Anna-Sophie Berger at mumok (Vienna) | Kapsch Contemporary Art Prize

mumok Museum moderner Kunst  Stiftung Ludwig Wien

Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Wien


Kapsch Contemporary Art Prize 2016 Anna-Sophie Berger

Places to fight and to make up


Exhibition dates

October 22, 2016 to

January 29 2017


Press conference

October 20, 2016, 11 am



October 21, 2016, 7 pm


Press contact


Karin Bellmann T +43 1 52500-1400


Katja Kulidzhanova T +43 1 52500-1450


Fax +43 1 52500-1300


Dr. Ingrid Lawicka T + 43 50811 1705



Kapsch Contemporary Art Prize 2016

Anna-Sophie Berger

Places to fight and to make up


Anna-Sophie Berger (born 1989 in Vienna) is the first winner of the Kapsch Contemporary Art Prize, established in 2016 by Kapsch AG and mumok to promote young artists who live and work mainly in Austria. The prize comes with 5,000 euro and a solo exhibition at mumok, including a publication. In addition a work by the prizewinning artist is purchased by the Kapsch Group for the mumok collection.


The exhibition Places to fight and to make up explores basic issues relating to communication. The works shown focus on the influence of modern communication media on our society’s ability to enter into dialogue and discourse, on interaction between people and objects, and our use of objects and their preservation. Berger sees many different meanings in objects—what she calls capacities—that emerge through mutual influence between the object and its environment.


Today’s permanent flows of information seem to be infinite. We often process information associatively and intuitively. To what extent do digital means of communication influence our dialogue in the real world? Do we become more impatient, less focused, or even less interested?


In a site-specific installation made especially for mumok, the central element consists of two opposing concrete dishes taken from a largely unused children’s playground in Vienna’s 3rd District and transferred to the specific public space of the museum. This is a children’s plaything that facilitates communication by means of an acoustic effect: “Sound can be focused just like water and air, light or heat. Words spoken at normal loudness into the center of one dish can be heard in the opposite dish thirty to forty meters away and at any point along the sound axis. Phenomena from the world of physics become real and tangible.” (Moser Spielgeräte GmbH)


Although this kind of interaction is strongly reminiscent of the communicative behaviors of today’s younger generation, wanting to be permanently linked up with everyone and everything, the installation is not intended as a critique. Rather it wishes to indicate those places where dialogue becomes possible. Depending on its location, this object gains a specific form of re-evaluation. It is transformed from being a toy sprayed with graffiti and deprived of its original purpose to being an object of art—and back again. The two dishes also tell their own story, which is literally inscribed on them: twice yearly they are cleaned and then again their users make them into their own platform for communication.


The work Pea Earring (2015) is a fragile counterpart to the massive parallel concrete dishes. This is an earring made of a pea seed, framed by a claw-like silver mount. This decorative item of jewelry develops the idea of safekeeping. Anna-Sophie

Berger emphasizes the potential of the object by pointing out the seed’s capacity for

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giving life and nourishment.


The two works on paper, choicest relic (1) and choicest relic (2) (2016) present water stains on white paper that look like the preserved remains of everyday human activity. Here too the theme of safekeeping is prominent. In this case, this involves the traces of earlier works by Berger that were made by laying down a wet raincoat. The title the artist chose for these works is freely adapted from Samuel Beckett. The writer describes the useless attempts of a society to idealize and to historicize its own traces. The irony is that just the choice of one allegedly most valuable relic is based on subjective evaluation.


In conjunction with her exhibition Places to fight and to make up, Anne-Sophie Berger is making an artist’s book entitled ManualHandbook -, to be seen as a component and an extension of the museum installation. With texts by Anna-Sophie Berger, Marianne Dobner, and Tess Edmonson.


Curated by Marianne Dobner


Short biography Anna-Sophie Berger

Anna-Sophie Berger studied fashion design and transmedia art at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions and has presented her first solo shows, including at JTT and Ludlow 38 in New York, the White Flag Projects Library in St. Louis, and at the 21er Haus and at Mauve in
Vienna. Up to May 17, she exhibited at KUB Billboards at Kunsthaus Bregenz. Since 2015 she has been teaching at the University of Applied Arts Vienna in the Department of Art and Knowledge Transfer.


The Kapsch Contemporary Art Prize 2016

Ten art experts invited seventeen artists to apply for the Kapsch Contemporary Art Prize. An international jury consisting of mumok director Karola Kraus, Georg

Kapsch, CEO of the Kapsch Group, Eva Birkenstock, director of the Kunstverein Düsseldorf, Yilmaz Dziewior, director of Museum Ludwig, and Stephanie Weber, curator for contemporary art at the Lenbachhaus Munich, selected the artist AnnaSophie Berger as the first prizewinner of this new art prize.


The jury stated: “It is not just a diverse use of media that makes Anna-Sophie Berger’s work compelling, but also her transfer of a contemporary logic of images into convincing installations. Typically in her work, different levels of content overlap. Berger’s works, snapshots, and selfies are all simultaneous and of equal weight, and they appear in different virtual and new spaces.”


The prize-giving ceremony will take place on October 21, 2016, in conjunction with the opening of the exhibition.

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