John Fries Award 2016

A cracker of an evening for the winner of the John Fries Award. And whilst the field of finalists was strong, two Victorian artists have dominated this year’s Copyright Agency | Viscopy John Fries Award.

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The winner of the $10,000  John Fries Award 2016 is Eric Demetriou, while Jessie Bullivant was Highly Commended for her work. Demetriou’s installation piece, An Afternoon with Herb Jercher, is a work combining the sounds of whip cracking with the impact of the whips’ contact on a surface. The work was developed with sound artist Herb Jercher.

John Fries Award curator, Oliver Watts said, “Demetriou’s body of work investigates the application of noise, partnered with a mischievous demeanour. This exciting and strong work seems to reference the drover through the sounds and effects of lashing whips. Its duality is what makes it appealing, as the sound of the whip evokes the Man from Snowy River, but it’s mediated through pop culture, art and technical recording devices.”

Bullivant’s Highly Commended work, In the Event of Winning, is a video of an acceptance speech which is not to be viewed unless the artist wins.

Watts said, “This is a work that can win but not be judged and sums up for me that terrible anxiety we all have of being measured, examined, put into boxes by an ordered society and our desperate attempts to wrestle back some agency. Bullivant’s work somehow breaks the bind of the award’s rules while still, paradoxically, remaining in the game.”

Fourteen finalists, selected by the judges from 1000 entries, are featured in the John Fries Award exhibition at the award’s presenting partner UNSW Galleries until October 1.

The award’s $10,000 prize money is donated by the Fries family in memory of former Viscopy director and honorary treasurer, John Fries, who made a remarkable contribution to the life and success of Viscopy.
EXHIBITION
John Fries Award 2016
Until 1 October

UNSW Galleries

Image: Eric Demetriou and Herb Jercher, An Afternoon with Herb Jercher, 2013-14. © Eric Demetriou and Herb Jercher/Licensed by Viscopy.
Courtesy the artist and UNSW Galleries. 

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