Lacoste Prize cancelled amid censorship row
A Swiss art prize worth 25,000 euros (£21,000) has been cancelled amid controversy the organisers censored one of the nominees.
Jerusalem-born artist Larissa Sansour claims she was taken off the shortlist for being “too pro-Palestinian”.
The Elysee Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland said it was the prize’s sponsors, clothing company Lacoste, who decided to exclude Sansour. (news)
From Artist’s website:
The Nation Estate project is a sci-fi photo series conceived in the wake of the Palestinian bid for nationhood at the UN. Three preliminary sketches have been developed especially for the Lacoste Elysée Prize 2011 - an award I was nominated for until Lacoste decided to censor my work and revoke my nomination.
Set within a grim piece of hi-tech architecture, this narrative photo series envisions ‘la joie de vivre’ of a Palestinian state rising from the ashes of the peace process.In this dystopic vision, Palestinians have their state in the form of a single skyscraper: the Nation Estate. Surrounded by a concrete wall, this colossal hi-rise houses the entire Palestinian population - finally living the high life. Each city has its own floor: Jerusalem, third floor; Ramallah, fourth floor. Intercity trips previously marred by checkpoints are now made by elevator.
Aiming for a sense of belonging, the lobby of each floor reenacts iconic squares and landmarks - elevator doors on the Jerusalem floor opening onto a full-scale Dome of the Rock. Built ouside the actual city of Jerusalem, the building also has views of the original golden dome from the top floors.The Nation Estate project consists of 8-10 large-format photos. It is scheduled for production in early 2012.
In addition to the photo series, a sci-fi video version of Nation Estate is currently in production. (her official website)