The 12th HT contemporary art competition received 286 entries, of which the expert jury selected 34 for the exhibition, 5 in the category “For the Young”, and three artists (Andreja Kulunčić, Vesna Pokas, and Nora Turato) were directly invited to exhibit.
On May 17, 2019, at the opening of the exhibition at the MSU, a total of 37 artworks were presented, which competed for the most prestigious awards in recent visual artwork. The exhibition features mostly installations, videos, and photos, with drawings, graphics, sculptures, and 3D print objects. The laureates of the 12th competition were selected by the international expert jury composed of mr. sc. Snježana Pintarić, Chairman of the Expert Jury; Andreas Hoffer, Curator, Kunsthalle, Krems; Alenka Gregorič, Curator, Head of the Mestna galerija Ljubljana and Galerija KC Tobačna 001; Alem Korkut, academy sculptor, professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Zagreb and Ivana Kancir, senior curator of MSU.
The public exhibition is open until June 9, 2019, and the entrance is free.
Damir Očko received the first prize in the amount of 75,000 kunas for "DICTA II (safewords)".
Video work "DICTA II (safewords)" by Damir Očko is mastery not only of media but of artistic expression. Elaborate dramaturgy, exquisite aesthetic gestures, accurately framing and editing, in their poetry, open questions about mastering the immediate environment, social norms, and positions of power. Quite ordinary words that are monotonous, in contrast to the equilibrium of the body of the MMA fighters, become a cacophony, reflecting alienation and emptiness. In its complexity and multiplicity, the artwork speaks of many aspects of intertwining economic, political and artistic systems. Damir Očko is unconditionally ranked among the most prominent artists of his generation on a global scale.
The second prize and 45,000 kunas went to Andreja Kulunčić for ART-ACT-BOX: Performativity of the exhibition”.
Multidisciplinary work by Andreja Kulunčić "ART-ACT-BOX: The performativity of the exhibition ", through artistic methods, offers the audience creative tools to activate their own everyday life and social engagement. The easy-to-use props for making the exhibition, drawn up in accordance with the methods and materials used by artists during the 60s and 70s of the last century as part of the institutional critique of the socio-political system, are now inviting the audience to be active in the critique of current social relations and practice. Artistic work thus becomes exploration, co-creation, and self-organization of those who actively participate in the work. Only then, in interaction with the audience, Andreja's work is "completed".
The third prize of 40 thousand kunas goes to Sven Klobučar.
"Dead", the series of color drawings by Sven Klobučar is an impressive blend of exquisitely crafted, filigree classic drawings and elements of popular culture, such as horror movie caricatures. Death is the last taboo of civilization that arose on the necropolis, and they say it will end this way. But one cannot approach death, horror, fear with open hands, just with grotesque and black humor, as Sven does. Grotesque grimaces of the deceased, ghosts, living dead, are fictitious, not alive or dead anonymous heroes of the world that lives in fear of nothingness. The characters are trapped in their effigy, in time and without the possibility of escape: from the effigy, from time and from death.
In the new category "For the Young", the winner is Nives Žarković with the work "Shame on You", and she gets 20 thousand kunas.
Bravely speaking to the public of threatening messages written in the extremely raw and vulgar language, Nives's work shows the roughness of what can be communicated in the virtual space. Abuse messages printed on a red carpet thus become a contrast to the "red carpet" media iconography that is synonymous with success, fame, and riches. Nives tells us resolutely and impressively that the problem should not be hidden "under the carpet", but should be publicly disclosed, fought against verbal violence and its immorality. Victims often overuse the trauma they go through, so the consequences of violence negatively affect mental, spiritual, and physical health. Therefore, Nives invites the audience to walk over the carpet to participate in her battle to experience a kind of cleansing and publicize this often neglected topic.
Laureates were given the prizes by Snježana Pintarić, director of MSU; Ms. Nina Išek Međugorac, Director of Corporate Communications of HT; Ms. Nevena Tudor Perković, Head of the Department for Cultural and Artistic Development of the Ministry of Culture; Ms. Mirna Rudan Lisak, delegate of the Mayor Milan Bandić.
In addition to the awarded works, the international jury also gives special recognition to Denis Butorac from the "For Young" category, for the outstanding quality of Homesick.
The opening featured two performances: Amela Frankl "This too shall pass" and Nora Turato "The good, the bad, the viscose".
Fifth Prize - Audience Award, in the amount of 10,000 kunas, will be awarded upon completion of the exhibition to the artwork with the highest number of visitors’ votes, and the luckiest voter will win a valuable prize - the Huawei MediaPad T1 8.0 tablet.