Melanie Bonajo wins MK Award 2013

Visual artist Melanie Bonajo is the winner of the MK Award 2013, the first edition of this new award for contemporary art practice. On March 1st 2013, an independent jury chaired by Ann Demeester (director De Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam) unanimously selected her. The MK Award 2013 comprises an amount of € 5.000, plus a presentation at Kunsthal Rotterdam in the fall of 2013, preceded by a festive award ceremony there.

The jury deems “[…] Melanie Bonajo a versatile and fresh artist, witty and surrealist, chaotic, energetic and provocative. In Melanie Bonajo’s oeuvre, everything is possible and nothing impossible. She is proof that these days an artist should be conscious of his/her position in an ultra-capitalist world, stubbornly pursuing alternative pathways. She thus presents an active and relevant contribution to the current discourse on visual arts.” – one of the criteria of the MK Award.

First winner MK Award
Melanie Bonajo (Heerlen/NL, 1978) lives and works in Amsterdam and Berlin. After graduating in photography in 2002, Bonajo has since been working on an oeuvre that comprises spatial installations, performances, films and printed publications as well. She regularly presents her work both in the Netherlands and abroad. At present she is part of the group show ‘Female Power’ at the Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem/Museum for Modern Art Arnhem (through May 20, 2013).
The jury appreciates how Melanie Bonajo combines an astute, analytical and critical perspective with an absurdist sense of humour. Her choice of themes and topics bears testimony of eagerness and curiosity, conviction and guts. Bonajo shows keen interest in alternative life styles. She shows how artists can identify social changes, absorb and adapt them at various levels, and in the end transform them into a wide range of shapes and appearances. In doing so, Bonajo is constantly seeking to extend the range of her audience: she makes clear that nowadays an artist has to struggle to gain and retain appreciation, and that no means are to be excluded in that endeavour. Pivotal ambition in all her works is to communicate, with as many individuals and groups as possible.

Kunsthal Rotterdam to present winner MK Award
Kunsthal Rotterdam pledges itself to MK Award. In the fall of 2013, Kunsthal Rotterdam will provide a festive podium for the first MK Award Ceremony by presenting a spectacular presentation by Melanie Bonajo.

MK Award – new award for contemporary art practice
The jury values the new MK Award for contemporary art practice as a worthy homage to the adventurous spirit and the engagement for the arts displayed by Emmo Grofsmid (1951-2011) and Karmin Kartowikromo (1948-2011) in the ways they ran their MKgalerie Rotterdam/Berlin. Their appreciation of vital and incorruptible, upright artistry as an essential element in society is a central criterion of the new award, and of this its first edition. The jury therefor considers the new MK Award to be a relevant addition to existing art prizes, especially vis-à-vis recent developments in the arts climate in the Netherlands. During Art Rotterdam 2013 all three nominees for the MK Award – Melanie Bonajo, as well as Loek Grootjans and Jan Maarten Voskuil – were presented to the audience at large by way of short video portraits.

More information:
If additional information is required please contact Guus Vreeburg, secretary MK Award Foundation, +31 (0) 6 47204750, secretariaat@mkaward.nl