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Announcement
May 20, 2021

Rundgang 50Hertz prizewinners 2021

Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart - Berlin

Courtesy of Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin.

The theme of this year’s Rundgang 50Hertz is: studying art during lockdown. What happens when nothing more is actually happening and social life shifts exclusively into the virtual realm? How can artists make creative use of this vacuum, and how do the restrictive measures concretely impact their artistic work? These questions, which, with the closing of studios, workshops, and art academies in the past months, have significantly marked the lives of art students, are the point of departure for Rundgang 50Hertz, for which the jury chose Paula Ábalos, Elena Greta Falcini and Annabel Häfner.

Paula Ábalos’ (born in 1989 in Santiago de Chile) film project is about a worker cleaning a fitness studio at night, solitary and alone. Large-scale photographs on the walls show the results of the machinery provided for optimising the body. Omnipotently, ideal images of trained bodies of totalitarian proportions contrast with the sole person truly present in the room, whose exhaustion increases with the cleaning of each machine. The relationship between these two levels – between absent ideal image and present real image – becomes ever more peculiar in the course of the night.

Elena Greta Falcini (born in 1986 in Eggenfelden) is fascinated by alchemy. She researches and invents various materials that she concocts at night in her studio out of mysterious ingredients. This creative process is accompanied by questions like: What is material? How does it arise? Is it autonomous? Driven by an epistemological interest in the conditions of the origin and properties of materiality per se, Falcini gets to the bottom of things. She engages a research institute to decipher the material she has invented and translate it into a scientific formula. The laboratory-like setting of this exploration is just as much part of her installation as her working shoes, which are marked by the experiments.

Annabell Häfner (born in 1993 in Bonn) paints “non-places.” The French ethnologist and anthropologist Marc Augé published a book of the same title in 1992 about this phenomenon that occurs in a globalised world. “Non-places” are anonymous places, places without individual identity that people pass through just briefly. No social relationships develop here; they are uniform places where one is thrown back on oneself. From among these so-called transit spaces (which include train stations, airports, rest stops, shopping centres, etc.) Annabell Häfner selects hotel rooms. She translates the character of the so-called “non-places” into her painting style. Ephemerality and speed define the characteristic style. Layer by layer, she distances herself ever more from the motif of the hotel room. In this way, atmospheric colour places emerge.

Films about their artistic work can be viewed here.

Presentation in the museum: June 11–13, 2021

Curated by Dr. Melanie Franke, professor at the Academy of Art and Design in Basel.

A catalogue will be published for the presentation. Download pdf here.

The Rundgang 50Hertz is based on a cooperation between the Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the transmission system operator 50Hertz to support art academy graduates.

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