Deutscher Künstlerbund e.V.

Susann Maria Hempel, Awardee of the »HAP-Grieshaber-Preis der VG Bild-Kunst« 2019, Photo © Samuel Henne

Sieben Mal am Tag beklagen wir unser Los und nachts stehen wir auf, um nicht zu träumen, 2014
© Susann Maria Hempel

Der große Gammel, 2013
© Susann Maria Hempel
13.12.2019 until 21.02.2020
Susann Maria Hempel
Awardee of the »HAP-Grieshaber-Preis der VG Bild-Kunst« 2019

Susann Maria Hempel | Media of Possession

Thursday, 12 December 2019, 7 pm

Brief greetings
Annebarbe Kau, Chairwoman, Deutscher Künstlerbund
Dr Anke Schierholz, Legal Counsel, VG Bild-Kunst
Prof Monika Brandmeier, Executive Spokeswoman, Stiftung Kunstfonds

Words of welcome
Erhard Grundl MdB, Parliamentary Spokesman on Culture, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen; Member of the Parliamentary Committee on Culture and the Media

Kathrin Röggla, Vice President, Akademie der Künste, Berlin

As one of Germany’s most richly endowed art prizes (25,000 euros), the HAP Grieshaber Prize has been awarded since 1999 to outstanding contemporary artists, this year being the twentieth edition. Previous winners include Rosa Barba, Patrycja German, Bjørn Melhus, Gert & Uwe Tobias, Özlem Günyol & Mustafa Kunt and Sergio Zevallos. Since 2003, the annual exhibition of the winner’s work has been hosted by Deutscher Künstlerbund.

This year, the »HAP-Grieshaber-Preis der VG Bild-Kunst« has been awarded to Susann Maria Hempel.

In her experimental films, radio plays and drawings, Hempel deals with a place in provincial Thuringia marked by depopulation, demolition and devaluation. She evokes moments in a ghost town where obliterated evidence of a formerly thriving culture, like the municipal theatre or traces of the life of locally-born and internationally celebrated musical pioneer Oscar Sala, become visible and audible once more. In the work, the processes of destruction are transferred to the film medium, inscribed into the material itself. But the artist does more than just visualize the disappearance of a small town, delving instead into deeper regions: against the town’s dysfunctional backdrop, she turns her attention to its inhabitants, especially the outsiders. In suggestive and sometimes disturbing scenarios – cross-genre combinations of object tableaus, dialect-tinged speech and writing, plus singing and music – she traces traumatic experiences and human suffering. Like the title of her most recent radio play, she sets off »In Search of the Lost Atoms of the Soul«.

Susann Maria Hempel (born 1983) lives and works in Greiz (Thuringia). She studied media design at the Bauhaus University in Weimar. Her films and radio plays have received many prizes, including: 2014 German Short Film Prize, Gold; Best Film in the German Competition at Oberhausen International Short Film Festival; Grand Prix Labo at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival; German Film Critics’ Prize; Radio Play of the Year 2018; War Blinded Radio Play Prize. She has received several work grants including from Akademie Schloss Solitude, the Karl Schmidt-Rottluff Scholarship and the Berlin Scholarship from Akademie der Künste, Berlin.

The prize money for the HAP Grieshaber Prize is provided by the cultural organization of VG Bild-Kunst, using funds held back in accordance with the agency’s plans for copyright payments. The prize is thus a mark of recognition for artists from artists.

VG Bild-Kunst and Stiftung Kunstfonds in cooperation with Deutscher Künstlerbund.

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