It is for the second time we stage an exhibition of artists nominated for the AVIVA Award, a distinction that AVIVA Life Insurance founded with an intention not unlike that of the British Turner Prize. While it seeks to enhance the standing and popularity of contemporary art, its exceptionally high prize, 5 million forints, is hoped to be a welcome support for one of those artists under 40 who are nominated by a jury of art historians, critics and private collectors on the strength of their work in the past three years. Art historian and Chief Curator of Műcsarnok Lívia Páldi, Director of Ludwig Museum Barnabás Bencsik, art historian Sándor Hornyik, collector Ferenc Karvalits, painter and associate professor of the Painting Department at the Hungarian University of Art Attila Szűcs and gallery owner Hans Knoll have each suggested an artist (painters, photographers and media artists are equally represented), or, as the case may be, an artist duo.
From graffiti to the surreal world of objects divested of their functions, it has been a very consistent artistic journey for painter Róbert Batykó. In photos and films that usually derive their subjects from the immediate environment of the artist, Marcell Esterházy offers a new interpretation of almost clichéd situations and events. Relying on audiovisual experiments, Hajnal Németh’s art sensitively balances between social critique and the aspects of identity policy. Katarina Sevic, who applies diverse strategies of observation and communication in her works, studies the intersections of the private and the public sphere. Ferenc Gróf and Jean-Baptiste Naudy, who have been working together as the Société Réaliste since 2004, have introduced such new terms to the visual arts as political design, experimental economy or social manipulation technology. Inspired by an interest in the social sciences, Gergely László and Péter Rákosi, the “visual sociologists” of Tehnica Schweiz document the disappearance or transformation of spaces and lifestyles that relate to a given subject.
In the last phase of the exhibition, that jury will name the winner of the Award. A special prize of 500,000 forints will also be awarded, based on the votes of the audience.