Art Prize

Web site: www​.tanyaury​.com

A photo­series of four:
1. Art Prize 1996 2. Art Prize 1998 3. Art Prize 2000 4. Art Prize 2002 4 photographs sealed under plex­i­glass and mounted Photographs: H 55 cm x B 122.5 cm (Edition of 7) (Edition of 7: H 45 cm x B 100 cm) Format: 1 x 2.227 Insur­ance value Each picture 2,500 €uro (x4 = 10,000 €uro) Since 2010, Tanya Ury has been working on the research project Who’s Boss – Empire’s New Clothes, as PhD. in Human­i­ties candi­date at Leiden Univer­sity, Insti­tute for Cultural Disci­plines (NL)

Each of the four digital photo-collages is composed of three elements; the first constituent, taken from a set of Hugo Boss adver­tise­ments for the autumn and winter collec­tion 1998 – 99, demon­strates amongst other things, a leather coat that closely resem­bles a World War II German Luft­waffe over­coat. The second is a collec­tion of Spanish post­cards from the Franco era displaying simplistic draw­ings of couples, doll-like girls with uniformed boy soldiers. The last of the three compo­nents are photo­graphic self-portraits (of Tanya Ury) from 1996, naked and posing with an orig­inal full-length, Nazi leather Luft­waffe coat.

The reve­la­tions of the Boss Nazi origins in 1997 were obvi­ously bad press for Hugo Boss AG. They preferred to be seen in a more char­i­table light and believed correctly that this would be possible, for the Solomon R. Guggen­heim Foun­da­tion had, as early as 1996, already admin­is­tered a bien­nial inter­na­tional art award of $50,000 in the name of Hugo Boss.

The Hugo Boss Prize was estab­lished to recog­nize signif­i­cant achieve­ment in contem­po­rary art. According to its criteria, this prize sets no restric­tions in terms of age, gender, race, nation­ality, or media, and the nomi­na­tions have included young, emerging artists, as well as estab­lished indi­vid­uals whose public recog­ni­tion may be long overdue. Until 2004 the winners have been:
1. 1996 Matthew Barney (USA) 2. 1998 Douglas Gordon (UK) 3. 2000 Marjetica Potrc-Kagiso (SL) 4. 2002 Pierre Huyghe (F)

Hugo Boss, one of the most renowned contem­po­rary fashion concerns, now also has the repu­ta­tion of being an art bene­factor. The distin­guished jurors of the prize in vali­dating this charade of generosity perceive no incon­gruity, nor do the winners seem to be concerned that in accepting the award, they are turning a blind eye to history and the noto­rious activ­i­ties of the fashion estab­lish­ment Hugo Boss, that not only profoundly exploited its forced labour work­force, in the period from 1940 – 45 but was also actively involved in supporting the Nazi war machine.

Concept: Tanya Ury
Digital processing: David Janecek
Artist’s self-portrait, camera: Doris Frohnapfel

Who’s Boss — a collec­tion of works:


2005 Group exhi­bi­tion, Who’s Boss), Stets gern für Sie beschäftigt…” (”Always glad to be of service…”), ifa Galerie, Berlin (D)
2005 (28.1.-end April) Group exhi­bi­tion, Boss Rune T‑shirts, Schöne Grüße (Best Wishes), Propeller, Friedrichshain, Berlin (D)
2005 (28.5 – 3.7.) Group exhi­bi­tion, Who’s Boss, Prora Docu­men­ta­tion Centre, Rügen (D)
2005 (11.11. – 6.1.2006) Group exhi­bi­tion, Who’s Boss, Stets gern für Sie beschäftigt…” (”Always glad to be of service…”), Kunstverein Rosen­heim (Art Centre), (D)
2006 (26.7. – 9.8.) Solo exhi­bi­tion, seminar Presen­ta­tion: Who’s Boss, 4 pm 26.-7 in the exhi­bi­tion, Tüzraktér Inde­pen­dent Cultural Centre, Budapest (HU)
2006 (3.11. – 24.11.) Solo exhi­bi­tion, 9 – 12 hours work­shop with pupils from the Anne-Frank-Realschule (secondary modern). Opening 20 Uhr 3.11., Bochumer Kulturrat, (D)
2007 (23.3.) On the online Femi­nist Art Base: www​.brook​lyn​mu​seum​.org…
Who’s Boss: Art Prize No.4, The Eliz­a­beth A. Sackler Center for Femi­nist Art, The Brooklyn Museum, New York (USA)
2007 (4. – 7.4) Who’s Boss power point presen­ta­tion Saturday, April 7th, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m., Salon K , Fashion, Appear­ance and Consumer Iden­tity, Popular Culture Asso­ci­a­tion, Thirty-seventh Annual Meeting, Boston Marriott, Boston (USA) www​.popu​lar​cul​ture​.org…
2008 (16. – 18.5) Who’s Boss power point presen­ta­tion in German, Limmud-Festival Werbellinsee (Jugen­der­hol­ungs- und Begeg­nungsstätte) www​.limmud​.de/​2008_en/… (D)
2014 (13.2. – 21.4) Art Prize no. 4 presented on panels in Tanya Ury’s Hair Shirt Army instal­la­tion, in the crypt vault of EL-DE-Haus, the Nazi Docu­men­ta­tion Centre, Cologne (D)

Publi­ca­tions & Press

2019 (12) Tanya Ury’s artworks are discussed, as well as those of several other German artists, by Peter Chametzky, with images of lesser is me more or less, Who’s Boss: Röslein Sprach…, Who’s Boss: Art Prize Nr.4, and Who’s Boss: Hair Shirt Army (photo docu­men­ta­tion, at the exhi­bi­tion opening in EL-DE-Haus 2014, Cologne, by Peter Chametzky), in “’Turks, Jews, and Other Germans in Contem­po­rary Art’: An Intro­duc­tion,” The Mass­a­chu­setts Review (60th Anniver­sary Issue), vol. 604 (Winter 2019): p. 655 – 681. mass​re​view​.org/​s​i​tes/d… (USA)

Artist’s Writ­ings & Publications

2005 Stets gern für Sie beschäftigt…” (”Always glad to be of service…”) cata­logue, ifa Galerie, Berlin (D)
2006 (5.2006) Images Art Prize in Jahre­sausstel­lung (yearly exhi­bi­tion) cata­logue, Kunstverein Rosen­heim (Art Centre), (D)
2006 (1418.6) Who’s Boss as archival mate­rial, Performing Rights Library a four-day confer­ence and accom­pa­nying programme of live events Perfor­mance Studies inter­na­tional (PSi) #12: Performing Rights, Queen Mary, Univer­sity of London (GB)
2006 (28.8. – 3.9) Who’s Boss as Seminar presen­ta­tion, c.sides Festival, Inter­na­tional Conven­tion Center, Jerusalem (IL)
2007 (7) Andy Warhol Bursary for publi­ca­tion of Who’s Boss article in Translate/​Narrate issue, volume 20, n.paradoxa, Inter­na­tional Femi­nist Art Journal, London (GB) http://​web​.ukon​line​.co​.uk/​n​.​p​a​r​a​d​o​x​a​/​#​c​u​rrent

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