29 Jun 2021

Haure Madjid, Jasmina Metwaly, Neda Saeedi and Alexander Skorobogatov are the Villa Romana Fellows 2022.

The Villa Romana Fellows 2022 were nominated by Antonia Alampi, curator and director of Spore Initiative in Berlin, and artist Hiwa K.

The collaboration between Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut and Villa Romana will continue in its third year in 2022, with Neda Saeedi being invited by both institutes as an International Research Fellow.

The Villa Romana Prize has been awarded by the non-profit Villa Romana Association since 1905 and comes with a ten-month residency at the Florentine artists' house, prize money, and a final publication.

Haure Madjid, born in 1975 in Sulaimanya in Kurdistan, studied in his hometown as well as at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf, where he lives today. In his painting, he decontextualizes Arabic ornamentation and Western figuration and explores the question of how images from different cultures take shape. In long-term series, he transfers memory images into painting. In a series of 15 larger-than-life portraits, he recalls the group of his friends, artists, poets in Northern Kurdistan in the early 1990s. Haure Madjid exhibited his paintings at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris (2018), at the exhibition Imago Mundi in Venice in 2017 and at the Citadel of Erbil (2013), among others.

Jasmina Metwaly, born in Warsaw in 1982, studied at Central Saint Martins College in London and lived in Cairo for a long time until she left the city after the failure of the so-called Arab Spring. She now lives in Berlin. While she was active in Cairo as a filmmaker and co-founder of the Mosireen Collective and the media archive, in recent years she has devoted herself to the voice of people and their unheard stories in audio and video works. In research processes she explores the question of how images are collected and archived and how - reactivated - they can find new meanings. Jasmina Metwaly has participated in numerous exhibitions and screenings internationally and has had solo exhibitions at Kunst-Werke Berlin (2020) and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2019 /20), among others. In 2015 /16, she was a co-curator of the Imaginary School Program at the Beirut exhibition space in Cairo.

Neda Saeedi, born in Tehran in 1987, studied at the University of the Arts in Berlin with Hito Steyerl. In elaborate research and precise materialization, she explores the question of how structures of power are reflected, for example, in the creation of gardens, or how modernization projects under Shah Pahlavi in the 1970s sought to drive out nomadic cultures and impose monocultures. Saeedi's sculptures, environments and installations are characterized by a strong sensuality and poetry. She has participated in numerous international exhibitions, including the 5th Mardin Biennale in Turkey in 2021, The Long Term You Cannot Afford - On Distribution of the Toxic at Savvy Contemporary in Berlin in 2019, and the Lulea Biennale in Sweden in 2018.

Alexander Skorobogatov, born in 1983 in Madyn, Russia, has lived in Germany since the 1990s and studied at the Kunsthochschule Mainz, the Berlin University of the Arts, and Central Saint Martins College in London. In his drawings, paintings and sculptures, Skorobogatov plays with seemingly naive motifs, explosive colors and fantastically bizarre stagings. His works bear ironic titles that are based on philosophical thoughts. Alexander Skorobogatov also works as a curator and has exhibited at many venues in Germany and Europe since 2009, including the Sexauer Showroom in Berlin and the Luigi Solito Gallery in Naples in 2021.

Villa Romana in Florence is a place of contemporary artistic production and international exchange. Since 1905, the core function of Villa Romana has been the Villa Romana Fellowship. It is often awarded to artists at the beginning of their careers and has thus co-written the history of modern art. Through exhibitions and a broad range of events Villa Romana interacts with producers and the public, placing itself on the international artistic scene and promoting communication with the cultures of the Mediterranean area.

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