Awardee: Lucien Castaing-Taylor

Moving Image, 2012

Lucien Castaing-Taylor’s work seeks to conjugate art’s negative capability with an ethnographic attachment to the flux of life. His work is in the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the British Museum, and has been exhibited at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Centre Pompidou, the Berlin Kunsthalle, Marian Goodman Gallery and elsewhere, and has formed the subject of symposia at the Smithsonian Institution, the Musée du quai Branly and the British Museum. His films and videos have screened at the Berlin, Locarno, New York and Toronto film festivals, as well as at the Viennale, Punto de Vista and the Flaherty seminar. Recent films include Sweetgrass (with Ilisa Barbash, 2009), a non-sentimental elegy to the American West, and Leviathan (with Véréna Paravel, 2012), a film about fishing and the sea. Leviathan is the winner of the 2012 FIPRESCI (International Film Critics) Award and a FICC/IFFS (International Federation of Film Societies) Don Quixote Award Special Mention. He and Paravel are currently at work on a series of pelagic paintings and photographs set in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Castaing-Taylor is Director of Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab and Film Study Center.

Project: Leviathan

In the very waters where Melville’s Pequod gave chase to Moby Dick, Leviathan captures the collaborative clash of man, nature and machine. Shot on a dozen cameras—tossed and tethered, passed from fisherman to filmmaker—it is a cosmic portrait of one of mankind’s oldest endeavors.