The Austrian Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts 2012 goes to the American artist Andrea Zittel
This year the highly renowned award—bestowed “for outstanding achievements in the field of architecture and the arts that conform to Frederick Kiesler’s experimental, innovative conceptions and his theory of correlated arts”—will be presented by the Vienna City Councillor for Cultural Affairs, Andreas Mailath-Pokorny, on the 15th of November 2012 at the New Museum in New York.
Andrea Zittel: “Since the early 1990s, I have used the arena of my day-to-day life to develop and test prototypes for living structures and situations. By using myself as a guinea pig I often use my own experiences to try to construct an understanding of the world at large. The experiments have at times been extreme—such as wearing a uniform for months on end, exploring limitations of living space, living without measured time. However one of the most important goals of this work is to illuminate how we attribute significance to chosen structures or ways of life, and how arbitrary any choice of structure can be. I do not mean to deny the personal significance of these decisions, instead, I use my work in order to try to comprehend values such as ‘freedom,’ ‘security,’ ‘authorship,’ and ‘expertise.’ I am interested in how qualities, which we feel are totally concrete and rational, are often subjective, arbitrary or invented.”
The international jury for 2012—Hermann Czech (architect, Austria), Bartomeu Marí (Director of MACBA, Spain), Hani Rashid (Asymptote Architecture, US), Lisa Phillips, Director of New Museum New York, and Dietmar Steiner (Director of AzW, Austria)—pays tribute to Andrea Zittel as a “leading artist at mid-career, who is both influential and somewhat under-recognized. Based in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, California, Zittel takes an expansive approach to art and space-making, creating social sculptures that traverse boundaries between art, architecture, design and technology. […] The jury selected her primarily for her experimental and innovative work that has extended the dialogue of contemporary art and ideas. In the spirit of Frederick Kiesler, her work is both intellectual and yet deals with real-life situations and occurrences. Zittel’s sculptures and spatial installations transform everything necessary for life—such as eating, sleeping, bathing, and socializing—into artful experiments and scenarios for new ways of living.” (Decision of the Jury, extract)
The exhibition Andrea Zittel_Artist-Architect at the Kiesler Foundation Vienna is dedicated to this year’s Kiesler Prize winner. The presented works reflect an ongoing creative process devoted above all to analysing and shaping our immediate environment.