17th Baloise Art Prize awarded at Art Basel 2015

Basel, The Baloise Art Prize has been awarded to the British artist Beatrice Gibson and Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc from France. 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 winners, which are donated to two important museums in Europe: the MMK, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt a.M. and the MUDAM, Luxembourg.

This year’s jury includes: Marie-Noëlle Farcy, Curator/Head of Collection, MUDAM, Luxembourg; Susanne Gaensheimer, Director MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt a.M.; Joanna Mytkowska, Director Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; Professor Wilhelm Schürmann, Herzogenrath and Martin Schwander, Fine Art Advisor of Baloise, Chairman of the jury.

Beatrice Gibson has been awarded the prize for the experimental dimension of the narrative structure of her video, which combines many layers of meanings dealing with the complexity of cultural and social clashes. The film production involved the collaboration with pupils from a local progressive educational organisation during a four-day experimental music workshop organised by the artist with the composer Anton Lukoszevieze. She has taken the risk of developing an open creative process based on five historical performances by, among others, Fluxus artist George Maciunas.

Through an unconventional way of approaching the film production process, she confronts the inequality in a contemporary metropolis such as London as a consequence of the economic crisis. The apparent anarchy of the cinematic construction reflects the turbulences of our contemporary society.

Beatrice Gibson, *1978, lives and works in London

Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc has created a group of works within the far-flung context of biographical research into ethnographical objects collected by his grandfather Emile Abonnenc, whose collecting activities in the early 1930s were inspired by the theories of the ethnographer Michel Leiris.

In his Basel installation, the artist concentrates on the analysis of a monumental statue of Victor Schœlcher in French Guiana, representing the French colonial civil servant as a heroic liberator of the slaves. The artist’s subtle aesthetic interventions reveal the complexity of the relationship between a patronizing and a fetishizing approach. Abonnenc‘s visual analyses of various colonial and postcolonial artefacts draw attention to the many different ways of interpreting relations between past and present as well as personal and collective history.

Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, *1977 in  French Guiana, lives in Metz, France

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