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Istvan Kantor


Perhaps the most important aspect of the Acker Awards is its complete independence from institutional and corporate sponsorship. The Acker Awards Toronto is managed by a small group of artist organizers, including a selection committee and a couple of co-directors. All work is voluntarily done and independently financed by the organizers. Not only do we want to reflect the intellectual and theoretical beliefs of Kathy Acker, but we want to make sure that we represent a community of creators and not an office of administrators.


The award itself, a box, represents well this leading idea: it is not a trophy or a medal, it is not money either; it is a box of items contributed by the artist-recipients. The concept of the Acker Box was conceived by Clayton Patterson, New York initiator of the Acker Awards. Of course, it’s not just any box. It’s a beautiful art object that includes inside a collection of artworks, all made by the recipients themselves. I can’t imagine a more creative way of celebrating artists whose work catered to the most innovative, experimental, and visionary ideas for the local and international art community during the

past four decades. The Acker Box is a time capsule of cultural production that reminds us of the accomplishments of a whole generation of artists.


The Acker Award is the voice of the art community, and not produced by a bureaucratic agency, nor by a commercial business establishment. We chose for it to be this way and we intend to keep it this way.

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