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Fondazione Merz announces finalists for the Mario Merz Prize, 3rd Edition
Mircea Cantor.

LONDON.- Fondazione Merz is pleased to announced the five artist finalists for the Mario Merz Prize, 3rd Edition’s Art category, and the five composers shortlisted for the Music Category.

Bertille Bak (France); Mircea Cantor (Romania); David Maljkovic (Croatia); Maria Papadimitriou (Greece); and Unknown Friend (USA) are the artists chosen by this year’s jury composed of Beatrice Merz (President, Fondazione Merz); Claudia Gioia (Independent Curator), and Samuel Gross (Head Curator, Istituto Svizzero)

From 3 June – 6 October 2019, the Fondazione Merz will present a group exhibition of the shortlisted artists in Turin.

The winner will be chosen by the jury and announced by Beatrice Merz on the occasion of the Mario Merz exhibition at the Reina Sofia, Madrid, in October 2019.

The public can also cast a valid vote for the candidates via the Mario Merz Prize website – following the opening of the finalists’ exhibition in June 2019.

The winner will be commissioned to produce a new site-specific solo exhibition at Fondazione Merz in November 2020, coinciding with Artissima.

In the Music Category, the five shortlisted composers are: Annachiara Gedda (Italy); Mauro Lanza (Italy); Filippo Perocco (Italy); Robert HP Platz (Germany); and Jay Schwartz (USA) The music jury is composed of: Giampaolo Pretto (Flautist and head conductor of the Orchestra Filarmonica, Turin); Stefano Pierini (Composer and Professor at Centro di Formazione Musicale,Turin); Philip Samartzis (Sound-designer and Professor at Melbourne University)

Bertille Bak (b.1983 Arras, France). Lives and works in Paris.

Bak expresses an art of relationships aimed both at communities whose members are aware of their identities, and at minorities often forgotten and neglected. During her numerous visits and long stays within the respective communities, Bak builds interpersonal relationships to raise awareness of the social utility of people and groups. Through the sharing of everyday life, Bak takes on the role of a social provocateur putting herself forward as a critical conscience to raise political awareness among her interlocutors. Bak worked at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris as a student of Christian Boltanski.

Mircea Cantor (b.1977, Romania)
Cantor makes films and sculptural installations that often elaborate on uncertainty, countering prevailing notions that everything can be known or predicted. He gained international attention in the early 2000s with works, such as The Landscape Is Changing (2003), and Departure (2005). More recently Cantor has taken up the question craftsmanship and tradition to relating the “intuitive” energy that tests how different fields of knowledge might make sense of human creation and the multiplicity of perspectives that inform our understanding of our relationship to time, consciousness, and experience.

David Maljkovic (b. 1973, Rijek, Croatia). Lives and works in Berlin and Zagreb.
Maljkovic’s work is a highly controlled variant exploitation of formalist concerns. The subject of defective memory and the use of collage, in its more literal as well as more complex application, is a formal principle for dislocation, subtraction and juxtaposition for Maljkovic’s mythical “missing archive”. Maljkovic’s recent solo exhibitions include: Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, GAMeC, Bergamo, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Seccesion, Vienna, Whitechapel, London, CAPC Musee d’art Contemporain, Bordeaux, Kunstmuseum Sankt Gallen,, CAC Vilnius, Kunsthalle Basel, Sculpture Center, New York, MOMA PS1.

Maria Papadimitriou (b. 1957, Athens). Lives and works in Volos, Greece.
Papadimitriou began practicing as a visual artist in 1989. She uses the medium of sculpture, installation, public art, video and photography. Papadimitriou investigates collaborative projects and collective activities that highlight the interconnection between art and social reality. She teaches at the Dept. of Architecture, University of Thessaly, she is the founder of T.A.M.A. (Temporary Autonomous Museum for All) and the platform SOUZY TROS Art Canteen. In 2016 she was awarded with the rank of “Officier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques”. Papadimitriou’s work has been shown internationally, including Cycladic Museum, Athens (2017), 56th Venice Biennial, Italy (2015), Museum of Contemporary Art, Marseille, France (2012), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark (2011), Royal Academy of Arts, London (2010-11), The Haifa Mediterranean Biennale, Israel (2010), 10th Lyon Biennial, France, Kunsthaus Graz, Austria (2009), Pavilion of Contemporary Art, Milan (2006), Btiment d’Art Contemporain, Geneva (2007).

Unknown Friend (USA)
Unknown Friend is the cooperative pen name concealing the correspondence crumpled between artists Barry Johnston and Stephen G. Rhodes as they palaver their way through a project preoccupied with inappropriate disguises and 19th century pseudonyms. Sivilization’s Wake is a never-ending project, the first transmission of which was presented by Incurva Projects in Palermo, Sicily in 2018.

Stephen G. Rhodes (b. 1977, USA). Works in Berlin and Louisiana.
Rhodes creates pycho associative environments that are as dense with referential viscera as they are formally diffuse, broadcasting a damaged material consciousness. Recent exhibitions include Yarat Art Center, the Istanbul Bienial, Kolnishcer Kunstverien, and the Migros Museum, for which a monograph Apologies was published.

Barry Johnston (b. 1980, USA) lives and works in Berlin. His sculpture, poetry, and live entertainment are simultaneously destructive and ecstatic. Exhibitions include Our Fertile Hand (Overduin and Co., Los Angeles, 2016), Upside Down Libation 2 (Galerie Micky Schubert, Berlin, 2015), Made in L.A. (Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, 2014), and The California Biennial, (Orange County Museum of Art, 2010).


Annachiara Gedda (b.1986, Turin)

Gedda studied Composition and in Wind Band Arranging at the Turin Conservatory. She has won several composition competitions, including the Tour Takemitsu Composition Award in Tokyo, the Valentino Bucchi Prize in Rome, and the Kaleidoscope Orchestra Call for Scores in Los Angeles. Her works have been performed in Italy and abroad. She will be Composer-in- Residence at the Societ dei Concerti of Milan during the 2019/2020 musical season.

Mauro Lanza (b. 1975, Venice)
Lanza started his studies on piano in Venice before winning a place on the Cursus computer music programme at IRCAM, where today he is a teacher and research composer specialising in computer-assisted composition and physical modelling synthesis. In 2002 and 2004, he was honoured at IRCAM and the Archipel festival in Geneva with three monographic concerts.

Filippo Perocco (b. Italy)
Perroco is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of L’arsenale ensemble (Treviso). His last opera, Aquagranda, commissioned from Teatro La Fenice was premiered for the opening of the lyrique season 2016/2017 and received the Special Prize of the “XXXVI Premio della Critica Musicale - Franco Abbiati - 2017”. His works have been commissioned and performed in a number of venues and festivals around the world.

Robert HP Platz (b. 1951, Baden-Baden, Germany)
Robert HP Platz is a German classical composer. Since 1990 he has been teaching composition at the Conservatorium Maastricht, Netherlands. Platz gives workshops and masterclasses in Poland, the Netherlands, Italy, Japan, and the United States, and he has taught at the Darmstdter Ferienkurse fr Neue Musik.

Jay Schwartz (b.1965, San Diego, California). Lives and works in Germany
His works have been performed at international festivals and venues such as the NYPhil Biennial, the Salzburg Festival, the Venice Biennale, the Munich Opera Festival, the Philharmonie Cologne, the Documenta Kassel, the Festival Musicadhoy in Madrid, and the Vancouver New Music Festival. He is a three-time recipient of the Southwest German Radio Heinrich Strobel Fellowship for Electronic Music.

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