Ars Fennica prize 2014 has been awarded to artists Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen. This year the selection was made by Turkish curator Vasif Kortun.
Ars Fennica award is granted by the Henna and Pertti Niemistö Ars Fennica Art Foundation in recognition of distinctive, high-quality artistic work. This year the award sum was 40,000 Euros. The Ars Fennica award was founded in 1990 to promote and support Finnish visual art and to open new international connections.
The prize was presented by Mrs Jenni Haukio at an award ceremony at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. On the same occasion the candidate which received the most audience votes in a poll held at the gallery during the Ars Fennica exhibition. The audience’s favourite was artist duo IC-98, who will represent Finland in next year’s Venice Biennale.
Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen are an artist duo whose artistic work has its point of departure in creative collaboration with a participating public. The final work is often a video installation, a film, an event, or a performance.The subjects of this artist duo’s works are social ones, but instead of documenting everyday life, they seek to use the means of art to offer a forum for sharing experiences and producing utopias; imaginary solutions that seek a better world.
Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen have two videoworks in the Ars Fennica 2014 exhibition held at Kiasma, People in White (2011) and Archipelago Science Fiction (2011).
The winner was selected by Turkish curator Vasif Kortun (b. 1958). Kortun is a curator, writer and teacher in the field of contemporary visual art, its institutions, and spatial practices. He is the Director of Research and Programs of SALT, a centre for contemporary art in Istanbul and Ankara.
Kortun writes about the winning artists:
“Their works are very timely in bringing to fore stories made with a dedicated communality and drawing from this fickle thing we call artistic knowledge as well as uninhibited humor and absurdity. They nibble at notions of documentary, as they tend to deal with the “reality” of a situation by allowing it to be reconstructed with a particular detachment.
I selected out of an amazingly sophisticated group of artists of diverse practices Kalleinen and Kochta-Kalleinen for the precise beauty of the ways they take on the present time. Aired out are voices and situations drowned by the noise of media and grand issues. Like all great art, their works helps you imagine possibilities not closures.”
Ars Fennica 2014 exhibition is on view at Kiasma until April 20th 2014.