Michael Sailstorfer (*1979 Velden/Vils), is the prize-winner of “Vattenfall Contemporary 2012”. This choice pays tribute to an artistic position that re-questions and extends the classical concept of sculpture. In his often lavishly produced works he creates new, unfamiliar relations between everyday objects and processes, so generating images with great poetic effect.
The central motif of his first major solo exhibition in Berlin is the forest. Five trees in the installation Forst, hanging upside down and revolving around their own axes, take up the whole of the 10-metre high exhibition space. While Sailstorfer brings nature into the exhibition space here, with his second work Schwarzwald (Black Forest) he takes art into nature: he produced a square field in an area of forest using black paint, which is reminiscent of Kazimir Malevich’s Black Square dating from 1914/15. Its slow disintegration, triggered by natural processes, is watched over by a video camera and transmitted via live stream to a screen in the exhibition space.
Sailstorfer studied under Olaf Metzel at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and at Goldsmiths College in London. To date, it has been possible to see solo exhibitions of his work in the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt a. M. (2008), the Kestner Society Hanover (2010/11), the S.M.A.K. in Genth (2011), and Kunsthalle Nuremberg (2011).
The prize "Vattenfall Contemporary" is a re-conception of the “Vattenfall Kunstpreis Energie”, which has been awarded annually since 1992, experiencing its 20th anniversary this year. The prize was re-conceived in collaboration with the Berlinische Galerie in 2010. Since then it has been presented to internationally acclaimed artists living and working in Berlin.