July 13, 2020 - Swiss Art Awards - Prix Meret Oppenheim 2020
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July 13, 2020

Swiss Art Awards

Photos: Mehdi Benkler.

Prix Meret Oppenheim 2020

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Upon recommendation of the Federal Art Commission, the Federal Office of Culture is pleased to award this year's Prix Meret Oppenheim to four outstanding Swiss cultural professionals:

Marc Bauer​
One of the most recognised Swiss artists, Marc Bauer (b.1975 Geneva) has been creating socially and politically engaged art for more than 20 years now. He appropriates contemporary history and focuses on its dramas and excesses, in order to challenge the resulting ideology of power and human behaviours. The artist combines personal and collective history and develops powerful narratives in which the text engages in a dialogue with the figures. Murals, animations, prints or graphite compositions applied to walls: the art of Marc Bauer is a theatre laid bare, in which mankind presents itself at its most terrifying and profound. His solo exhibition at the ISR in Milan hast just been extended until July 24, 2020.

Barbara Buser & Eric Honegger
For more than 20 years now, Barbara Buser and Eric Honegger have been concerned with the recycling of architectural elements and the conservation, appropriation and renovation of buildings. Their idea of architecture opposes “starchitecture.” It operates outside of the systems and, to date, is without much competition. Barbara Buser and Eric Honegger convert vacant buildings into living spaces and create new urban structures for entire city districts.

Koyo Kouoh
Koyo Kouoh is an independent curator and internationally active cultural producer. The central thrust of her work may be described as redefining the contemporary African personality. Koyo Kouoh has broadened her curatorial activities by reflecting on the form of institutions in African emerging countries where cultural production has been the object of tensions between private initiatives and governmental conditions and where contexts, aesthetics and knowledge acquisition often do not measure up to Western paradigms.


Award ceremony and exhibition
The 2020 Swiss Art Awards exhibition and the Swiss Grand Award for Art / Prix Meret Oppenheim will not take place in the usual form in this year due to the current pandemic. The Prix Meret Oppenheim 2020 laureates will be honoured this autumn together with the laureates of the Grand Prix Design and the Jan Tschichold Prize.

From August to October, the Swiss Art Awards will be presented to the public online and in a decentralized format. In recognition of their selection to the second round of the competition, the prize money will be distributed among all finalists. A publication encapsulating all the activities will appear as a supplement to the December edition of the Kunstbulletin. 


Prix Meret Oppenheim 2020 Publication and Videos
The Federal Office of Culture is publishing the Prix Meret Oppenheim 2020 featuring portraits of and interviews with the awardees. Tobia Bezzola (art historian, Director of MASI, Lugano) conducts the interview with Marc Bauer; Sonia Zekri (journalist and author, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurt) interviews Koyo Kouoh; and Jenny Keller (architect and journalist, werk, bauen + wohnen, Zurich) talks to Barbara Buser and Eric Honegger.

Film portraits by Ramòn Giger (6 minutes, in German and French, with English subtitles) will be presented online in autumn 2020.
Trailers:
Marc Bauer
Barbara Buser & Eric Honegger
Koyo Kouoh


Prix Meret Oppenheim
The Swiss Grand Award for Art / Prix Meret Oppenheim was founded in 2001 by the Federal Office of Culture in collaboration with the Federal Art Commission. It honors figures from the worlds of art and architecture as well as criticism, curation, and research whose work is of particular relevance and importance for contemporary art and architecture in Switzerland and beyond. The laureates were selected in late 2019 by the Federal Art Commission.
 
For further information please visit: www.bak.admin.ch
For press enquiries please contact: media [​at​] swissartawards.ch

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