Federal Office of Culture presents the Swiss Grand Award for Art / Prix Meret Oppenheim 2014 to four Swiss culture practitioners

Bern, 29.08.2014 - On the recommendation of the Federal Art Commission, the Federal Office of Culture (FOC) awards the accolades to the artists Anton Bruhin and Pipilotti Rist, art historian Catherine Quéloz, and the architecture partnership “pool”. Each award is worth CHF 40,000. The presentation ceremony takes place on 28 October 2014 at the Flux Laboratory in Zurich.

This year, the Swiss Grand Award for Art / Prix Meret Oppenheim is presented for the 14th time to figures from the worlds of art, art mediation and architecture whose work is of particular relevance and importance to contemporary art and architecture.

In a career spanning almost 40 years, artist, poet, musician and performer Anton Bruhin (b. 1949 in Lachen, Schwyz) has created an oeuvre of exceptional diversity and complexity. Few artists are active in so many different fields. His works range from computer-generated pixel images to urban and landscape paintings to palindromes and the Jew’s harp music that has made him world-famous. Bruhin draws his ideas from everyday experiences, refining or reducing them to produce works in which the profane acquires an enigmatic radiance. The multi-faceted artist’s most recent works continue to explore new avenues.

Pipilotti Rist (b. 1962 in Grabs, St. Gallen) has gained worldwide recognition with her colourful video projections, installations and sculptures. Her work is a psychological and political investigation of themes including the human body, identity, gender and culture, often shot through with humour. Pipilotti Rist has developed an unmistakeable visual idiom characterised by floods of images bursting with sound and colour, unconventional camerawork and dense pictorial sequences that combine with technologically generated disorientation to create projections which frequently envelop space. Her groundbreaking works have played an important role in art and video history and profoundly influenced generations of artists.

Art historian Catherine Quéloz (b. 1948 in Geneva) established Switzerland’s first curatorial studies course at the then Ecole supérieure des beaux-arts Genève in 1987. For ten years, within the course, she also directed the Sous-sol exhibition space, a venue for futuristic and experimental projects. In 2000, she and Liliane Schneiter created the research-based Master and Pre-Doctorate / PhD programme CCC (Critical Curatorial Cybermedia Studies) at the Haute Ecole d’Art et de Design Genève. Catherine Quéloz’s artistic collaborations, her interdisciplinary research into gender and post-colonial theories as well as her strong involvement with alternative teaching methods in art are extremely influential. She is the author of a range of publications and teaches art history, art theory and cultural studies both in Switzerland and abroad.

The Zurich-based architecture collective “pool” was established at the end of the 1990s and originally emerged from a discussion platform for young architects. pool consists of eight partners: Dieter Bachmann, Raphael Frei, Mathias Heinz, Philipp Hirtler, David Leuthold, Andreas Sonderegger, Mischa Spoerri and Matthias Stocker. From the outset, it has adopted an interdisciplinary and undogmatic approach. Its work focuses on residential construction, schools and sports facilities as well as urban planning. pool reached out to a wider audience through its participation in the Krokodil group of architects, whose study Glatt! Manifest für eine Stadt im Werden devised solutions for Switzerland’s urban future taking Zurich’s Glatttal conurbation as an example.

Award ceremony
The award ceremony takes place on 28 October 2014 at the Flux Laboratory, Schiffbau 5 in Zurich.

The publication contains interviews with the award winners: Hans-Ulrich Obrist in conversation with Anton Bruhin, Tom Kummer with Pipilotti Rist, Liliane Schneiter with Catherine Quéloz and Thomas Kramer with pool architects. It will be published to coincide with the award ceremony and as a supplement to the December 2014 Kunstbulletin issued by the Federal Office of Culture.

Press images
High-resolution portraits of the winners will be available for download from 11 a.m. on 29 August 2014 at: www.bak.admin.ch, under “Aktuelles”.

Address for enquiries

On the Confederation’s awards policy:
Danielle Nanchen, Head of Cultural Creativity Section, Federal Office of Culture, Tel. +41 (0)58 464 98 32, danielle.nanchen@bak.admin.ch

On the award winners:
Manuela Schlumpf, Cultural Creativity Section - Art Promotion, Federal Office of Culture, Tel. +41 (0)58 462 92 89, manuela.schlumpf@bak.admin.ch


Federal Office of Cultural Affairs