On Thursday 10 October at the Italian Embassy in Madrid, on the occasion of the exhibition Mario Merz. El tiempo es mudo at the Palacio de Velázquez, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Beatrice Merz announced the winner of the third edition of the Mario Merz Prize Art section.
Bertille Bak, finalist together with artists Mircea Cantor, David Maljković, Maria Papadimitriou, Unknown Friend, was chosen by a jury composed of the public and of Manuel Borja-Villel (director of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid), Lawrence Weiner (artist), Massimiliano Gioni (artistic director of the New Museum, New York – artistic director of the Fondazione Trussardi, Milan) and Beatrice Merz.
The jury motivated its choice with these words:
In the face of excellent competition in the shortlist for the third edition of the Prize, in terms of quality, conceptual depth and linguistic precision, Bertille Bak’s submission has emerged as the closest to the characteristics sought by the Mario Merz Prize.
Bertille Bak places the human being at the centre of her work. She has come into contact with various communities weakened and marginalised by the difficult context in which they live in order to seek a comparison and direct involvement with them, and then transferred their dreams, desires, riches, knowledge into art through a choral, poetic and ironic tale. Using different media, from drawing to video and the use of technology, the artist formalises the creative process by creating a bond with her ‘fellow travellers’, with an open mind, empathy and social attention without, however, as a result of this descending into a documentary-like analysis.