16th Baloise Art Prize awarded at Art Basel 2014

Basel, The Baloise Art Prize has been awarded to John Skoog from Sweden. The prize of CHF 30,000.- will be presented at the 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 winner, which is donated to two important museums in Europe: the MMK, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt a.M. and the mumok, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna.

This year’s jury includes: Susanne Gaensheimer, Director MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt a.M.; Karola Kraus, Director Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Wien; Dirk Snauwaert, Artistic Director, WIELS, Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels and Martin Schwander, Fine Art Advisor of Baloise, Chairman of the jury.

John Skoog devotes himself to the medium of film. He produces powerful studies of people and emotions in the tradition of such Scandinavian filmmakers as Victor Sjostrom and Mauritz Stiller. In slow-paced, cinematic sequences, Skoog probes everyday places in search of the traces left behind by people and memory. In so doing, he blurs the distinction between documentary and feature film. His recent video "Reduit (Redoubt)" shows great formal subtlety as the camera circles around an old farmhouse in a barren wintry landscape in Sweden. The farmhouse belonged to a solitary farmer. Driven by the paranoiac effort to protect himself from an imagined Soviet invasion, he had spent years transforming it into a private bunker. Skoog’s film bears witness to the Cold War on the borderline between personal and collective history. A collage of voices and sounds reinforces the atmospheric impact of his imagery while the autobiographical elements of the film are embedded in a larger whole through art historical references to Kurt Schwitters‘ "Merzbau" and Facteur Cheval‘s "Palais Idéal".

John Skoog, *1985 in Kvidinge, lives in Frankfurt a.M., Germany

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, the Baloise Group is a European provider of insurance and pension solutions and has positioned itself as a market player that offers an intelligent 'Safety World' prevention strategy. In Switzerland the Company operates as a focused financial services provider, offering a combination of insurance and banking services. It also has a market presence in Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg. Its distribution network includes its own sales organisation as well as brokers and other partners. The Company uses its competence centre in Luxembourg to run its business in innovative pension products for private customers throughout Europe. Bâloise Holding Ltd shares are listed in the main segment of the SIX Swiss Exchange. The Baloise Group employs some 7,400 people.