Erste Bank ExtraVALUE Art Awards 2017

Karl Salzmann
Recipient of the Erste Bank ExtraVALUE Art Award
New York

Artist’s statement
In my works, sound and/or noise are always present – as a tool to shape spaces and shapes, as a language to describe things, as a research subject to study human perception but also social and cultural conditions, and as an instrument for penetrating and influencing the fragile materials and bodies surrounding us, not just metaphorically.

Jury Statement
The jury decided in favour of Karl Salzmann and his presentation concept, titled Monopulism, which uses several components to create a performative (sound) installation. The jury was convinced by the installation’s reference to the current political situation, as revealed in the fascinating metaphorical quality of the individual set pieces.  In a windowless exhibition space, the central placement of a Loudspeaker Monument summons the image of a totalitarian societal structure oriented on a voice. A bar at the entrance serves as a metaphor for shallow chitchat and for repression, as two robotic vacuum cleaners perform their function, in apparent acceptation of their subordinate role. Broken microphones represent the silencing of opposition voices, while the sounds of David Hasselhoff singing Looking for Freedom suggest an American dream that has drifted far afield. Even the apparent beauty of Salzmann’s pictorial works titled Detonation reveals itself within the context of the entire installation to be an immediately threatening force. Given the post-factual, present-day USA, Karl Salzmann’s (sound) installation has particular relevance. In addition, it is, in general, a powerful statement on the themes of abuse of power, manipulation and repression.

Nika Kupyrova
Recipient of the Erste Bank ExtraVALUE Art Award Vienna

Artist’s Statement
In my work I appropriate found text, concepts and pop culture phenomena to direct my own working process. The resulting self-reflective, multi-layered sculptures propose a bridge between textual and visual languages and investigate gestures of three-dimensionality and reproduction as well as the notion of the original.nter 20/2018– ected in winter 2017/2018

Jury Statement
On the recommendation of the jury, the Erste Bank ExtraVALUE Art Award endowed with 1.500 Euros and including a solo exhibition in das weisse haus, has been presented to Nika Kupyrova. The examination of gestures and gestural action that was designed for New York can certainly be developed in a convincing manner that is pertinent to the spatial situation in das weisse haus. The horizon of gestural activity ranges from children’s games to the kneading of dough to the conjuring of crystal balls, extending from innocent, ritualized gestures to functional and even manipulative action, and thus is related, in our day of do-it-yourselfism, to promises of salvation and reactionary escapism.

For the second year Erste Bank was presenting the ExtraVALUE Art Award to an artist whose work has already been presented in das weisse haus or who has participated in the studio and residence program of studio das weisse haus. The award carries with it a prize of 3,000 euros, a one-month stay in New York, a presentation at the Austrian Cultural Forum in that city from 28 June to 20 July 2017, as well as travel expenses and an allowance. The prize is realized in collaboration with studio das weisse haus and the Austrian Cultural Forum New York.

In addition, an Honourable Mention has been awarded, that carries with it a prize of 1,500 euros and a solo exhibition in das weisse haus from October 4 until November 18, 2017.

The jury’s decision was made during a two-stage competition. Following a first round, which assessed the artistic quality of various artists, 20 candidates were invited to develop a concept for presentation at the Austrian Cultural Forum. These project concepts were then judged in a second round.

Jury Members
Verena Gamper (curator, Kunsthalle Krems)
Christine Haupt-Stummer (manager, section.a)
Manisha Jothady (art critic)
Alexandra Grausam (director of das weisse haus and studio das weisse haus)

Ruth Goubran (director of Erste Bank’s ExtraVALUE Sponsoring Programme)
Katja Stecher (project coordinator for studio das weisse haus)