Savings, Daan den Houter’s Performance Video from the Aesthetica Art Prize 2012

Fascinated by the influence of the subconscious mind, Daan den Houter explores the way we modify and perceive the world and art. In pursuing this aim, den Houter seeks to bring multiple contradictory subjects together in the same single work, which results in pieces that are in conflict with themselves. His work triggers discussion about their existence and the viewer’s opinion. Using humour and cynicism, den Houter creates another perspective on the matter of art and one’s own assumptions towards our daily life surroundings. Savings tackles the idea of finding money, questioning the role of an artist and the value of money.

For the project, den Houter built 1000 Euros into the gallery wall of the Frank Taal Gallery, Rotterdam, for their exhibition Earth is smaller than thought, 2011. Over one year later, during the opening of the gallery’s exhibition Figure This, he walked into the gallery and collected the 1000 Euros out of the wall without informing the audience beforehand. The event was recorded and the resulting video performance, Savings was shortlisted in the Video, Installation & Performance Video category for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2012.

This year’s Art Prize is now open for entries, and invites artists to submit their work into any category: Installation and Performance, Painting and Drawing, Three Dimensional Design and Sculpture, and Photographic and Digital Art. There will be two winners: a Main Prize winner and a Student Prize winner. Prizes include an eight-week group exhibition in York, UK, editorial coverage in Aesthetica Magazine, publication in the Aesthetica Art Prize Anthology and £1000 for the Main Prize winner and £500 for the Student Prize winner. Enhancing this fantastic array of prizes, a new prize has just been added in partnership with the Art Collective, comprising six months’ studio space for the Main Prize winner and six mentoring sessions for the Student Prize winner. Deadline for entries is 31 August.

For more details visit To buy or download a copy of the Aesthetica Art Prize Anthology visit

1. Savings , Daan den Houter, courtesy of the artist and Aesthetica.