Promoting talent has a long tradition at the Baloise Group. For many years now, it has been offering training and further education programmes to help them embark on a sustainable career. This promotional concept also characterises its commitment to art.
The basis for this is its longstanding collecting activity. Corporate Collecting is a significant contribution to corporate culture. The aim is not primarily to increase value, but to integrate intellectual values as essential factors in Baloise's corporate culture. Baloise sees the privilege of owning art as being linked with the obligation to make it accessible to a broad public. Baloise also cultivates this attitude through its commitment to promoting modern art - through purchases for its own collection and with the Baloise Art Prize: Baloise promotes the artistic development of young and emerging talents.
Thanks to its reputation, the Baloise Art Prize has also become a stepping stone to a successful career. Many prizewinners can now count themselves among the most prominent figures on the international art scene.
20 years ago, two talented young artists were awarded the Baloise Art Prize for the first time. Since then, two artists have been honoured each year at Art Basel on the basis of their selection by an international jury of experts. They each receive 30,000 Swiss francs. In addition, the Baloise Group acquires works of art by the prizewinners and donates them to two major European museums; currently the MUDAM, Musée d'Art Moderne Grand Duc Jean, Luxembourg and the Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin.
In 2018 the jury has chosen the Korean artist Suki Seokeoyong Kang and the Jordanian-British Lawrence Abu Hamdan. The work of Suki Seokeoyong Kang was presented to MUDAM Luxembourg in September 2019. Last Friday, the Berliner Museum Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart received the work of the Jordanian artist and celebrated the opening of the special exhibition "Lawrence Abu Hamdan - The Voice Before the Law", which was curated especially in honor of the artist. The award-winning work is the focus of this exhibition.
Lawrence Abu Hamdan's audiovisual and installation works focus on the political dimensions of language and communication. His art is never apolitical. As a result of scientific research, it shows how language affects asylum procedures, questions of citizenship, in other words, the legal status of a person. The artist has been instrumental in the reconstruction of processes and practices in a Syrian prison through the analysis of acoustic memories of surviving prisoners, in collaboration with Amnesty International and the independent institute Forensic Architecture.Lawrence Abu Hamdan - Winner of 2018
For this work he has also been nominated for the Turner Prize.
The works of Lawrence Abu Hamdan can be seen at Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart in Berlin until February 9, 2020.