The five finalists selected for the Art Section of the Mario Merz Prize’s Third Edition are Bertille Bak (France), Mircea Cantor (Romania), David Maljković (Croatia), Maria Papadimitriou (Greece), and Unknown Friend (USA).
The artists present stylistic and formal solutions that differ according to their respective stories and experiences, generational and geographical belonging, yet each expressing the same questioning vision of the present. Multiple histories and individual evolutions all converge in an attempt to build a new language to capture a sense of the present.
Five different individual processes that transform reality into stories are presented: the life of the community to which Bertille Bak belongs, the ruins that evoke collective tragedies in the works of Mircea Cantor, memory and archives in the work of David Malijković, an investigation into social bonds in the work of Maria Papadimitrou, and a tragicomic narrative that overturns the normal balance between reality and fiction in the ironic approach of Unknown Friend.
The artists were shortlisted by members of the pre-selection judging panel, Claudia Gioia (Independent Curator), Samuel Gross (Head Curator, Swiss Institute) and Beatrice Merz (President, Fondazione Merz).
The public is invited to vote for their favourite artist by visiting the exhibition or logging onto the website (mariomerzprize.org) to view and judge the artwork online. The public vote will be added to the votes cast by the Jury, whose members are: Manuel Borja-Villel (Director Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid), Massimiliano Gioni (Head Curator New Museum, New York – Art Director Fondazione Trussardi, Milan), Lawrence Weiner (artist), and Beatrice Merz.