Awarded Artists

Duncan Campbell - Winner of 2008


Duncan Campbell, *1972, lives in Glasgow, United Kingdom
Foto: Peter Schnetz

Duncan Campbell - Winner of 2008

In Make it fall, Bernadette of 2008, Duncan Campbell takes an open and experimental approach to the story of the Irish dissident and political activist Bernadette Devlin. His interest in the workings of contemporary history and the way it is communicated by the media is closely related to his scepticism towards documentary reality. This “special form of fiction" has led him to give shape to the spaces in between, which also means accepting the fragmentary. Not only does Campbell’s work represent a critical and intelligent analysis of documentary strategies, it is also a sensitive and respectful portrait of an extraordinary person, rendered in striking images and brilliant sequences.

In addition to the cash prize, Baloise acquires a group of works by the award winners and donates them to two important European museums.Campbell's works Bernadette as well as Sigmar were presented to the collection of the mumok Wien.


In Sigmar (2008) Campbell mostly works with abstract details from the paintings of Sigmar Polke, accompanied by scraps of a fictional dialogue (in German) with the painter, the content of which cannot be grasped.

These apparently very different works are based on Campbell’s conviction that narration can only be subjective and that the documentary is only a “peculiar form of fiction.” Yet history must be related, and stories told, in forms that also allow their inherent contradictions and discontinuities to be experienced. “I am striving in my films for what Samuel Beckett terms ‘a form that accommodates the mess’” (Duncan Campbell).

Hotel Gallery, London

Jury members:
Petra Roettig, Director of the Contemporary Gallery at Hamburger Kunsthalle; Gary Garrels, Senior Curator, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Edelbert Köb, Director, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna; Uli Sigg, Sigg
Collection, Mauensee and Martin Schwander, art consultant of Baloise and chairman of the Jury.