The Drempelprijs have been awarded annually since 1962 by the Municipality of Rotterdam (Gemeente Rotterdam) to one or more graduates of the Willem de Kooning Academy. Originally, the prize was awarded only to fine art graduates; since 1968 applied arts graduates have also been eligible. The prize is an incentive award, with a nice sum of money: € 5,000. In the WdKA’s new curriculum, the traditional distinction between fine art and applied work is no longer considered relevant. Since 2014, the Drempelprijs is awarded to students within the three graduation profiles: Autonomous, Social and Commercial Practices. On Friday, July the 6th, the Drempelprijs Award ceremony took place at de Willem, the café of our Academy.
And the winners are:
Robert-Jonathan Koeyers (Here)
"In his experimental poem ‘I wouldn't want to be anywhere else but here’ Robert-Jonathan Koeyers invites the viewer to embody the black body. The work can be positioned in different localities, and in the Dutch context, it would both be thought-provoking and inspiring. The work is made from the heart and connects the personal to the political and Robert-Jonathan showed his vulnerability in the process of creating this work. Robert-Jonathan did extensive research, talked to activists and other people and the result is a consistent, poetic, visuals and sonic experience. There is a lot of potential for Robert-Jonathan when he continues connecting his work to the discourse of diversity and decolonization. We are excited to see you building a network and claiming your space as an animator and artist. We encourage you the bring this installation in new contexts out of the art school and to experiment with the curatorial aspects of your installation." Full jury report will be published next week.
Jury Autonomous Practices: Mitchell Esajas (The Black Archives) - chairman, Levien Nordeman (WdKA) - secretary, Jessy Koeiman (alumnus 2017, recent Curator Collective Learning at WdW), Natalia Sorzano (Ghost).
"Camie's enquiry was 'How can I contribute to new ways of dealing with visual information? Can I develop an aid that will help overcome our collectively shared struggle, the trouble with staying focused?' She combined her background as a graphic designer with the code-writing and interactive skills and came up with her own software that registers users' online behaviour with the help of eye-tracking hardware and aims to alter this behaviour. The jury admires Camie's extensive research, both scientific and focused on implementation as well as on the users, hardware and digital craft. Camie has entered an exciting field of yet to be developed graphic interfaces based on neurological research." Full jury report will be published next week.
Jury Commercial Practices: Marina Toeters (by-wire.net) - chairman, Dirk Vis (WdKA) - secretary, Janjoost Jullens (Wolfpack), Susan Bijl (SUSAN BIJL), Rufus Ketting (Natwerk).
Marieke Widlak (Now of Never Again)
"The choice to make a film was not an obvious one. Marieke is educated to be a spatial designer, but has made a film for her graduation project and chose to follow her own path. With this Marieke shows that she can look across the boundaries of disciplines and take the story she wants to tell as a starting point. Marieke also shows this transcending quality in earlier work, in which she uses audio to discuss the politically loaded theme of feeling at home." Full jury report will be published next week.
Jury Social Practices: Tabo Goudswaard (Studio Goudswaard) – chairman, Boo van der Vlist (WdKA) - secretary, Sabrina Lindemann (OpTrek), Anne van der Zwaag (Object Rotterdam).
View this year's nominees here. Would like to visit and see it all for yourself? Check out the Graduation Show 2018 programme.