Erste Bank ExtraVALUE Art Awards 2018

Marit Wolters
Recipient of the Erste Bank ExtraVALUE Art Award 2018

Artist’s Statement
In my work, I search for the interstices created throughout the dialogue between the material, the space and the body. I examine architectonic structures and materials based on their presence, aesthetics and physical and chemical qualities and potentials, contemplating how the further disposition of the piece will affect the spectator’s body and perception. The piece evolves from experimentations, tightened through an investigation in which the material, the space and the body are meant to dialogue as equal partners, Thus, process plays a significant role in the conception of a piece.

Jury Statement
The jury decided in favour of Marit Wolters and her presentation concept, titled “Everything that is solid dissolves into air”, which provides a fragile construction of a multitude of structural steel connected by a reef knot in the style of traditional Japanese scaffolding. The unstable structure that oscillates between sculpture and architecture is complemented by a series of compact concrete casts, the net-like surface design of which refers to topographical maps. Likewise, the video “strip” contrasts with the permeable structure of the expansive installation by showing an endless sequence of blue construction site walls. Due to their massive construction, they obstruct the view onto the working processes, which are only perceptible through the noise.

The reference to the planned installation on the sociopolitical challenges of the present, such as the exchange of goods, capital and services as well as the free or forced deployment of people, has convinced the jury. Marit Wolters’ construction of architectural elements serves as a metaphor for this fragile economic and social framework within a globalized world.

Julia Gaisbacher
Erste Bank ExtraVALUE Recognition Art Award 2018

Artist’s Statement
Julia Gaisbacher is an artist and photographer based in Vienna. In her work she deals with the complex interconnections between social conventions in public space, architecture and individual representation in different media.

Jury Statement
On the recommendation of the jury, the Erste Bank ExtraVALUE Art Recognition Award was presented to Julia Gaisbacher and her exhibition proposal “One Day You Will Miss Me” which is part of an ongoing project which critically engages with a current city development project in Belgrade. The artist documents the different construction phases in her photographs and refers with further works to the neoliberal application and marketing logic of this so called “Waterfront Project”.

Above all, the well-founded research, which is based on critical media reports and discussions with supporters of the protest movement, was particularly impressive. The project uses Belgrade as an example to deal with the corrupt real estate business, in which quite often – and all over the world – members of the government are involved. Moreover, it points to prevailing asymmetries when such large-scale projects occur for an emerging middle class and investors from abroad, while socially disadvantaged urban residents are forcibly pushed out to the fringes.

This year again, the jury’s decision was made during a two-stage competition. Following a first round, which assessed the artistic quality on the basis of the submitted portfolios, five candidates each where invited to develop a concept for presentation at the ACFNY respectively for the presentation in das weisse haus. These project concepts were then judged in a second round.

In the last round, the jury – including Alexandra Grausam (Director das weisse haus / studio das weisse haus) and Christine Moser (Director ACFNY) – decided in favour of Marit Wolters and Julia Gaisbacher.

Jury Members
Viktor Bucher (Galerist)
Axel Köhne (Curator Belvedere 21)
Gabriele Schor (Chief-Curator Sammlung Verbund)
Margot Pilz (Artist)
Christine Moser (Director ACFNY)
Alexandra Grausam (Director das weisse haus / studio das weisse haus) 

Selected candidates for the Erste Bank ExtraVALUE Art Award
Johanna Folkmann
Sofia Goscinski
Daniel Hafner
Christina Werner
Marit Wolters

Selected candidates for the Erste Bank ExtraVALUE Art Recognition Award
Iris Dittler
Julia Gaisbacher
Lukas Hochrieder
Miae Son
Clara Oppel