Header 05 Bank Austria Kunstpreis Kärnten 2021


Bank Austria Kunstpreis Kärnten – Young Art That Rears Up

Daniel Leiter has won the 20th Bank Austria Kunstpreis Kärnten. In a multimedia work, he addresses our historic bathing culture.

However, his wearable changing rooms also ask fascinating contemporary questions about gender roles, body images and keeping one’s distance.

The portable changing rooms by the 22-year-old artist Daniel Leiter, the winner of this year’s Bank Austria Kunstpreis, which is endowed with 5,000 euros, rear up imposingly in the space. AUF*BÄUMEN (Rear Up) was the motto of the call for entries. Leiter took the subject very literally in his multimedia installation, which skilfully plays with the huge space in the Künstlerhaus Klagenfurt.

Artist Daniel Leitner Photo: Ferdinand Neumüller

He combines sculpture, painting, video and performance. His subjects are the culture of bathing, body awareness, our own and alien perspectives and gender-specific attributions and how these can be eliminated.

A prison or a protective space?

“Are the wearable bathing cabins a prison or do they offer protection? Leiter makes both historical and contemporary references in a variety of ways”, says the curator Lisa Ortner-Kreis (Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien), who was also a member of this year’s jury. She explains the procedure: “Lena Freimüller’s Galerie3 selects six positions from all the submissions. The shortlist is then invited to investigate a subject. Finally, we on the jury determine the winner. The process is anonymous, we aren’t aware who is behind the projects and know neither their names nor biographies.” The jury consists of the Director of the Museum Moderner Kunst Kärnten Christine Wetzlinger-Grundnig, Lisa Ortner-Kreil, a curator at the Kunstforum Wien and Art Hoc Projects, and regional and trans-regional culture journalists (ORF Carinthia, Kleine Zeitung, Kronen Zeitung). This year, Silvie Aigner from the art magazine Parnass was in the jury for the first time and the collector Peter Liaunig was also a member.

Kunstforum Wien curator Lisa Ortner-Kreil Photo: Ferdinand Neumüller

The nominees of Bank Austria Kunstpreis Kärnten Photo: Ferdinand Neumüller

Getting started internationally!

The competition was initiated by Galerie3 and has been supported financially by Bank Austria from the very start. This year it is celebrating a special birthday: It is 20 years old. Its objective is to offer long-term support to young artists who have Carinthian roots and are no older than 35. And, as impressively demonstrated by the careers of many winners, this prize for the next generation has undoubtedly achieved this goal.

The Bank Austria Kunstpreis Kärnten is a good launching pad: Nina Rike Springer, Stephanie Klaura and, for example, the artist duo Hanakam & Schuller have been able to start international careers. But the prize has also offered visibility, experience and an opportunity to share ideas to all others who have taken part. This year’s second place went to Rosa Andraschek Lobnig. She convinced the jury with “memory”, a work that centres on the issue of not/remembering the National Socialist past. The prize is endowed with 2,000 euros and awarded by the City of Villach. All six works on the shortlist can be seen in the exhibition in Künstlerhaus Klagenfurt until 19th June.

And all, incidentally, are available for purchase – which would certainly not be a bad investment in the future. And a good introduction to the fascinating world of collecting art.