Exhibition — Oct 14, 2023 until Mar 3, 2024

Visual artist Jonas Staal is the winner of the Prix de Rome Visual Arts 2023. Josefin Arnell, Ghita Skali and Michael Tedja were the other nominated artists. The Prix de Rome jury has selected these four artists for the shortlist for the prestigious incentive award for talented visual artists. The shortlist was announced by the Mondriaan Fund, which organises and finances the Prix de Rome award.

The four nominees receive a working budget to create new work, which go on display at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The jury has selected Jonas Staal as the ultimate winner based on the new work. 

Read more about the ceremony

Ghita Skali 

Ghita Skali (Casablanca, Morocco, 1992, lives and works in Amsterdam

Ghita Skali has a multidisciplinary practice that encompasses installations, videos and interventions. Ghita uses odd news, rumors and propaganda to disrupt institutional power structures, such as the Western contemporary art world, state oppression and government politics. Her work blends humor and critique, and reaches beyond the art world.

In her work, Ghita Skali criticizes the selection procedure of the art prizes and of the Prix de Rome in particular. Until mid-20th century, participants were required to pass an exam at the Rijksakademie (State Academy of Fine Arts) behind closed doors. The sequestered artists were receiving food and materials through hatches in the door. One such doors features in Skali’s work for the Prix de Rome 2023. To the artist, it symbolizes the ostensible appearance of equal opportunities behind art prizes, whereas this system is exclusionary and discriminatory.

Ghita Skali. Photo: Henna Hyvärinen


pamphlet’s design: Roxanne Maillet
production research: Dana Claansen
scent developed by International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF)
scent mechanism: Jorg Hempenius – Iscent
pamphlet stamper: Nolwenn Vuillier
research assistant: Yuval Danon

Jonas Staal. Photo: Ruben Hamelink

Jonas Staal 

Jonas Staal (Zwolle, the Netherlands, 1981, lives and works in Rotterdam)

In his work, Jonas Staal explores the relationship between art, democracy and propaganda. The artist analyses and questions the world of today, and its dominant power regimes. Using artistic and theoretical manifestations—including public interventions, exhibitions, video studies and publications—Staal simultaneously aims to contribute to the propagation of alternative solidary worlds.

For the Prix de Rome 2023, Jonas Staal continues his artistic exploration of (neo)colonial propaganda through the centuries. He focuses on Ascension, a volcanic island in the Atlantic Ocean. Staal uses video, a sculptural model and a diary from 1728 to explain how the island was formed by colonial, industrial and exploitative power structures; from an open-air prison for an exiled Dutch East India Company crew member to the geoengineering of the ecosystem and the construction of satellite dishes for planetary surveillance.


Project team: Jonas Staal (artist and director)
James Bridle (narrator)
Mihnea Mircan (script advisor)
Ruben Hamelink (camera, editing and soundscape)
Kostas Ekelon (voiceover recording)
Joost Huijzer (model)
Paul Kuiper (installation design)
Tom Estrera III (animation)
Isabelle Sully (script editor)
Veerle Driessen (assistance archival research, production and coordination)
Ernie Buts (image adjustments)

  • photo of work Michael Tedja for Prix de Rome
    Michael Tedja for Prix de Rome 2023. Photo: Johannes Schwartz
  • photo of work Josefin Arnell for Prix de Rome
    Josefin Arnell for Prix de Rome 2023. Photo: Johannes Schwartz
  • photo of entrance work Josefin Arnell for Prix de Rome
    Josefin Arnell for Prix de Rome 2023. Photo: Johannes Schwartz
  • photo of work Jonas Staal for Prix de Rome
    Jonas Staal for Prix de Rome 2023. Photo: Johannes Schwartz

Josefin Arnell 

Josefin Arnell (Ljusnedal, Sweden, 1984, lives and works in Amsterdam)

Josefin Arnell’s primary medium is film, but she often diverges into physical disciplines including drawing, performance and installation art. Her work straddles the boundary between documentary and fiction, with protagonists finding their way in a contemporary world with impossible demands. Josefin often uses personages without acting experience in her films, capturing the rawness of unattainable desire, perfectionism and control.

For the Prix de Rome 2023, Josefin Arnell is working with visitors and staff at the Amsterdam community centre De Witte Boei to create a film in which fantasy and fiction pierce through everyday life. In the context of housing shortages and welfare cuts, Arnell questions what it means to be a ‘good’ citizen. The artist uses storytelling to fire the visitor’s imagination and highlight the reality of life in the neighborhood.

Josefin Arnell. Photo: Lukas Heistinger
Michael Tedja. Photo: Miek Hoekzema

Michael Tedja

Michael Tedja (Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 1971, lives and works in Amsterdam)

Michael Tedja has a multidisciplinary practice that combines images and text in paintings, drawings, poetry and installations. His work is expressive and conceptual at the same time. It is bursting with symbolism and autobiographical elements. Michael’s work often takes the form of a series, either intimate or monumental in size. Unexpected elements of collage and assemblage frequently return in his work.

Michael Tedja challenges the visitor’s intellect and calls for a discussion of the development of contemporary art in the context of globalisation. For the Prix de Rome 2023, the artist creates 2 works: a 60-piece painting ‘How to study the sea poetically’ and ‘Vertical reality’, in which 232 paintings come together in the form of a book. Tedja’s autonomous paintings are at the interface between poetry and philosophy. They were created by De Aquaholist in Het Holarium, a fictional character and a fictional space, which the artist created in 2000.

The jury selected Skali, Staal, Arnell and Tedja from 321 artists who registered for the award. In a change to previous editions, no age limit was in place for applicants. The jury believes that each nominee shows great promise for the future. The selection of artists made in the framework of this edition stresses the idea that artistic relevance and urgency does not only depend on the development of new, unexpected ideas proposed by hitherto unknown artists but can also be found in a consistent artistic practice that is seen or shown in a new light and a changing context.


The members of the Prix de Rome Visual Arts 2023 jury are: Ann Demeester (Director of Kunsthaus Zürich), Ahmet Polat (photographer and filmmaker; founder and Director of Studio Polat), Robbert Roos (Director of Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort), Femke Herregraven (visual artist and 2019 nominee), Christina Li (freelance curator and writer) and Eelco van der Lingen (Director of the Mondriaan Fund), who is the non-voting Chair.

About the Prix de Rome

The Prix de Rome is the pre-eminent incentive award for talented visual artists from the Netherlands and/or the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The aim of the Prix de Rome is to stimulate the development of highly talented artists and to boost their visibility, thereby ensuring that the visual art field remains topical. The Mondriaan Fund has organised and financed the award since 2012. The Prix de Rome Visual Arts 2023 is being organised in collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. An accompanying publication will also be produced.

  • logo Mondriaan Fund

Prix de Rome Visual Arts 2023

14 Oct 2023 until 3 Mar 2024

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