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Credit Suisse Förderpreis Videokunst Awarded for the Fifth Time to a Young Talent

Stine Eriksen won the 2016 Credit Suisse Förderpreis Videokunst for her work "Choreography # 2." (see trailer)

On February 25, 2016, the Credit Suisse Förderpreis Videokunst was awarded to a young talent for the 5th time. Stine Eriksen won over the jury with her video work "Choreography #2," which distinguishes itself through the harmonious interaction of virtuoso camera work and precisely set image and language levels. With the prize money, increased from CHF 8,000 to CHF 10,000 on the occasion of the anniversary, the artist plans to create the 3rd part of her work, designed as a trilogy. Kathleen Bühler, Jury President and Head of Contemporary Art at the Kunstmuseum Bern, and Hans Baumgartner, Head of Region Mittelland at Credit Suisse, tell us about the event jointly sponsored by both institutions.

Partnership Anniversary and 2016 Award Ceremony 

Twenty years of fruitful collaboration between Credit Suisse and Kunstmuseum Bern. The Credit Suisse Förderpreis Videokunst initiated jointly by both organizations was awarded for the fifth time in 2016. The winner is Stine Eriksen with "Choreography # 2."

The Credit Suisse Förderpreis Videokunst has now been awarded for the 5th time. How has it developed during this period?

Kathleen Bühler: When we launched the award together with Credit Suisse in 2011, our goal was to promote young artistic talent within the medium of video – which now has many differentiations. We were eager to see what young artists would come up with the per se simple initial situation – namely a camera in the hand or a drawing on the computer. We did not anticipate that the interest in this competition would develop as it did.

Hans Baumgartner: We are also very pleased with the direction this collaborative project has taken. Even though this young talent award had to earn its name recognition, it was astonishing to see how high the number of participants was as early as the first announcement. Submissions have more than doubled, from 32 then to 74 today. This leads to the conclusion that the time was right for this prize.

How important is the integration into the Kunstmuseum and how does the prize or the prize winner benefit from the sponsorship?

KB: For us, it was a great opportunity to familiarize young artists early on with the exhibit process in an institution and to have a look at their work. The ability to simultaneously support them at an early stage of their careers and connect them with our establishment to a certain degree was a nice side effect.

HB: Of course, it is crucial that such a prize be integrated in a recognized institution. This is important for its credibility, its reputation, and its future development. In this regard, the Kunstmuseum Bern was the ideal partner for us. We were therefore able to jointly move forward with this project, with each partner contributing their respective skills.

What were the skills contributed by the Kunstmuseum and Credit Suisse respectively?

HB: The Kunstmuseum contributes its specialized expertise, provides a Jury President in the person of Kathleen Bühler, organizes an exhibit for the prize winner, and gives the award a home, so to speak. Another crucial element is that the winning video becomes part of the Kunstmuseum's collection. Credit Suisse provides the prize money, the specialized expertise of André Rogger, Head of the Credit Suisse Collection, as a jury member, and its implementation know-how. It oversees the awards ceremony media and enables the award winners to present their work to a larger audience.

When can the artworks be seen?

HB: The jury's shortlist, including the award-winning video, will be shown as part of the Museum Night – also sponsored by Credit Suisse – in the Credit Suisse branch on the Bundesplatz in Bern. We create lounges for this purpose, so that the audience can experience the films in a living-room atmosphere. They are very popular, and we look forward to this event each year!

KB: This year, the exhibit will be at the Kunstmuseum@PROGR space from February 25 to March 26, 2016.

What conclusions have you drawn after these five years?

KB: That it is a popular award, tailored to the needs of the artists, and that it is also appreciated by teaching staff as a recognition of their efforts.

HB: Our conclusions are definitely positive. We are proud that this award established itself so well. At the time, when we jointly created the award on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of our collaboration with the Kunstmuseum Bern, no one could imagine that it would become a sort of model. It is unique in this configuration and is often mentioned as a good example of integrated sponsorship. Not least because of this development, we have decided to increase the prize money from CHF 8,000 to CHF 10,000 on the occasion of the award's 5th anniversary.

How could the award continue to develop?

KB: We would like it to be even more visible; perhaps a video festival could show the collected award-winning works. We are already proud that our award winners have had their first institutional individual exhibits or won film awards.

HB: Certainly from a quantity perspective, but there are certain limits. After all, the award is directed at students of Universities of Applied Sciences in Switzerland. Accordingly, I foresee instead a development in quality with regard to more consideration and media attention, but also in regard to the quality of the submissions. A certain degree of competition is likely to have a positive impact.