The Hammer Museum announced the recipients of the Mohn Awards presented in conjunction with Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only, organized by Hammer curator Aram Moshayedi and Hamza Walker, director of education and associate curator, Renaissance Society. Fine Arts faculty member, Adam Linder, a dancer and choreographer, will receive the $100,000 Mohn Award honoring artistic excellence as well as a monograph produced by the Hammer and alumnus Kenzi Shiokava ('74 MFA) will receive the $25,000 Public Recognition Award. The $25,000 Career Achievement Award honoring brilliance and resilience went to jazz performer and composer Wadada Leo Smith.
Adam Linder is a choreographer based between Berlin and Los Angeles, working both in theatre and visual art contexts. He has been developing a dance based format he calls Choreographic Services since 2013. This aspect of his work is focused on underscoring real time and economic conditions that are integral to the discipline of choreography. At Otis College, Linder introduced this format both conceptually and practically, discussing why 'servicing' is the relevant way for his work to publicly engage. “It’s a big deal,” the performer told the LA Times. “[Dance] is definitely not at the top of the disciplinary pinnacle in [museums]. ... But I think performance and dance have had a resurgent invitation into the visual arts and museological practice in the last decade to two decades.” Kein Paradiso is a choreography for three performers: Adam Linder, Jennie Mary Tai Liu, and Stephen Thompson. Situated within a visually abstract scenario, the performers try to find their way back to distinctions of representation and away from the universalism inherited from the lineages of modern and postmodern dance.
Kenzi Shiokava’s ('74 MFA) work includes elegantly carved wood totems and assemblages of plastic figurines. Together, these very different sculptural practices bookend a narrative spanning more than 50 years. Born in Brazil, Shiokava is ethnically Japanese, and his work embodies a cultural hybridity played out in the distinction between his wood and macramé totems, which he says represent, respectively, the Japanese and Brazilian sides of himself. The 78-year-old artist told the LA Times, “What’s always kept me going is people coming to my studio and enjoying the work, but now I know my work will have a legacy. My work will live.”
Image: A scene from "Klein Paradiso," a performance choreographed by Adam Linder at the Hammer Museum. (Shahryar Nashat)