Three awards were presented to the winners of the ninth edition of T-HTnagrada@msu.hr competition during the ceremony held on 22 March at the Museum of Contemporary Art. 172 works of art were submitted to the competition, of which 38 were selected by an international expert committee for the most prestigious purchase prizes against the backdrop of the recent visual artistic creativity.
Nina Išek Međugorac, Director of Corporate Communications at Hrvatski Telekom, with the award winners
Igor Eškinja won the first prize worth HRK 50,000 for his work entitled “Architecture of Urbanism”. Neli Ružić was awarded the second prize worth HRK 45,000 for her work entitled “Stolen Future”, whereas Vesna Mačković was presented the third prize worth HRK 40,000 for her installation entitled “Greeting”. The purchased works of art will become a part of the growing T-HT@MSU collection. The prizes are intended to encourage artistic creation in the field of contemporary art in Croatia.
The works of art submitted this year addressed a vast array of topics, including deeply personal issues and references to contemporary sociological and economic events. Moreover, it is important to highlight a considerable media diversity used. The expert committee primarily focused on the originality of use of visual identity, the elicitation of emotional responses amongst the audience members, and the presentation of the principal problems of the modern society from a different perspective.
The expert committee was faced with an extremely challenging task upon selection of the best works of art, and this year it comprised of Snježana Pintarić, M.Sc, President of the Expert Committee, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art and Museum Counsellor; Rainald Schumacher, Curator, Office for Art, Berlin; Marco Scotini, Independent Curator, Milan; Sandra Vitaljić, Associate Professor, Photographer, Academy of Dramatic Art, Zagreb; Nataša Ivančević, Museum Counsellor, Deputy Director and Head of the Collections Department and of the Sculpture Collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
The exhibition will be open until Saturday, 26 March 2016. The audience award totalling HRK 10,000 is yet to be presented, and the voting for the most impressive work is still open. The audience award winner will be presented on 30 March, following the closing of the exhibition and the counting of the votes.
First prize – Igor Eškinja
Architecture of Urbanism, 2015
The spatial installation entitled “Architecture of Optimism” is based on the visual material created in Rijeka-based residential areas constructed in the 1970s, as well as in the Parisian suburb of Vitry-sur-Seine. Both urban units are actually large bedrooms of high modernism, where the population in one of them is continuously decreasing, as opposed to the other unit, which is vital and lively. Rijeka skyscrapers filmed during the night hours have been presented on a large curtain and a moment in which there are no lights on has been captured. As opposed to this sight, similar residential buildings from Vitry have been shown, in which lights from the living rooms leave impressive marks and create light drawings. Tables with unprinted sheets of daily newspapers (“Novi list”) appear amongst these similar and simultaneously substantially different photographs, on which there are traces made by the sunshine, creating an impression of a mixture of urban sights of Rijeka and family names and multi-ethnic inhabitants of the Parisian suburb. According to the evaluation committee, Eškinja used the visual material created in Rijeka-based residential areas in a unique way, and hence they believed he rightfully deserved to be awarded the first prize.
Second prize – Neli Ružić
Stolen Future, 2014/2015
The video installation entitled “Stolen Future” has been created based on the architectural intervention by Ivan Vitić in the abandoned facility of the Trogir-based Sljeme Motel. The intervention entitled “Stolen Future” is primarily focused on the ravaged motel using the medium of light and illuminating six neglected motel bungalows, which used to be a distinctive feature of the “Trogir Motel”. The upper floor of each of the bungalows has been illuminated with a different colour, whilst the light in the bungalows has emphasised their specific openings, the unified rhythm of identical pavilions, and a sculptural dimension of modernist architecture. Hence, the necessity of renovation of neglected and forgotten architectural works of socialist modernism has been highlighted in a highly original way.
Third prize – Vesna Mačković
Vesna Mačković has used the video performance entitled “Greeting” to revisit the abandoned facility of the Sisak Steelworks, aiming to point out the fact that it is possible to overcome the difficulties and temporary limitations. The artist has strived to confront the public with her personal physical limitations, as well as with the strength and determination of the spirit to overcome all the obstacles and move on.