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Events 2019


Artist talk: Herman Seidl in discussion with Pierre Descamps

Thu, 26 September 2019, 7pm
Artist Talk and Awarding Ceremony
followed by a reception

Pierre Descamps is the inaugural winner of the SpallArt Prize 2019. This international award for excellence in contemporary art is a rotating prize. For 2019 Pierre Descamps was elected from 157 applications.

Pierre Descamps’ body of photographic, wall objects and sculptural work is largely centered on a portrait of urban architecture. His well-defined, geometric focus emphasizes the formalism of urban constructions and the city barriers used by skateboarders. A second reading reveals however that his works enact a kind of periphrasis with the materials, confronting two contrasting cultures: popular culture and another more elitist one, grounded in the sophisticated legacy of twentieth-century conceptual movements: the aseptic imagery of the Dusseldorf School (the Bechers, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Demand) and the inexpressive influence of Pop (Ed Ruscha, Baldessari). While his sculptures and photos recall minimalist geometric compositions, the materials he employs and his way of making the works have completely different connotations, and on the other hand, unlike the popular iconography one usually finds in skateboarding culture, Descamps’ images are aseptic and devoid of human expression. Showing physical work without workers, skateboarding without skateboarding, without skaters, when it is a practice that has its greatest ally in human relations, is undoubtedly a way to monumentalize an exercise that takes place in the streets, in a natural way, and that could be put in close relationship with many other spontaneous meetings that at times shake the foundations of the established.

Herman Seidl is a Salzburg/Europe based freelance photographer and short-filmmaker. As a curator for photography he has been involved since 1983 in contributing to Fotohof Gallery in Salzburg - a center dedicated to contemporary photography run by an artist collective.

Pierre Descamps, Monuments p.579-580, 2019, unique offset print, 
42 x 29,7 cm

Pierre Descamps, Monuments p.579-580, 2019, unique offset print,
42 x 29,7 cm
Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Pierre Descamps, Monuments p.579-580, 2019, unique offset print, 
42 x 29,7 cm0