John Skoog awarded the Baloise Art Prize 2014

Swedish artist John Skoog has been awarded the Baloise Art Prize 2014, given as part of Art Basel. The artist, aged 29, received the accolade for his installation Reduit (Redoubt) (2014), presented by London-based gallery Pilar Corrias. The work is a video of an abandoned Swedish bunker, the remains of which are shown in one continuous tracking shot, with three photographic prints produced from handheld scans of the building’s surface. Skoog receives CHF30,000, and two of his works are to be acquired by the Baloise Group and given to the MMK (Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt) and to MUMOK (Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna). The jury for this edition of the prize included Karola Kraus (director MUMOK), Susanne Gaensheimer (director of MMK), Dirk Snauwaert (artistic director of WIELS, Contemporary Art Centre in Brussels), and Martin Schwander (Fine Art advisor, president of the jury).  ...

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Divine Comedy at MMK

Frankfurt, 18 March 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA). From 21 March to 27 July 2014 Frankfurt’s Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK) is to present the exhibition “The Divine Comedy, Heaven, Hell, Purgatory Revisited by Contemporary African Artists”. Curated by Simon Njami, the exhibition is to occupy 4,500 m2 of space across three floors: heaven, hell and purgatory are individually represented, leading the visitor through the various floors as through the stages described in the 14th-century epic. The exhibition matches this vast space with an equally generous pool of around fifty African artists, whose artistic offering has its foundation in around twenty countries on the African continent. The participating artists explore the individual thematic sequences of the Divine Comedy in the context of their own cultural and religious backgrounds, exploring ideas which are ever-present in modern society. The exhibition aims to situate the main themes of the epic in a transnational contemporary context, giving life to the idea that Dante’s vision is applicable to an incredibly diverse mix of cultures and religions. Straying from the frequently addressed postcolonial context of African art exhibitions, MMK is keen to show the aesthetic importance of the genre. Rather than an emphasis on politics or history, the focus of this exhibition is to explore art’s capacity to communicate the unspoken. Following its showing at MMK, the exhibition is to move to four other venues...

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