The Baloise Art Prize has been awarded to Simon Denny from New Zealand and Karsten Födinger from Germany.
The two prizes of CHF 30,000.- of each will be presented at the "Art Statements" sector of Art Basel by a jury of international experts. 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.
This year's jury includes: Brigitte Kölle, Director, Galerie der Gegenwart, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg; Karola Kraus, Director, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna; Thomas Koerfer, Director and Producer, President Board of Trustees, Fotomuseum Winterthur; Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director, Serpentine Gallery, London and Martin Schwander, Fine Art Advisor of the Baloise, Chairman of the jury.The jury characterizes the work of the award winners as follows:
'Simon Denny investigates the changing role of the media and television in an age of rapid technological progress. In his large-scale installation Channel Document, he addresses the restructuring of the media and its social consequences. At the core of his work is the threatened existence of the television channel TVNZ 7, whose objective is to provide non-commercial, digitally broadcast programmes on current affairs. State funding of the channel has been cut off and despite numerous public petitions, the end seems inevitable. The artist has commissioned a documentary on the redesign of New Zealand's passport that marks the last step in the time-line of the channel. The video, which follows the structure and style characteristic of TVNZ 7, is screened on Samsung's latest flatscreen monitor.'
'Karsten Födinger is a sculptor whose site-specific works make no attempt to conceal the character of the buildings and their imperfections. Often constructed out of simple building materials, his works are visual embodiments of physical forces. A cross between architecture and sculpture, they are informed with the tension between stasis and movement, diagonal and horizontal, mass and void. The piece on view at Art Statements makes reference to a historic event in Basel: the cataclysmic earthquake of 1356. Födinger„s sculptural intervention of horizontal and vertical wooden beams both stabilizes and obstructs the interior of the art fair stand, creating a paradoxical spatial configuration.'