Beckers Art Award 2019
– Theresa Traore Dahlberg has been honoured with Beckers Art Award. She succeeds with subtle expression to portray people in complex situations and her choice of object and material combinations fill the exhibition space with tension, both in physical and historical terms.
Photo: Cristian Quinteros Soto
The 32th Beckers Art Award - a grant of 200 000 SEK - will this year be awarded to the artist Theresa Traore Dahlberg, born 1983. She has studied 16mm experimental film at the New School, in New York and at the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts and later Visual Art at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm.
Filmmaker and artist Theresa Traore Dahlberg depict themes like courage, power structures, colonialism and feminism: the complexity of being human in a post-colonial world. She explores the possibilities for alternative views based on both the composition of the group and the specific situation of the individual. She approaches the people she portrays with great respect, and her work is characterized by intimacy, humour and a strong visual storytelling.
The starting point of the films is often everyday life, situations that is given an existential dimension, to be human without being marginalized, fighting for your dreams or as a young woman coping with the patriarchal expectations.
Theresa Traore Dahlberg’s work is often categorized as documentary, but she rather sees it as art or like painting. Through multifaceted stories about people in African countries, she raises universal issues, which makes us look at both the general perception of Africa and our own everyday situations in a different light.
Even in her sculptures she uses material that can tell a story, material that holds historical significance. By combining glass, copper and cotton, she allows general connotations such as technology, weapons, microchips, slavery and industry to gain free play, while still talking about the sculptures as independent from time and place. She wants to give each person the opportunity to meet the works based on their own circumstances.
Theresa Traore Dahlberg is awarded Beckers Art Award 2019, because she in her artistry, with great respect, creates a diverse image of individuals with different backgrounds, that she in her films, with subtle means of expression, is able to portray people in complex situations and her object and material combinations that fills the exhibition space with tension both in physical and historical terms.
For the jury / Magnus Jensner
Theresa Traore Dahlberg
Theresa Traore Dahlberg is a visual artist and filmmaker who formulates and mediates engaging complex, narratives through sculpture, photography, and film. Her films narrate stories in the expanded field of documentary including themes such as representation of the other, by questioning how individuals, events and places are perceived, interpreted and understood. The artist finds her working material in everyday life, encounters with people from different places play an important role. Traore Dahlberg’s sculptural works often take a point of departure in the material itself, as a physical material and as a container of histories, ideas, and notions. The artist pays attention to production, working conditions, workers identities and fates of life, creating art that reflects the complexity of class, women's roles, and post-colonialism. Traore Dahlberg draws from her own experiences of being anchored in two political and social cultures, Sweden and Burkina Faso, and from the implication of living in a contemporary European context.
Traore Dahlberg has exhibited internationally and in Sweden, in such venues as Zeller van Almsick, Vienna, Austria (2018) and Uppsala konstmuseum, Sweden (2018). She has been awarded the Tempo Documentary Short Award for her film The Ambassador’s wife (2018) which was also shown at the Toronto Film festival 2018. Her first film Taxi Sister (2011) was about the everyday life of a Senegalese female taxi driver, and her film Ouaga Girls (2017) was her first feature-length documentary. Additionally, Traore Dahlberg initiated and founded the artist collective OUFF in 2018.
Beckers Art award was established in 1987 and has since then proven to have a remarkable ability to identify young talent on the brink of a breakthrough in their careers. The winner is awarded a grant, which from 2017 has been raised from 150 000 to 200 000 SEK, and a solo exhibition that has, since 2001, been arranged and held in collaboration with Färgfabriken.
The jury: Jenny Lindén Urnes, Mårten Castenfors and Magnus Jensner.
Date & Location
February 2nd to March 24th
The main hall, Färgfabriken
Thursday 11 - 7
Friday 11 - 6
Saturday - Sunday 11 - 7
Trailer The Ambassador’s wife (2018):