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Mika Rottenberg. Cosmic Generator, 2017. Video Stills. ©David Hollander

Mika Rottenberg, 2019 Kurt Schwitters Prize


Hannover, Germany

In recent days Argentinean artist Mika Rottenberg was named the winner of the 2019 Kurt Schwitters Prize, a biennial award that recognizes artists who have made meaningful contributions to contemporary art (through the incorporation of new areas, artistic ideas, and/or media integration). Founded in 1982 and managed by the Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung, the award pays tribute to the legacy of German painter Kurt Schwitters (1887–1948).

The jury of the award was formed by Reinhard Spieler, director of the Sprengel Museum; Ralf Beil, director of the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg in Germany; Laurent Le Bon, director of the Musée Picasso in Paris; Massimiliano Gioni, artistic director of the New Museum in New York; and Susanne Pfeffer, director of the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt.

In a joint statement, the members of the jury gave the following reasons for their selection: "The imaginative videos and installations by Mika Rottenberg weave documentary elements and fiction to create surreal allegories for contemporary life. Her elaborate visual narratives illuminate interconnected networks between economies, geographic areas, forms of labor, and the production of value […] Her interdisciplinary and experimental focus and exploration of interconnectedness between machine and body, echo the sensibility of pioneering artist Kurt Schwitters, making her an ideal candidate to receive the Kurt Schwitters Award."

The award will be presented to Mika Rottenberg at the end of 2019. It consists of a purse of 25,000 euros and an exhibition at the Museo Sprengel in Hannover, Germany.

Mika Rottenberg was born in Buenos Aires in 1976 and she currently lives in New York. She is known for videos and installations that she calls "Social Surrealism." Her pieces often feature women who produce all sorts of products in bizarre work environments and industrial settings: cheese produced from the milk of women with exceedingly long hair (Cheese, 2008); cultured pearls (NoNoseKnows, 2015); colorful wholesale products made of plastic sold in Chinese superstores for millions of dollars (Cosmic Generator, 2017). Her work has been shown around the world in prestigious museums and at major art fairs.




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