August 18, 2004 - BlueOrange - Francis Alys at Martin-Gropius-Bau
August 18, 2004

Francis Alys at Martin-Gropius-Bau

blueOrange 2004 Award: Francis Alys at Martin-Gropius-Bau

blueOrange Award for Francis Alys, 1.9.2004, Berlin

Prize-giving and opening of the exhibition:
1st September 2004, 18:00, Martin-Gropius Bau, Berlin
blueOrange, the art prize of the German Cooperative Banking Group, “Verband der deutschen Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken”, is one of the biggest prizes for fine arts in Germany, with 77.000 Euro of prize-money. Of this, 7,000 Euro is awarded to an up-and-coming artist, who is selected by the main prize-winner.

The philosophy of the prize consists of the honouring of an artist whose work both renders a contribution to the deepening of aesthetic discourse as well as showing an anticipation of developments in society.

The prize-winner was chosen by the final jury, consisting of one representative each of the prize-givers (Federal Association of German Cooperative Banks) and the project partners (Berliner Festspiele and the ZDF television company).

Francis Alys, born in Antwerp/Belgium in 1959, is the first winner of the well endowed blueOrange Art prize, sponsored by the German Cooperative Banking Group.

“Ensayo I” (Rehearsal I) is the title of Francis Alys’ central video installation, which will be shown in the darkened courtyard of the Martin-Gropius-Bau on a 4,5 x 6 meter screen flanked by 16 giant loudspeakers. Images and music are perfectly balanced, and as a result combine to form an impressive space and sound installation. Filmed in Tijuana, Mexico, “Ensayo I” forms the first part of a trilogy, and is presented as an infinite loop. A red VW beatle tries to ascend a hill and continuosly fails. The rehearsal of a band playing a mexican danzon corresponds with each failed ascent. In addition to this work, which is being shown in Berlin for the first time, smaller film and video installations, sketches and models will also be displayed.

Francis Alys has nominated the group of artists Tercerunquinto as winners of the promotion prize and will hand over 7,000 Euro of his prize money to the young stars.
Exhibition: 2. September – 18. October 2004
Niederkirchnerstrasse 7
10963 Berlin
Opening hours: daily 10:00-20:00 (closed on Tuesdays)
Klaus Biesenbach,
Artistic Director KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin,
Chief Curator P.S.1/MoMA, New York;
Catalogue blueOrange 2004 – Francis Alys. Texts by Francis Alys, Hubert Beck, Klaus Biesenbach, Christopher Pleister, Luminita Sabau. German/English, 70 p., Verlag Walther Konig 2004.
Press pack and photographic material from or to order as a CD-ROM and/or DVD (E-mail:
Press conference on the prize-giving and opening of the exhibition:
1st September 2004, 11:00, in the conference hall of the Martin-Gropius Building, Berlin

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