Alice Creischer Photo: Gorm Gaare, 2006 Copyright: OCA

Munch Award : 14 November 2006

Munch Award 2006

Socio-political issues are at the very crux of the artistic practice pursued by Alice Creischer. Rather than concentrating on the production of individual works, the artist centers on the process of inquiry to illuminate particular political histories of given contexts. Concepts of time, labour, and exploitation are investigated in projects whereby Creischer sets out a scenography in positioning her discourse. Adopting prop-like devices and meticulously crafted and sewn objects, Creischer choreographs a space within a system of coordinates that deconstruct yet another set of given historical relations. By setting up different scenarios in a simultaneous manner, Creischer transposes a world history in relation to Karl Marx's concept around the original accumulation of capital.

For The Greatest Happiness Principle Party held at the Secession in Vienna in 2001, Creischer developed an exhibition layout by abstracting from theoretical research around the machinations of politics and business and their culture. The artist referenced a real historical event by transforming an intended gallery into an allegorical space. Framed within the backdrop of 1931, the project unfolds within a fixed point in time; the bank Austrian Credit Institute has rented one of the rooms of Secession for a party. It is a party without any major conflicts. The viewer learns certain historical facts; that the bank triggered the second major world economic crisis through speculation in the Balkans. In an inventive staging of simultaneous scenarios, Creischer intertwines the premise of reason set out in the Enlightenment with the transformation of existence into value as proliferated by an ever-expanding market economy.

Extending beyond artistic production, Creischer has also been prolific in her critical writings and curatorial projects. In 2002, together with Andreas Siekmann, she curated Violence on the Margin of All Things at the Generali Foundation in Vienna. Uniting approximately twenty different artistic contributions from the U.S., Argentina, and Europe, the project addressed the theme of militancy in terms of its historic and artistic modes. Creischer and Siekmann drew on historical positions as reference material to integrate the entirety of the project into a theater situation with the exhibition architecture arranged as stage and backstage. These projects, among many others realized in past years, led the international jury for the Edvard Munch Award for Contemporary Art 2006 to select Alice Creischer. The Oslo based artist residency will commence in Spring 2007, during which Creischer will participate in a solo exhibition at MACBA in Barcelona in Fall 2007.