Mario Merz Prize, 3rd Edition: The Finalists Exhibition at Fondazione Merz, Turin


Fondazione Merz in Turin is hosting an exhibition of the five finalists selected for the Art Section of the Mario Merz Prize’s Third Edition through October 6, 2019. Held every two years, the Mario Merz Prize, was established to identify and celebrate key personalities in the field of visual art and music composition. It is the only international prize for art and music.

The finalists include Bertille Bak (France), Mircea Cantor (Romania), David Maljković (Croatia), Maria Papadimitriou (Greece), and Unknown Friend (USA). The works according to the museum, involve stylistic and formal solutions that may differ according to their respective stories and experiences, generational and geographical belonging but at the same time address the same vision of the present. As stated, “Multiple
histories and individual evolutions all converge in an attempt to build a new language to capture a sense of the present.”

The exhibition showcases five different individual processes that transform reality into stories. For instance, Bertille Bak works involve direct, ironic, political and immersive presentation of life of the community to which she belongs.

Mircea Cantor crosses history, recognizing the human condition, drawing on archaism, the bipolarity of meanings and all major themes. His works at the exhibition display ruins that evoke collective tragedies.

Memory and archives are shown in the work of David Malijković. As stated in the official release, “Protecting the collective memory is his objective and his present is concentrated on the mechanisms of reproduction and transmission of vision, the cognitive substance of things.”

The idea of social bonds is investigated in the work of Maria Papadimitrou. It is through this the artist indicates the key to all processes of recognition, regeneration and cultural change.

Finally, a tragicomic narrative that overturns the normal balance between reality and fiction is ironically
approached by Unknown Friend. The artists Stephen G. Rhodes and Barry Johnston, according to the release, “adopt a tragic playful attitude to cross the threshold of the present, consciously and unconsciously passing back and forth between successive stages of reality to overturn and shake up truth and fiction.”

The artists were shortlisted by members of the pre-selection judging panel consisting of Claudia Gioia (Independent Curator), Samuel Gross (Head Curator, Swiss Institute) and Beatrice Merz (President, Fondazione Merz). The winner will be commissioned to produce a new site-specific solo exhibition at Fondazione Merz in Autumn 2020.

This exhibition is on view through October 6, 2019, at Fondazione Merz, Via Limone, 24, 10141 Torino TO, Italy.

For details please visit:

Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibition.

Founder: Louise Blouin

Music Therapy