“The jury unanimously celebrated the multidisciplinarity and fluidity of Josèfa Ntjam‘s work in its various practices: poetry, sound, film, photomontage, sculpture, performance…. At the NıCOLETTı gallery stand dedicated to Josèfa, visitors are immersed in a total work of art, with many open layers of interpretation. The jury also wanted to emphasize that Josèfa belongs to a fantastic new generation of French artists who are revisiting history in a multidisciplinary way. Finally, the jury was keen to salute the commitment of NıCOLETTı, a young London gallery run by two Frenchmen, Camille Houzé and Oswaldo Nicoletti, to promoting Josèfa’s work, which is already very present in France (Centre Pompidou, LUMA, Palais de Tokyo…) and currently being developed in the UK.“
The jury gave a special mention to the work of Marie Cool and Fabio Balducci, presented by Bologna’s P420 gallery, to pay tribute to artists whose “demanding, radical and ambitious work, represented by one of the few videos at Frieze London, offers us an uncompromising journey. Cool and Balducci embody with rigor and persistence a form of dissident spirit.” The jury was also keen to salute the decision and position of gallerists Fabrizio Padovani and Alessandro Pasotti, who chose “to present such a work, charged with its power of resistance, in the commercial context of a fair.“
The aim of the Fluxus-CPGA prize is to support the talents of the French art scene and to promote its visibility and influence internationally. It also honors the relationship between artists and their gallery. The prize money of £15,000 (approx. €17,400) is shared between the artist and the gallery.
The 6-member jury included Hervé Mikaeloff (independent curator), Helene Nguyen Ban (collector and president of Fluxus), Hans Ulrich Obrist (artistic director, Serpentine Gallery), Florence Ostende (curator, Barbican Art Gallery), Thibault Poutrel (collector) and Maria Sukkar (collector).
Josèfa Ntjam is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice combines sculpture, photomontage, video and performance. Gleaning the raw material for her works from the internet, natural history books and family archives, Ntjam uses assemblage – of images, words, sounds and history(ies) – as the modus operandi for a practice aimed at deconstructing the grand narratives behind hegemonic discourses on notions of origin, identity and race. His work often takes shape through scrupulous investigation of historical events, scientific functions or philosophical concepts, with references to mythology, ancestral rituals, religious symbols or science-fiction narratives. Inspired by the speculative methodology of Afrofuturism, the interweaving of a priori heterogeneous notions takes place within a logic of reappropriation of History, against which Ntjam confronts narrative constructions exploring future space-time – “between-two worlds” where systems of perception and fixed entity nominations are no longer able to operate. Thus is born Ntjam’s poetics, a process by which the political and the poetic intertwine within utopian cartographies and ontological fictions, which she uses as tools for a practice of emancipation calling for the emergence of multiple, processual and resilient communities.
Josèfa Ntjam was born in Metz in 1992. She lives and works in Saint-Etienne. Ntjam studied in Amiens, France, Dakar, Senegal (Université Cheikh Anta Diop), at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Art de Bourges, France (2015), and at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Art, Paris-Cergy, France (2017).
I am absolutely honored to receive the CGPA/Fluxus award and would like to start by thanking the members of the jury who selected my presentation at Frieze. I am even more touched that the jury chose to reward a multi-disciplinary artist and thus give visibility to the minority stories I try to tell in my work, which are inspired by people, events and myths that have opposed organized systems of oppression and exploitation, both on the African continent and in Western societies. Finally, I’m delighted that the ideas of fluidity, hybridity and mutation, which I see as the tools of emancipation to be adopted, have been understood and rewarded.
About NıCOLETTı gallery
NıCOLETTı is a London-based gallery dedicated to supporting the development of emerging artists. Founded in May 2018 by Oswaldo Nicoletti and Camille Houzé, two London-based French curators, NıCOLETTı is located in a converted warehouse on Vyner Street in East London. NıCOLETTı currently represents eight artists. Committed to facilitating research and the production of critical discourses, the gallery’s exhibition program investigates current and future socio-ecological paradigms, with a particular focus on exploring the complex relationship between colonial history, ecology and technology.
About the Comité Professionnel des Galeries d’Art
Since 1947, the Comité Professionnel des Galeries d’Art (CPGA) has represented art galleries in France and defended their interests in dealings with politicians, institutional representatives and administrative authorities. It participates in the elaboration of art market regulations and contributes to cultural policies favoring the development of the art sector. The Committee informs and advises its 320 member galleries, from antique dealers to contemporary art galleries, on the specifics of their status and obligations, and supports them on technical issues.
For several years now, the CPGA has been involved in major cultural events, helping to raise the profile of art galleries as genuine partners in artistic creation. It also works to develop the French art scene internationally.
Created in 2010 by the Institut français du Royaume-Uni and chaired by Hélène Nguyen-Ban, Fluxus Art Projects is a Charity dedicated to supporting contemporary art on both sides of the Channel. Fluxus Art Projects encourages artistic cooperation between France and the UK. It builds a bridge between the French and British art scenes by focusing on three objectives:
- Supporting venues for solo and group exhibitions of French-based artists in the UK and vice versa, to help them gain international visibility
- Accompanying curators on research trips to France and the UK
- Within the new Magnetic programme, create a structuring network of artist residencies between partner institutions that share values and commitments.
As a Franco-British public-private fund, Fluxus Art Projects has become, in 13 years, an amazing talent booster, a prescriptive mechanism and an artists’ notoriety marker. Fluxus Art Projects and its Magnetic programme are supported by Institut français du Royaume-Uni, Institut français, French Ministry of Culture, French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales/Wales Arts International, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the British Council. Fluxus benefits from the invaluable and unwavering commitment of its patrons and friends.
In 2024, Fluxus will organize a symmetrical prize to the FLUXUS-CPGA Award, celebrating an artist from the British scene in France.
Frieze London was founded in 2003 by Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover. The fair is one of the world’s most influential contemporary art fairs, focusing only on contemporary art and living artists, and takes place each October in The Regent’s Park. The 2023 edition marks the 20th anniversary of Frieze London, with a dynamic programme and special initiative Artist-to-Artist, where eight world-renowned artists propose a counterpart for a solo exhibition at the fair.
- Comité Professionnel des Galeries d’Art
01 42 66 66 62 / 06 23 01 91 97
- FLUXUS ART PROJECTS
+33(0)618713220 /+44(0)7729233 075
Frieze Press Team
- Picture: Works of Josèfa Ntjam, Nicoletti's stall at Frieze 2023