Year of production:
1 Kilo pure silver
In 2001, Ted Noten was commissioned to design a trophy for the winners of the City of Amsterdam’s annual art prizes, awarded by the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts. Writers, dancers, designers, visual artists, architects and musicians were all eligible for these prizes, as long as Amsterdam was the base of their professional activities. Noten’s design seems to be a commentary on the assignment, in several respects. First of all, the proposal to hang 1 kg of silver around every winner’s neck could almost be interpreted as a refusal to design. Noten was thinking of his own difficult financial situation as an artist. Why design a delicate brooch or symbolic ring, when instead he could offer the winners a reward with real monetary value, one that they could exchange for hard cash at any time? But at the same time, the trophy forms a reflection on the laureate’s role. The prize is not only an honour; it also brings a heavy burden of responsibility. The 2001 winners experienced that burden physically when they each had a kilogram of silver hung around their neck during the ceremony.