The International Media Art Award goes to Abu Ali*Toni Serra
For her project proposal «…werdet sie erkennen» Johanna Reich was awarded the 2006 PROMOTION PRIZE of the NAM JUNE PAIK AWARD, a project promotion worth 15.000 euros. Johanna Reich, a former student of the Münster Kunstakademie, now lives in Cologne and Barcelona.
The jury’s statement on the conferment of the 2006 NAM JUNE PAIK AWARD to Abu Ali*Toni Serra reads as follows:
«Global interconnectedness of the new media opens up a universally accessible, visual presence of images which, up to a few years ago, was undreamt of. The effect is that authorities such as broadcasting stations and providers in the field of media, or galleries and museums in the field of art, no longer function as filters. Nowadays people can make their information and images available internationally, independently of preliminary instances which are always subjective and seldom autonomous.
Abu Ali*Toni Serra’s video archive shown in the Cologne Museum of Applied Arts is located at this level of independence of preliminary deciders: Through this work, existing, but frequently secret and so not commonly known, images and themes such as training and simulation systems for military use, are given the publicity so indispensable for a democracy. In this way the video archive creates publicity – arguably the most democratic commodity of our time. It has a long-term informative impact and, considering the images from Abu Ghraib and Afghanistan, its artistically structural dimension is also highly controversial when it comes to current affairs. The anarchic fundament of Nam June Paik’s art is evident in this video archive.»
In the Cologne Museum of Applied Arts Abu Ali*Toni Serra shows two aspects of his work in three parallel projections: the personal documentary films – such as ISTISHARA – and the enormous BABYLON ARCHIVES – an archive-like block of themes which follows the tracks of the global American technological state and documents, among others, digital training and simulation systems for military use.
Abu Ali*Toni Serra, born in Barcelona in 1960, graduates from the University of Barcelona with a degree in art history and philosophy in 1981. From 1982 onwards he works as freelance journalist and assistant lecturer at the University of Barcelona. After studying photography, video and film at the New York School of Visual Arts he explores video, photography and other media. Serra is a founding member of «La 12 Visual», an independent group of video artists. His works have been shown in museums like the Centre George Pompidou in Paris, at media-arts festivals and film festivals, but also in the context of Pop, for instance at the Sonar festival. He lives in Barcelona and Duar Msuar, Morocco.
The exhibition accompanying the 2006 NAM JUNE PAIK AWARD – International Media Art Award of the Arts Foundation NRW includes a total of eight items and is open until November 12 2006 in the Cologne Museum of Applied Arts. The exhibits are the works of the short-listed candidates for the 2006 NAM JUNE PAIK AWARD, who were selected by a jury headed by Udo Kittelmann.