Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center (BMCM+AC)
awards the inaugural BMC Prize to Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, and Hesam Rahmanian
Following an extensive search across disciplines, BMC Prize nominators Peter Cole, Hedy Fischer, Kelly Kivland, Ralph Lemon, Abaseh Mirvali, and Randy Shull selected Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, Hesam Rahmanian as the inaugural recipients of the $20,000 annual grant for international or national artists working in the spirit of Black Mountain College (1933-1957).
BMC Prize artists have the opportunity to develop their practice in a context that is rich with artistic and cultural significance and ongoing contemporary relevance through a guided site visit to the historic Black Mountain College campus at Lake Eden with BMCM+AC staff, transportation to Asheville, and a four-day stay to spend time at BMCM+AC, with a tour of the exhibitions and archival support at the museum and neighboring Western Regional Archives.
Origins of the Prize
Black Mountain College (BMC) was a uniquely global college, with ideas and ideals grounded in worldviews that extend beyond the Western canon. In the same way, the legacy of the college has taken root across the globe, evolving and expanding to encompass disparate identities and forms of expression. BMCM+AC is dedicated to preserving the history of BMC as well as facilitating new work through collaboration with contemporary artists. As we advance this mission, we are privileged to have a blueprint set forth by Black Mountain College that valued the greater good, experimentation, and accountability. Funded by cultural pollinators Hedy Fischer and Randy Shull, The BMC Prize will allow BMCM+AC to continue on this path by building relationships and creating an impact with intention by supporting the creation of new work by the most innovative artists working within the BMC tradition today. The BMC Prize reflects the spirit of Black Mountain College as a place conducive to experimentation, where global social movements, communitarian efforts, and process-based practice flourished.
About the 2022 BMC Prize Awarded Artists: Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, and Hesam Rahmanian.
Over the past few decades, Ramin, Rokni, and Hesam have shared a life philosophy that has allowed for mutual creation, during which their individual practices interact with their collaborative ones and which is informed by the understanding and technical skills of other people. From the dialogues they build among themselves and with other artists, friends, and collaborators, these artists have established a personal language that has enabled them to present different layers of content and texture in their work.
Aware that their practice does not only encompass what they do but also the contributions of other individuals, from other artists, carpenters, technicians, thinkers, and caretakers to everyone else who is involved in the making of a project, these artists refuse the concept of the genius Artist. They prefer to acknowledge everyone who becomes part of their working process, as they believe that through their individual participation, everyone, collaboratively, creates a shared environment and a unique sensibility that enables them to coexist while contributing to the making of something new. Thus, a main element of their practice is human labor, including theirs, as well as a working process that involves the inclusion of different opinions, discussing and considering opposing perspectives and approaches, and mainly, experimenting with a wide range of possibilities.
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