Alec Von Bargen is one of 100 contemporary artists longlisted in this year’s Aesthetica Art Prize, an annual celebration of outstanding contemporary art from around the world. The award attracted thousands of entries out of which eight finalists were selected for exhibition, on show until 22 June 2014 at York St Mary’s – York Art Gallery’s contemporary art space in the centre of York, UK.
The longlisted artworks feature in the exhibition, screened on monitors within the gallery, and they are also included in the accompanying publication, the Aesthetica Art Prize Anthology 2014. Alec Von Bargen’s photographic & digital piece A stroll through the clouds with Elgar is a testimonial to his memory of loved ones. Through an illusionary effect, the work seems to hover above ground symbolising new-found freedom for the marginalised women depicted in the photographs.
Von Bargen creates photographic installations by capturing aesthetic instances resonating true with their historical, political and social contexts. He exhibited at the 54th Venice Biennale, the V&A, the OCAT Shanghai Museum and the Arles Photography Festival. He has won numerous international awards and is included in collections worldwide. He currently lives and works in Italy and Mexico.
Von Bargen says: “My partner was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I needed to know as much as possible about the disease, the symptoms. I remembered the both heroic and troubled existence Jacqueline Du Pre led while living with the disease and immediately read as much as I could about her. Her reputation as the most important female cellist of all times comes in great measure from the precision and immaculate performances she gave of Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E Minor, a piece which brought her fame and fortune. A stroll through the clouds with Elgar is my way to allow Jacqueline to be able to once again rise from that wheelchair in which she ended her life and one last time stroll though the clouds with the composer that made her life so significant.”
“Fortunately the reaction has been nothing but positive. The public seems to interact well and are appreciative with the idea of photography being presented in many ways beyond the traditional two-dimensional print on the wall.” Von Bargen’s most recent series Veritas Feminae, which includes A stroll through the clouds with Elgar, recently exhibited in Italy. After the show he has shows planned in museums and galleries in Mexico City, New York and Milan for the 2015 Expo. He will also be acting in a film directed by filmmaker Salim Nayar later this year and curating a group show for a Museum in the South of Italy. Immediate shows are The European Photography Festival in Reggio Emilia, Italy, The Museum of Gulag in Moscow, Russia and the portraits exhibition at the Drift Gallery in Maine.
To see Alec Von Bargen’s work visit www.alecvonbargen.com.
The Aesthetica Art Prize is now open for entries. For more information and to submit visit www.aestheticamagazine.com/artprize and pick up a copy of the Art Prize Anthology here www.aestheticamagazine.com/shop.
1. Alec Von Bargen, A stroll through the clouds with Elgar. Courtesy of the artist.