This year, the Kunststiftung NRW
is presenting its international media art prize the Nam June Paik Award for the ninth time. Staged every two years, the competition takes place in conjunction with a designated art institution in North Rhine-Westphalia. The Westfälische Kunstverein in Münster has been selected as project partner for the forthcoming presentation of the award and will host the exhibition featuring the nominated artists in November.
Artworks by the five nominees selected by a panel of experts comprising Kristina Scepanski, Director of the Westfälischer Kunstverein, Hanne Mugaas, Director of the Kunsthall Stavanger in Norway and Anne-Claire Schmitz, founding director of the art space La Loge in Brussels will be on display in the Westfälischer Kunstverein from 10 November 2018 until 3 February 2019. The Nam June Paik Award specifically honours artworks that push boundaries, bridge cultural divides and are transdisciplinary in approach, very much in the spirit of Nam June Paik's pioneering practice.
The nominees are Andreas Angelidakis (b. 1968, GR, lives in Athens), Melanie Bonajo (b. 1978, NL, lives in Amsterdam), Antoine Catala (b. 1975, F, lives in New York), Hanne Lippard (b. 1984, GB, nationality NO, lives in Berlin) and Sondra Perry (b. 1986, US, lives in New York).
The Secretary General of the Kunststiftung NRW, Dr Ursula Sinnreich is excited about the diversity of the individual approaches of the nominees: In the case of the Nam June Paik Award, it has also always been our aim to take a sounding of the current status quo in the world of contemporary media art, thereby underscoring its social relevance particularly in an era in which the fusion of digital and real, physical worlds continues apace.
Andreas Angelidakis undertakes a kind of media archaeology in his works when he posits an analogy between the classical philosopher Diogenes and ancient vessels emblazoned with drawings and stories on the one hand, and our use of media today on the other. In her video installations, Melanie Bonajo counters our high-tech world with nature and its potential at times it concerns existential experience, at others the man/machine interface. Antoine Catala's kinetic and pneumatic objects utilise precisely this innovative technology in order to focus thematically upon fundamental human feelings. Hanne Lippard stages highly nuanced and precise voice-based performances and installations that communicate through sound and the spoken word taken from her elegant, poetic texts. Sondra Perry produces videos and video sculptures that frequently demand physical activity on the part of the viewer and thus channel the focus upon the body once more, its potential and its shortcomings, whereby paradoxically this very body would seem to have become almost superfluous in our increasingly digital world.
The Nam June Paik Award includes prize money of 25,000 and will be awarded on 9 November on site in Münster by an international panel of judges.