Latifa Echakhch wins 2013 Marcel Duchamp Prize

Complex, largely symbolic and critical, Latifa Echakhch’s installations engage with the critical and aesthetic potential of space.

December 5, 2013
Latifa Echakhch, Ciel standard, 2013
Latifa Echakhch, Ciel standard, 2013

French national Latifa Echakhch has won this year’s Marcel Duchamp prize. The announcement was made before a large audience at the Grand Palais, Paris, during the prestigious art fair FIAC.

Echakhch is known for her sculptural installations, which explore themes of nationality, religion and history.  As well as enjoying the prestige of the prize, Echkch will be awarded €35,000 and a show at the Centre Pompidou for three months in Autumn 2014.

The Marcel Duchamp prize is awarded annually to a young French artist, and is organised by the ADIAF (the Association for the International Diffusion of French Art). It was created in 2000 with the aim of raising the profile of the French art scene. This year’s international jury included curators, museum directors, collectors and an artist.

“The jury appreciated the way in which Latifa Echakhch activated the potential of space through employing ordinary objects,”said president of the jury and director of the Centre Pompidou Alfred Pacquement on Echakhch’s win.

“Her work is both surrealist and conceptual and questions with economy and precision the significance of symbols and conveys the fragility of modernism.”

Echkch was nominated for the prize along with Farah Atassi, Raphaël Zarka and conceptual art duo Claire Fontaine. All three finalists had their work exhibited at FIAC prior to the announcement of the winner.

This is the first time a North-African born artist has won the prize, and the fourth time a woman has one it in 13 years. Past female winners including Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Carole Benzaken and Tatiana Trouvé. Other previous winners include Thomas Hirschhorn (2000), and Cyprien Gaillard (2010).