On 10th February 2017, the presentation of the Peter and Luise Hager Prize 2017 was held at the Saar Academy of Fine Art and Design in Saarbrücken. The Peter and Luise Hager Foundation and the Saar Academy of Fine Art and Design honours particularly artistic and creative student work, which explores the sensual experience and interposition of technical, social and cultural processes. The subject of this year's competition was 'Kreis' (circle).
Students at the art college were invited to artistically or creatively recreate a 'circle' and were free to choose the medium and form of their work.
From the 34 entries, the jury – made up of members of the board of directors and the foundation board of the Peter and Luise Hager Foundation, the Saar Academy of Fine Art and Design and Roland Mönig (Saarland museum) – selected ten candidates, whose work will be displayed at the Saarländische Galerie in Berlin between 19th March and 15th April.
First-place winner Ida Kammerloch asked people on the street 'what does your circle look like?' and invited them to draw their personal circle. Then, she photographed these people together with their drawings. In the photographs, there is a certain tension between the drawing and the person. The result is 'I was a circle' – a short social reportage, which was awarded first place and €5000 by the jury.
Second place went to Michael Voigt with 'COLIGHD' ('circles of light in gravity hey du'). A drop of water falls into a glass container filled with water. When it hits the surface, it triggers a flash of light. Circular rings spread out and are reflected on the ceiling. For a fraction of a second, the snapshot-style flash creates a sculpture on the surface of the water.
Third prize was awarded to Valerian Polienko, who submersed backing film wrapped with ties in water containing pigments and coloured inks. Shapes of different forms and colours appeared on the backing films. The result: bright, random images.
The work of other students also impressed the judges. A painting by Miriam Dockendorf created new words from the letters that make up the word 'Kreis' ('circle'). Anna Makarova submitted an almost contemplative video. Works by Esther Momper, Richard Engel, Eva Fischer, Marion Kentischer and Christine Reisen will also be displayed in Berlin.
The patron of the exhibition is Prof. Dr. Christina Weiss. The native Saarlander, former Minister of State to the Federal Chancellor and former Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media was delighted that the works found their way to the capital. The finalists are not only being showcased in the public eye – the Peter and Luise Hager Prize is also promoting the development of artistic skills: 'Right in the middle of their studies, young artists studying at HBKsaar in Saarbrücken are being given impetus to explore a topic and approach it from an artistic point of view.'
The first Peter and Luise Hager Prize was awarded in 2012. The non-profit foundation established in 2010 supports projects that promote science and research, development and education, environmental protection and cultural aims.
The Saar Academy of Fine Art and Design is a state-run institution, which currently offers places for around 400 students. It was founded in 1989. The professors are internationally renowned artists and designers.
The Saarländische Galerie is a volunteer-run association, in which Saarlanders and friends of Saarland in Berlin have come together to showcase, promote and make the general public more aware of art and culture, in particular that from Saarland. The association is politically unaffiliated and non-profit.