The Baloise Group is presenting the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt
with a gift of three works by the Swedish artist John Skoog for its collection. Skoog is the recipient of the prestigious Baloise Art Prize that has been awarded to emerging artists every year since 1999. Within this framework, works by the prize recipient are shown in an exhibition in two major European museums this year the mumok Museum Moderne Kunst in Vienna and the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt and purchases for the museums collections are financed. This cooperation model is a productive win-win situation in several respects. The artist is given a solo exhibition in a prominent museum, and the museum can expand its holdings with the addition of an important contemporary approach, comments MMK director Dr. Susanne Gaensheimer.
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 MMK 1 in a large-scale installation. Skoogs 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 MMK 1 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 forms a trilogy with two further films, Sent på Jorden (Late on Earth) of 2011 and Förår 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.