ViennaKunsthalle Wien Prize 2019
Finissage with Catalogue Presentation & Artists Talk. Sunday 26 January, 5pm
Awarded with the Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2019, Nina Vobruba (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna) and Malte Zander (University of Applied Arts Vienna) have expanded and translated the subjects of their prize-winning diploma projects into an exhibition format.
Designed as an installation, Nina Vobruba’s assemblage nest bau stages and reflects on the transitional process of an existing construction and social arrangement: Since 2017, the site of a former army barrack in Fehring, in Styria, has been transforming into a self-organised village. Aged 1 to 77, the 70 inhabitants of the “Zukunftswirkstatt Cambium (Cambium Activity Workshop of the Future)” have collaborated to shape an everyday sphere as a cultural and economic alternative. For the duration of the exhibition, the site will be transplanted to the art institution in fragments, and explored in the context of pressing global issues. Nina Vobruba’s nest bau primarily consists of intrinsically round units. Though interconnected in a system of references, they manifest open processes that do not reach a fixed destination. This includes a circular installation composed of the original asphalt and concrete slabs from the former parade ground. A group of pioneer trees, which seem to sprout between the uprooted slabs like organic protagonists of the installation during the first week of the exhibition, are to be planted there. After the transportation of the trees to their destination in Fehring, this situation will be viewable in the exhibition in the shape of footprints on glass plates from the premises of the barracks.
“nest bau has left visible and invisible traces, has chosen practices of ephemerality and permanence, searched for forms and contents, found, created, abandoned, forgotten, surmised – incorporated stagnations, movements, actions and reactions, decoded and recoded the existing situation. It remains in progress…”, says Nina Vobruba, who is active as an artist, choreographer, and performer in the community she cofounded.
In his installation Languor Malte Zander stages a large projection of supposedly found film material that can be seen as a prequel to his diploma exhibition Torpor. Collaged still images of a film set that appears to have been abandoned in a hurry are presented. The text accompanying his current exhibition continues the story of a group of youths on a quest for a mysterious underground cinema, pointing to the probable source of these images. It remains unclear whether the work is about the narration of a concrete story or the suspension of disbelief in itself.
Malte Zander’s film takes place at generally unknown locations. A peculiar kind of tension—between the reality of the set and the set as a production site of artificial dreamworlds—defines the fictional character of Langour, as well as the special exposure and editing techniques. In the ambience of the darkened cinema, the footprints the artist created using CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) also question the perception of constructed nostalgia. As motifs they allude to the source of the fictional film material, as images they convey the nearness and intimacy of the artificial celluloid, despite their origins. The jury explains its decision to award Malte Zander as follows: “The artist refrains from subjecting the contents to a discursive overload, thus allowing the works to stand alone and to present themselves to the viewers with apparent authenticity. Digital compositions realised with precision and sensitivity subvert this claim to reality so that the belief in the authentic image is not destroyed entirely but nonetheless challenged.”
Nina Vobruba (*1985, lives in Fehring and Vienna) studied with Prof Carola Dertning at the Studio Perfomative Art (Institute for Fine Arts) at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Accompanying professor: Elisabeth von Samsonow. Diploma 2019.
Malte Zander (*1991, lives in Vienna) attained his diploma with Prof Henning Bohl at the Institute for Visual & Media Arts/Painting Department of the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Diploma 2019.
Curator: Lucas Gehrmann
Installation view: Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2019, Photo: Jorit Aust