Switzerland - Basel - Baloise Art Prize - Geert Goiris15/06/2009
SWITZERLAND - BASEL - BALOISE ART PRIZE - GEERT GOIRIS
For the 11th time, the Baloise Group has the pleasure of awarding the Baloise Art Prize at Art 40 Basel. The two prizes of CHF 30,000, has been awarded to Geert Goiris from Belgium and Nina Canell from Sweden.
The prize includes the acquisition by Baloise of a group of works by the award winners, which are donated to two important museums in Europe: the Hamburger Kunsthalle and the MUMOK, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna.
The jury characterizes the work of the award winners as follows:
Geert Goiris (1971°, lives and work in Antwerp, Belgium) collects images of remote places, abandoned buildings or inexplicable situations. The border experiences that he records in his photographs are clear and composed without digital manipulation. In his new installation "Whiteout", both subject matter and the form of presentation are devoted to light and therefore to the essence of photography. "Whiteout" is a polar weather condition in which too many crystals in the air cause a complete loss of orientation.
Goiris arranges his b/w photographs of exceptional lighting conditions to generate a sense of whiteout, which he then counteracts by combining them with colour photographs of familiar phenomena like containers, ships and residents of the polar station.
At first sight, Nina Canell's installation appears to be a more or less random composition of materials, devices, found pieces and everyday objects - a workshop? Closer inspection reveals that the items engage in a subtle dialogue and complex forms of interaction. Animated with the help of physics and above all electricity, they mutate from being objects into an overall event; they acquire a life of their own that is full of hidden surprises and unsettling variations on our customary experience of them.
The banality of the selected artefacts stands in contrast to the basic sculptural questions that Canell raises in her installation, only to undermine them with irony and wit.
This year's jury included: Sabrina van der Ley, Director of the Gallery of Contemporary Art, Hamburger Kunsthalle; Philipp Kaiser, Curator of MOCA, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Professor Edelbert Köb, Director of the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna;Walter Vanhaerents, VanhaerentsArtCollection, Brussels and Martin Schwander, Baloise art consultant and chairman of the jury.