Basel, A few days ago, in the presence of numerous representatives from business and culture, the Baloise Group presented mumok Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna with a group of works by John Skoog. The swedish artist is the winner of the 16th Baloise Art Prize, which had been awarded to him by the Baloise Group last year on the occasion of Art Basel 2014. The representatives of the Swedish Government were happy about the appreciation of John Skoog and congratulated him on winning the Baloise Art Prize.
Since 1999, the Baloise Group has been honouring two young artists per year with the Art Prize. The prize of CHF 30’000 is awarded by an international jury of renowned experts. In addition, the Baloise Group acquires a group of works by the award winners and donates them to two important European museums. For the first time in the history of the Baloise Art Prize, the jury 2014 awarded the Prize to just one winner. Therefore the Baloise Group acquired a group of works by John Skoog and donated it to the MMK as well as to the mumok Vienna. The group of works could have been visited at the MMK Frankfurt until End of May 2015 and is now exhibited at the mumok Vienna until 27 September 2015.
The Baloise gift intention has always been to museums in Europe - in particular in countries of the business units. By selling their company in Austria, an important aspect of the Baloise art commitment falls away - the business presence with their own company in the country of the recipient museum. Therefore the Baloise Art Prize will go - again for some years - at the MUDAM, Musée d'Art Moderne, Luxembourg.
Städelschule graduate John Skoog (b. in Malmö, Sweden in 1985) received the prize for his video installation Reduit (Redoubt) of 2014, now on view at the mumok in a large-scale installation. Skoog’s filmic works combine documentary research with the precise observation of reality in subtly poetic manner. Addressing social and historical themes, they make the backgrounds and abysses of everyday life tangible.
The film Reduit (Redoubt) presented at the mumok revolves around a relic from the Cold War era in Sweden: a dilapidated building, which Skoog examines explores and examines with his camera at very close quarters. It is a bunker that was built by a private citizen near a small Swedish town to protect the population. Alarmed by state-published brochures about the threat of war, Karl Göran Persson began expanding his little farmhouse in the south of Sweden with cement and found materials to create a bomb shelter for himself and his neighbours. Skoog enhanced the filmic images with a collage of voices representing the neighbours’ collective memory.
In the exhibition this work will form a group of works with two further films, Sent på Jorden (late on earth) of 2011 and Förår (early spring) of 2012. In addition to the story of the farmhouse fortification, the change of the seasons – as an omnipresent theme of a rural society and its awakening teenage protagonists – plays a key role.