Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ceal Floyer

Yesterday Ceal Floyer was announced the winner of one of Germany's richest art awards, the National Gallery Young Artist's Prize. To be eligible the artist need not be German, but must be based in Berlin. The other three nominees included Jeanne Faust, Damián Ortega and Tino Sehgal (whose performance at the 2005 Venice Biennale was hilarious. A work purchased by the AGO a year later, not so good).

The prize consists of 50,000 Euros and a copy of Joseph Beuys' "Intuition" multiple, cast in museum glass by Vancouver artist/designer Tobias Wong. Published by Vice Versand in 1968, the signed multiple was produced as an edition of approximately 12,000 copies (an incredibly high number for any multiple, especially a signed edition) yet remains fairly valuable.

Floyer was born in Karachi, Pakistan in 1968 and lived in Canada and England for a long time before moving to Berlin - where the prize was awarded - a decade ago. She is best known for her works which sit on the cusp between minimalism and conceptualism, in particular her Monochrome Till Receipts. These works appear as simple itemized receipts from grocery stores, but further inspection reveals that all of the products listed share the same colour. The artist limits the production of these works to one per country. Toronto collector Paul Marks owns the Canadian version.

Floyer won the prize for a new work titled “Scale”, which consists of 24 functioning loudspeakers affixed to the wall. Footsteps are heard one at a time from each stair, endlessly ascending and descending.

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