Statement of the Jury
Nicolás Dardano (Buenos Aires.ar / Blanca.es), Katerina Mirović (Ljubljana.si), Bettina Pelz (Bremen.de / Tunis.tn)
with tremendous support by Adri Schokker (Leeuwarden.nl)
Media Art Friesland 2019 introduced 15 recently graduated national and international media artists to us as the jury. We were very excited about the choices of artists, the diversity of approaches and the qualities of the works on display. It was a pleasure to spend time with them, we devoted 6 hours as a jury and we met with all the artists that were on-site. We dedicated another 4 hours sharing time with curatorial partners and junior curators discussing the works on display. We added two additional jury meetings that led to our nominations and to our final choice. It was an intense and multi-directional process due to our different backgrounds and methodologies. It was the first time, that we worked together taking decisions collectively. We are thankful to Andrea Moeller and her team for the opportunity they created for all the young artists and for us as the jury of this award.
One of the key discussions in the jury evaluated the reflected use of artistic media. As expected for a media art award, the majority of participants embedded digital and electronic media in their works, but we found as well hand drawing f.ex. by Martina Stella and kinetic activity f.ex. Ana Oosting or Antonia Oana. We were excited to see some technical perfection as in the work of Bas Hordrijk. And we enjoyed the variety in the approach to play in the works of Antonia Oana, Tajny Project, Louisa Teichmann, and Davey Smand.
The walk-in tableau composed by Patrick Hover with its unique mix of media and his reflections of their embedded contents mesmerized us and as much as we talked about the artwork, its composites, composition and impact, we talked about personal experiences, plus/minus memories and transgenerational interaction while getting old. We wish to thank Patrick Hover for this memorable moment.
In our decision-making process, we focused on mixed- or transmedia approaches as seen in the works of Patrick Hoving or in the works of Ildikó Horváth, Nowah Kater, Tajny Project or Wildei. We think that in these days of ongoing digital transformation the artistic research on the interaction of analogue and virtual realities is of importance for critical contemporaneity.
Another reoccurring topic was artistic experimentation, persistence in artistic research and uniqueness of the works on display. We captivated by tools and technology as well as on software as it has been used by Ildikó Horváth, Nowah Kater, Davey Smand. And we intrigued by the aesthetical and technical retro-references as seen in the works of Antonia Oana, Tjany Project, Lousia Teichmann and Wildei.
Positive references on the material execution, care for detail and the quality of display are Tajny Project, Patrick Hoving, and Ildikó Horváth.
Nowah Kater. Youtube. 2019.
Special focus in the jury discussion was on audio-visual interaction due to possibilities of the residency that is offered to the awardee of the MAF YOUNG MASTERS’ AWARD. AADK Spain is based in Centro Negra in Blanca, Murcia. It is an international artistic platform for research and contemporary creation. The program constitutes a framework for research and debate where knowledge exchange and creative collaboration are encouraged. The current setting features audio-visual research in interaction with local sites and contexts.
In the center of our discussions were the works of Noah Kater, Ildíko Horváth and Wildei. All three embedded a mix of analogue and digital sounds in their visuals. And all three developed unique visual compositions that were enthralling for different reasons. All three deserve special mentioning by the jury because they coined the overall qualities of MAF YOUNG MASTERS’ AWARD 2019.
From the beginning, we had excluded projects like “A Lemon’s Fruit“ by Lola Safari because we believe that it is not acceptable to utilize living creatures for artistic experimentations and hazard their lives for an art display. As well, “Noxious – The Game” by Tim Enghardt was excluded due to its focus on violence and harm with no critical distance or alternative.
We noticed a balance of male and female artists, but surprisingly no collectives. We assume that is due to the fact the MAF team selected recent graduates that in order to graduate have to come up with individual projects, otherwise, especially media artworks as they are often transdisciplinary works, they are often developed and produced by collectives.
To select a single project is never an easy task, especially after witnessing all effort, engagement and enthusiasm that each of the artists has put in their work. As a jury, we can say that we have been fortunate to review such committed proposals. Yet, at the same time, we have had an arduous task that consisted of identifying many different virtues from the exhibited pieces.
We set up some evaluation criteria for both the conceptual aspects of the works as well as their material ones. Among the first, we highlighted the authenticity of the proposals, the consistency of the project and the risk that each artist had taken. In the latter, we analyzed the use of the space, the kind of interaction that each piece opened up with the audience, the technical/material realization, and the care that was put in the finishing of all its parts.
As we have said, making a choice has not been easy. We wish to thank all participants for the MAF YOUNG MASTERS’ AWARD to make it so difficult for us. We will remember Nowah Kater who has surprised us with a risky and personal sound proposal that has not ignored the constructive details of the instruments. We love the works of Wild Ei that show a solid and sensitive conceptual guideline and we want to thank her for memorable moments reflecting on complex universal processes.
The YOUNG MASTERS’ AWARD 2019 goes to the work “Subliminal Landscapes” by Ildikó Horváth. We believe that it has a wide and rich conceptual proposal that brings up questions on interior and exterior spaces while playing with the notions of limits and expansion. We consider it to be the strongest regarding the experimental experience of the audience. Each detail shows the artist’s interest in the material and spatial resolution of the project. The interactive soundscapes allow us to get immersed in illusory worlds that create a contrast with the series of geometric objects. The dialogue between the sonic/digital aspect and the tactile/material one is, in our opinion, an interesting reflection on the current possibilities of Media Art. The care addressed to material, space and temporality are also worthy of being featured.
Furthermore, we believe that the possibility of taking part in AADK Spain’s Artistic Residences will represent for Ildikó Horváth an opportunity to explore other formal and material aspects of “Subliminal Landscapes” and to deepen her interest in sound. We wish this to be an opportunity to take new risks, allow herself to make mistakes and, moreover, expand her research beyond the areas that she has proved to handle with such precision.
Thank you for your interest and patience, and thank you again, Andrea Moeller and team, for having us. We are looking forward to MAF YOUNG MASTERS’ AWARD 2020.
Wildei. MEDIA ART FRIESLAND Leeuwarden 2019. Videostill: Wildei.