Round table (and other forms)
curated by Sabine Schaschl
The Zurich Art Prize, awarded annually by Museum Haus Konstruktiv and Zurich Insurance Group Ltd, went in 2020 to Amalia Pica (b. in 1978 in Neuquén, lives and works in London). This Argentine-British artist is the thirteenth winner of the internationally renowned award. The prize is endowed with CHF 100,000, of which CHF 20,000 go to the respective winner and the other CHF 80,000 are used for the production of a solo exhibition at Museum Haus Konstruktiv.
Amalia Pica’s installations, sculptures, drawings, films and performances are characterized by a playful minimalist language of forms and multilayered content. The themes that Pica often incorporates into her artwork include verbal and nonverbal communication, as well as civic participation. How does communication work on the basis of language, symbols, objects and gestures? How do these relate to political and societal structures? And how can such structures be made visible, or even changed, by artistic interventions in communication media?
At Museum Haus Konstruktiv, under the title Round table (and other forms), Amalia Pica presented a newly produced work, along with an earlier one. They beared witness to this interest in the relationship between communication and artistic practice as civil participation. In both works, the artist purposefully exploreed the role of joy and pleasure in coping with the pressure that builds up as a result of bureaucratic structures or monotonous office work, for example. Thus, on the first two floors of the museum, an inspiring show had been developed, which wittily reflected on the form and function of office paraphernalia (conference tables, A4 paper sheets, plastic wallets and office stamps) as well as on their organizational power with regard to our social fabric. To no small extent, Pica’s (thought) experiment resonated in the time of COVID-19, which has also profoundly changed our everyday office life.