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8th February 2018

Award Ceremony for the Peter und Luise Hager Prize

The 2018 Peter und Luise Hager Prize was presented at the Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Saar (Saar Academy of Fine Arts and Design – HBKsaar) in Saarbrücken, Germany, on 2nd February 2018. The Peter und Luise Hager Foundation and the Saar Academy of Fine Arts and Design honour students for outstanding work and concepts dealing with the sensual experience and communication of technical, social and cultural processes in a creative, artistic way.

The brief for this year’s competition was to examine the subject of “contact” in art and design. The students were free to decide which media they wanted to use to convey the theme of the competition.

From the total of 47 entries received, the jury selected eleven candidates whose work is being included as part of an exhibition at the HBKsaar gallery from 3rd February to 4th March. Their pieces will also be displayed in the exhibition space at the Saarländische Galerie-Europäisches Kunstforum in Berlin from 16th March to 14th April.

The jury selected three of the exhibited works as winners of the prizes, which were presented by Evi Hager, President of the Peter und Luise Hager Foundation.

Here are the winners:

1st prize (5,000 euros) – Lukas Ratius & Frederic Zenner
2nd prize (3,000 euros) – Felix Bronko Noll
3rd prize (2,000 euros) – Jenny Tran

The jury were most impressed by Lukas Ratius and Frederic Zenner’s installation entitled “Contactu Fungi”, awarded first place to this piece. Presented in the style of a clinical laboratory situation, bacterial cultures demonstrate just how many microorganisms there are around us every day. Their work shows what marks are left behind by a hand print, two little kisses on the cheek and a kiss on the mouth. On a substance which encourages the growth of bacteria, the traces left behind depict delicate images of contact.

Felix Bronko Noll turned the “contact” theme into “Kont AKT” in the title of his work. He says his work is based on the belief that an honest connection with one’s own body is one of the most important forms of contact. For this project, Felix Noll enlarged sections of photographs to different scales and put them together in a way that combines details of parts of the body that do not actually belong together. When pieced together in his large-scale photography installation, the individual photographs still produce a coherent overall picture.

Jenny Tran was awarded third place for her work, which addresses the theme of contact as a kind of “search”. Her picture stories deal with modern-day life and the difficulties digitalization pose for the individual in terms of making contact with others in the real world. The individual builds up a digital image as a reflection of himself, almost losing himself in the process. The picture stories, which are reminiscent of comic strips and Frans Masereel’s woodcuts, visualise these problems in harsh graphic contrasts before finally hinting at a solution.

We would also like to thank the other finalists, who are receiving a fee of 500 euros to cover their expenses: Mathias Aan’t Heck, Nina Kronenberger, Nadiya Morenko, Sarah Niecke & Katrin Pape & Christine Reisen, Shakti Paqué, Esther Ramsbrock, Johanna Schlegel and Luise Talbot.

The  Peter und Luise Hager Foundation was represented by Chair of the Foundation, Evi Hager, board member Susanne Trockle and foundation board member Gabriela Gross. HBKsaar was represented on the jury by Professors Sung Hyung Cho, Ivica Maksimovic and Matthias Winzen. Other jury members included Dr Roland Mönig (artistic and cultural chairman of Stiftung Saarländischer Kulturbesitz) and Dr Andrea Weber (from Saarländische Galerie in Berlin).

The Peter und Luise Hager Prize was awarded for the first time in 2012. The non-profit foundation, founded in 2010, supports projects in the areas of science and research, education, art and culture, environmentalism and social affairs.

The  Saar Academy of Fine Arts and Design (HBKsaar) is a state institution established in 1989. It currently offers spaces for around 400 students. Internationally renowned artists and designers teach and work at the academy.

The  Saarländische Galerie is a volunteer-run association in which locals and friends of the Saarland region have joined forces to present and promote art and culture – particularly work from Saarland – to make it accessible to the public. The association is politicallyindependent and run on a non-profit, charitable basis.


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