About 2020

Introduction

Welcome to the Smash the Narrative project. The purpose of this project is to use art to promote public discussion around major political and social issues. Every two years we award a prize for art relating to a specific topic.

Last year’s theme was alternative interpretations of nationality, “Alter-Nation”. We had over 100 entries from around the world. The top twenty artists were showcased in a month long special exhibition at GO Gallery Amsterdam. The top three artists were awarded prizes of €2,500, €1,000 and €500.

This years theme is titled “You can’t paint that!“. The topic is taboo and censorship. This is an important issue at the moment with governments, educational institutions and big tech companies taking it upon themselves to decide which ideas can and can’t be discussed. We would like to encourage artists to think about what it feels like to be told they should avoid expressing certain ideas or alternatively the necessity of limiting creative and intellectual expression to avoid causing offence.

Why Smash the Narrative?

Narratives are the stories which we use to make sense of the world. But the same set of objective facts about a series of event will be interpreted as radically different stories by different groups of people. It is all too easy to become complacent and take the narratives we hear in the media or from the people around us at face value. The purpose of this project it to challenge popular narratives and encourage people to question the way they view the world.

This art prize is designed to encourage artists to examine evolving notions related to national identity in the current year and express them through their work in a manner that can have an impact on the the general public. Artists are encouraged to push the boundaries of discourse and create work that is leads to viewer to look at life in a way they had never considered before.

Contact

info@smashthenarrative.com

Mailing list

Sign up for important anoucements about the next edition of the prize.

About Application 2020

Applications are now open!

Theme

“You can’t paint that!”

Freedom of expression and censorship in the modern age.

Prize

  • 1st prize €2,500 cash
  • 2nd prize €1,000 cash
  • 3rd prize (audience choice) €500 art materials

Top 25 submissions will be displayed in a month long gallery show in NSDM Fuse Gallery, Amsterdam in Spring 2020.

Cost of entry: Free

Entry opens: 1st August 2019
Entry closes: 31st December 2019

Gallery exhibition: 7th March 2020

Overview

This art prize is designed to encourage artists to examine notions relating to freedom of expression, taboo an censorship. We hope artists can use their works to express their ideas and feelings to the audience on a deep and personal level. Artists are encouraged to push the boundaries of discourse and create work that is leads to viewer to look at life in a way they had never considered before.

Motivation for Project

Narratives are the stories which we use to make sense of the world. But the same set of objective facts about a series of event will be interpreted as radically different stories by different groups of people. It is all too easy to become complacent and take the narratives we hear in the media or from the people around us at face value. The purpose of this project it to challenge popular narratives and encourage people to question the way they view the world.

Example themes

What went wrong with the internet that seemed like it was ushering in a new era of free expression, but now huge corporations control what can and can’t be said and one “incorrect” sentence to a friend online can make you lose your job or even go to prison? What are the taboos in your family that need to be broken? Is graphic sex really more unacceptable than graphic violence ? Do some marginalised communities face such hardship that they require special protection from criticism and ridicule?

Judging

The prize will be judged by a panel consisting of James Flames (sponsor) and Julia Filament (artist & organiser).

The following criteria will be used to judge the works:

  • Relevance to theme
  • Originality
  • Though provoking nature

Requirements

  • Everyone can apply to the exhibition who is able to deliver art to the exhibition to Amsterdam (if selected and invited) and attend to the opening of the exhibition (or to have a representative there). Works must be delivered by hand. International courier deliveries will not be accepted.
  • Almost all types of art can take part in the art prize (including painting, drawing, mixed media, sculpture, installation, photo excluding performance and video art).
  • Paintings should take up total wall space no greater than 3m x 3m. Please be aware that the venue is upstairs and very larger sculptures may be inappropriate.
  • The year of the artwork creation has to be not earlier than 2017, but we encourage artists to create new pieces for the prize.
  • Artist can apply through the Application form (which will be provided on the webpage of the Art Prize).
  • Information provided by the artist in the application (information about the artist, work description, contact information) will be used for communication (presentation online and in documentation).
  • By applying, artists agree that they can deliver their art to the exhibition in Amsterdam and be present at the opening event of the exhibition.
  • The completed application form will only be accepted if the artist abides by these terms. The application will be considered for selection only if it is filled properly and artwork photo is attached.
  • The quality of the photo for the application has to be 1000×1000 px minimum, more than 72 dpi (upload via form – please encode as jpg)
  • The art must be delivered to the gallery ready to hang. All additional stands and hanging elements on the back of painting have to be provided by the artist.
  • Artist is responsible for delivery and taking away of the work.
  • Collaborative entries are allowed
  • Insurance will be provided by the organisation
  • 10% commission is charged by the gallery if the work is sold