The winner of the LICHTER Art Award 2016

The artist and filmmaker James N. Kienitz Wilkins living in Brooklyn, New York City, has been awarded the LICHTER Art Award 2016 for his film “B-ROLL with Andre” (2015). Up until 3. April all five finalists of the competition for contemporary video art will be exhibited at Naxoshalle in Frankfurt. The awardee and the finalists Sita Scherer and Tina Schönfelder will be guests at the LICHTER Art Talk with curator Saul Judd (likewise at Naxoshalle).

“B-ROLL with Andre” is the third part of James N. Kienitz Wilkins’s “Andre” Trilogy, originated in 2014 and 2015. The absent figure Andre is at the center of the films. The phantom from the artist’s real dreams becomes palpable through statements and descriptions of other characters. In “B-ROLL with Andre,” the voices of Andre’s former fellow prisoners paint a picture of the jailbird as a visionary guru and philosopher. Filmmaker Wilkins himself is simultaneously present and absent in his role as invisible interviewer.

“Wilkins uses humor and clichés in order to visualize stereotypes. Thereby he questions the development of the modern humankind in a capitalist society. In his work, he draws on a number of new film technologies and explores the possibilities of contemporary art by using Stop Motion, GoPros, CCTV, Google Earth, Google Street View, and Smartphones. In his work, Wilkins brings into question all our dependence on images and criticizes this development in his own language.” So the explanation of the jury.

James N. Kienitz Wilkins was born in 1983. He attended the Cooper Union School of Art. His works have been shown at a number of international film festivals, including the New York Film Festival, the International Experimental Film and Video Festival 25FPS in Zagreb, the Ann Arbor Film Festival and the International Film Festival Rotterdam. At LICHTER, “B-ROLL with Andre” celebrates its German premiere.

The LICHTER Art Award includes prize money of one thousand Euros. In 2016, the jury consists of curator and author Vivien Trommer, curator of the art gallery Portikus Fabian Schöneich, as well as head curator of the LICHTER Art Award Saul Judd. In addition to the awardee, for the exhibition the jury has chosen the following finalists out of more than eighty applicants:

  • *Zanny Begg (AU) // 1001 Nights in Fairfield, 2015
  • *Fabiano Mixo (D/BR) // Woman without Mandolin, 2015
  • *Yalitsa Riden (CDN) // Shoreline, 2015
  • *Sita Scherer und Tina Schönfelder (D) // Ansichten, 2015


At LICHTER Art Talk, head curator of the LICHTER Art Award, Saul Judd, discusses the artworks of awardee James N. Kienitz Wilkins and finalists Sita Scherer and Tina Schönfelder together with the artists. This discussion is also about questions on the art market and various exhibition formats at festivals, galleries, on TV or on the Internet.

The LICHTER Art Award

The LICHTER Art Award is an international competition for contemporary video and film art. Now for the sixth time, it will be awarded as part of the LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International. The LICHTER Art Award presents new and multifaceted video works in the area of visual arts. Previous awardees are Jonathan Van Essche (Belgium), Oliver Husain (Germany/Canada), Luciana Lamothe (Argentina), John Skoog (Sweden), and Bertrand Flanet (France).

Further information