Jury for the Villa Romana Prize 2019Eva Birkenstock has been the Director of the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen in Düsseldorf since autumn 2016. Born in Siegen in 1978, she studied Ethnology, Art History and Spanish Language and Literature in Cologne, Havana and Berlin. In the following years she held different positions at exhibition spaces: In 2005 she joined the Kunstverein in Hamburg as an assistant. Three years later she became artistic director of the Halle für Kunst Lüneburg. In 2010 she moved to Austria to work as a curator at the Kunsthaus Bregenz, where she was in charge for a new concept for the entrance hall, the KUB Arena. Birkenstock created a place of exchange, inviting artist groups, academics and other cooperation partners. In 2014 she went to New York to head Ludlow 38, the exhibition space of the Goethe Institute, as part of a one-year curator exchange. She has curated numerous solo exhibitions, including those of Yona Friedman, Dani Gal, Dora Garcia, Nick Mauss, Katrin Mayer, Ulrike Müller, Emma Hedditch, Suchan Kinoshita, Johannes Paul Raether, Tris Vonna-Michell, Ian White and Susanne Winterling. Group exhibitions include On Performance, 2010 (curated with Joerg Franzbecker), Nairobi - A State of Mind, 2012, Beginning Good. All Good. - Actualizations of the Futurist Opera 'Victory Over the Sun', 2011 (with Kerstin Stakemeier & Nina Koeller).
Maria Thereza Alves is an internationally renowned artist who has been living in Berlin for many years. She exhibited at the Sharjah Biennial 13 (2017), Documenta 13 (2012), the São Paolo Biennial (2010 and 2016), the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2015) and the 8th Berlin Biennial (2014). Born in Brazil in 1960, she studied at the Cooper Union in New York and has been working and exhibiting on an international level since the 1980s. Alves works on the interface between art and politics. She was an active member of the International Indian Treaty Council in 1978 and 1979. She is founder of the Brazilian Information Center, a forum for the concerns of people of indigenous origin. In 1981 she became one of the founding members of the Partido Verde Ecologista de México in São Paolo. She works on projects in the Pantanal wetlands in Brazil, in the mountain village of Matsunoyama in Japan, at China's largest port in Guangzhou, in the indigenous community of Amatlan in Central Mexico, in the farming village of Fadiouth in Senegal and in Europe. In 2015 Maria Thereza Alves participated in a symposium entitled UNMAPPING the RENAISSANCE, which was organised by Villa Romana and the Kunshistorische Institut in Florence.