DCC / VAI Critical Writing Award 2014 Winner

news” …as Saskia Sassen says, the hold of globalisation is still not complete; there is not yet a full flattening of the specificities and demands of the city, which could still exist as the ‘strategic terrain for a whole series of conflicts and contradictions’. Dublin might yet be a site for a thorough artistic engagement with its possibilities and problems as place.”  – Rebecca O’Dwyer (Winner, DCC / VAI Critical Writing Award 2014)

Rebecca O’Dwyer has been awarded the 2014 DCC / VAI Critical Art Writing Award. This year, applicants were invited to consider the subject ‘Festivals and Cities’.

The selectors – VAI Publications Manager, Jason Oakley and Curator/Arts Officer at Dublin City Council, Sheena Barrett – were impressed by O’Dywer’s submission, which encompassed key critical positions around several issues: the branding of cities; the instrumentalisation of art; and the homogenising effects globalisation. O’Dwyer also considered ways in which these pitfalls could be avoided, and truly meaningful and effective city events devised.

The award comprises: an honorarium from Dublin City Council Arts Office of €800 (a €500 commission for a 2000 – 2500 word article on ‘Festivals and Cities’ for the Visual Artists’ News Sheet and a €300 commission to write a shorter text in relation to an aspect of Dublin City Council, The LAB’s 2014 / 2015 programme; and editorial support and mentoring from the Visual Artists’ News Sheet editorial / production team.

O’Dwyer’s essay on ‘Festivalisation’ is scheduled for publication in the January / February 2015 edition of the Visual Artists’ News Sheet.

The DCC / VAI Critical Art Writing Award was launched in 2011 and was devised as a developmental opportunity for writers as part of Dublin City Council Arts Office and Visual Artists Ireland’s commitment to encouraging and supporting critical dialogue around contemporary visual art practice. Previous winners are: James Merrigan (2011); Joanne Laws (2012/13).


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