Melik Ohanian Winner of the 2015 Marcel Duchamp Prize

November 5, 2015 | By Bailey Holtz

The jury for the 2015 Marcel Duchamp Prize convened on Friday, the 23rd of October 2015 following the presentation of the works and careers of the four finalists – Davide Balula, Neïl Beloufa, Melik Ohanian and Zineb Sedira – by the four reporters designated by the artists: Jean-Max Colard, Émilie Renard, Jean-Christophe Royoux and Morad Montazami.

The 2015 Marcel Duchamp Prize was awarded to Melik Ohanian. “The jury wished to celebrate the coherent intention of the artist who for some twenty years has developed a very personal work based on a special focus of the relations between science, astrophysics and the visual arts, supported by a wide multiplicity of forms and mediums. Nourished by a solid culture of the image in all of its diversity, Melik Ohanian’s art draws its inspiration from the cinema’s own various procedures and from contemporary techniques of projection. The artist invents a work whose ambition is to take the world as its subject and assert that time is the motor of things. Constructed like a series of states of consciousness, Melik Ohanian’s powerfully allegorical work looks at the world through the filter of memory”, declared the President of the Jury.

For the Marcel Duchamp Prize, the artist made a series of seven photographs mounted into luminous panels and animated one second per minute by a change in the state of Caesium 133, a chemical element defining the universal second in atomic clocks. Inviting the viewer to experience a representation of the duration itself, Melik Ohanian draws us into grasping that in our world in the making, between real time and social time, nature in movement leads us to endlessly renewed experiences.

The Musée national d’art moderne will be hosting a solo Melik Ohanian show at the Centre Pompidou planned from the 1st of June to the 29th of August 2016. The ADIAF will award the winner a financial endowment of 35 000 euros and will participate in the production of the exhibition.

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