The 10 laureates of the 2014 Swiss Art Prize have just been announced, and we’d like to give you a brief introduction to each of their work on show. Out of the 46 artists, 4 architects, and 18 critics and curators selected from 460 entries, the Swiss Art Prize was awarded to:
Carmen Weisskopf (1976 from BL, lives in Zurich) and Domagoj Smoljo (1979 from SG, lives in Zurich)
“Delivery For Mr. Assange” was premiered online, in real time. it is an installation work that renders visible the delivery process of a real package from the sender to its recipient, wikileaks founder Assange, who has sought diplomatic asylum in the Embassy of Ecuador in London. !Mediengruppe Bitnik brilliantly bridges online and offline, or virtual and IRL experiences in this installation, which is an emerging topic to the media art discourse. The collective, who refer to themselves as hackers, thus manage to provide an exemplary solution to the central question of how to display a theme through artistic means — especially when it concerns such pressing current socio-political issues as transparency, basic right to privacy, and digital security.
Vanessa Billy (1978, from GE, lives in Zurich)
In her sculptural work, Vanessa Billy scrutinizes themes surrounding the social and industrial exploitation of resources. The artist uses different everyday materials and found objects such as vitamin pills or batteries, but also traditional art materials such as bronze, gesso and resin. in the installation-like presentation of her works, billy aptly and successfully reveals the complex and contradictory relationship our society, which is driven by innovation and scientific research, has towards the environment.
Kim Seob Boninsegni (1974, from TI, lives in Genf)
Kim Seob Boninsegni’s ambitious work “Kids who eat dirt are called kids. but when adults eat dirt, it’s called geophagy” is a spatial installation that incorporates sculptures, drawings, readymades and texts. The work constitutes a complex system of references, and is based on the legend of the kaolin rich “White Dirt” stone found mostly in the American south, and mined there. in a straightforward, nonchalant manner, boninsegni manages to convey a socio-economic phenomenon using original mythology, and thus touch on relevant social questions.
Claudia Comte (1983, from VD, lives in Berlin)
In her work “Sharp Sharp ii, or the unexpected black anese” Claudia Comte combines established art traditions like painting, sculpture and museum display elements into one comprehensive installation whose disparate parts reference each other. The motif of the mural for instance – a square – appears elsewhere as a pattern cut out with a chainsaw from the surfaces that define the space. These then create the effect of a cabinet, and double as plinths for the sculptures. The expansive installation evinces the artist’s precision in working with space and compels through its playful implementation and new interpretations of art historical vocabulary, and that of folklore.
Emilie Ding (1981, from FR, lives in Berlin)
“The Very tone Of Things to Come / Ghost in A hole” by Emilie Ding is the first in a trilogy of installations shown in disparate temporary sites, and which – in this case – address the topos of an art fair. The viewer is surrounded by wooden panels overlaid with concrete, all resting on their sides. The force inherent to these spatial conditions stands in stark contrast to the mystery of the signs covering the walls. These monumental mythologies thus become a memorial for the very site in which they linger. with her highly economical and efficient handling of her resources, Ding reveals the connections existing between architecture and the stories that reside in it, or that evolve from it.
Emanuel Rossetti (1987, from SG, lives in Basel)
The installation “gallery bells” by Emanuel Rossetti, whose work draws on collaborations and collective strategies, is as visually reserved as it is aurally pervasive. Several connected rings sound in what appears to be a random sequence, in a reference to a 1950s work by artist Atsuko tanaka, while a text by artist georgia Sagri is mounted where usually, in art fairs, the name of the exhibiting gallery would appear. The work evokes a different, imaginary room and thus probes the space’s function. This polarizing work compels through its versatility and the economical way in which it challenges the categories and rules of the art market.
Andreas Hochuli (1982, from AG, lives in Leipzig)
Andreas Hochuli’s pictures explore communal and individual questions of social coexistence, and navigate the conflicting priorities of the analogue and the digital. he manipulates his motifs digitally; with the simple effects of common image processing programs he complies and arranges them. however, he transfers his compositions into paintings using excessively wrought templates and taping techniques. The resulting distinct pictures, into which he also often integrates texts, are reminiscent of everyday ephemera and schematic representations. They leave a lasting impression and are a confident argument for painting in the digital age.
Jules Spinatsch (1964, from GR, lives in Zurich)
The works of Jules Spinatsch pursue the historic traces of nuclear technology, which he explores with the possibilities available to the medium of photography. Through formal stylistic means, he successfully records the industrial and social implications accompanying this specific history. using computer controlled serial photography, the artist creates a kaleidoscopic image that provides a unique view into the core of an atomic reactor.
CKÖ (live and work in Zurich)
The accessible room-within-a-room installation, “The white Cube”, is skillfully transformed into an inaccessible object. The slanted segment of the spatial construct leans against a massive substructure and appears, in contrast, light and provisional. The deep engagement with materiality, construction, accessibility or even functionality helps to render this object enthralling.
Emilie Bujès (1980 , from France and FR, lives in Geneva)
Emilie Bujès is an art historian specializing in film and video art – a focus which provides her with a unique status as curator working in Switzerland. She developed exhibitions and video programs for the Centre d’art contemporain Genève, the film festival Lausanne underground (LuFF) or the project space Forde. Through her work on the selection committees of different film festivals in Switzerland and internationally, she contributes greatly to bringing visual art to the world of the moving image. her open and interdisciplinary approach enriches the visual art sector and the people involved in it.
The exhibition Swiss Art Awards is part of Switzerland’s oldest and most renowned art competition – the Schweizer Kunstwettbewerb (Swiss Art Competition) by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture. First held in 1899, it evolved into a prestigious national prize competition. By presenting a selection of current works of the Swiss art scene on an annual basis the exhibition offers insight into current art and architecture being made in Switzerland, while also showing the vibrancy and diversity of the contemporary art scene.