Winners of Eksperimenta! Triennial Announced

According to Sirje Helme, the head judge of Eksperimenta!, the four member jury assayed the aspects of artworks that are characteristic to the age group of Eksperimenta! participants, aged 14-19. “The authors of Eksperimenta! are a very special age group, who are on the border of childhood and growing up. It is a very complicated age where young people have to deal with themselves and the “teenage angst” characteristic to that age. The maturity reflected in the works of the triennial participants is amazing and some of the participants are certainly bound to be notable artists in the future,” said Sirje Helme.

The award of the most promising young artist went to the Irish exposition for the group project “Stop Motion Animation”. It combines two-dimensional cardboard cut-outs, shadow and charcoal animations and has been made by eight students from Kilkenny: Donacha Foley, Aodhagan Murphy, Niall Cooper, Tracy Dalton, Jake Casey, Feibhár Baldwin-Wall, Eanna Brennan, Stephen O’Connor, James McGrath and Joe Carrol.

The curatorial prize went to Nina Ostan, the curator of Slovenian exposition, who observes “the space we are living in” together with the young authors. By combining local and global perspectives, the Slovenian works deal with both public and personal themes. “Adolescents see art on one hand as a space of democracy and equality, a space of active resistance to globalisation and capitalist omnipresence, media oversaturation and manipulation and on the other hand a space of very intimate personal declaration,” Nina Ostran described.

The third award of the triennial for was given to the exposition that had best integrated contemporary art and art education. The winner was the Finnish exposition which was presented at Eksperimenta! as a part of a wider national development project in contemporary art education in Finland, comprising more than 4000 students and 12 art schools. ”As the curator of the Eksperimenta! Finnish exposition, I visited all the participating schools and explored their workshops. In choosing the works for the exhibition, we aimed at creating a body of works which, despite or because of the differences in schools and their geographical locations, would reveal something about the spaces or states – both physical and mental – of ourselves as Finns,” said Juha Saari, the curator of the Finnish exposition.

In addition to the three abovementioned awards, the jury gave an honourable mention to a Turkish student Cagla Sozen’s installation “Detail”. The author explains that: “Sometimes we dedicate more space to details than they deserve. Because of the details, we don’t have enough space for the essentials. A little detail gets bigger in time like an avalanche, and it destroys everything in order to get all of my space. We have to say “stop”, if we don’t want the details to cover all of our space.”

The jury of Eksperimenta! was led by Sirje Helme, the director of the Art Museum of Estonia, and included Anu Hietala, the executive director of the Association of Finnish Art Schools for Children and Young People and the representative of Arts4All, Estêvão da Fontoura Haeser, the head of the Educational Programme of Mercosul Biennial, Brazil, and Tatyana Selivanovna, Ph.D., from the Institute of Art Education of the Russian State Academy of Education.

All the winning artworks can be seen, heard and experienced among more than 400 other works presented at the triennial until June 14. The visitors can also vote for their favourite author or artwork. The visitor's favourite will be announced at the closing ceremony of the triennial as the result of the voting that takes place both at the exhibition and on Eksperimenta! Facebook page. The Eksperimenta! exhibitions are open in the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds Tue-Sun 11:00-19:00 and in the Maarjamäe Palace Wed-Sun 10:00-17:00. Pedestrians can pass through the Mere and Oru gates of the Song Festival Grounds, drivers can access the exhibition area from the Tiigi gates.

Eksperimenta! triennial brings art education out from between school walls and invites schools to organize excursions to Tallinn in May and June, to experience the intriguing works of the young artists from various countries, to take part of the participatory programmes that are available for the students at the exhibition, and to visit many other exciting events of the European Capital of Culture Tallinn 2011 programme. In 2011, Europe’s best stories will be told in Tallinn and Eksperimenta! is a unique story of its kind in the world of youth contemporary art.

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