natour, one of the most brilliant and moving artists of our generation, Natour’s works speak up in an original, unique, and most importantly, an inspiring voice.”