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Oscar Enberg awarded visual arts residency in Berlin

25 Feb 2016

This content is tagged as Creative NZ .


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New Zealand artist Oscar Enberg will spend a year in Berlin as the 2016 recipient of Creative New Zealand’s Visual Arts Residency.

The residency includes an apartment in the heart of Berlin and a stipend of $40,000 to be used for the artist’s travel, living and material costs. Creative New Zealand also provides a place within the Künstlerhaus Bethanien studio programme and support for an exhibition.

Enberg says, “As a major centre for contemporary art, especially with practitioners of my generation, Berlin is the ideal city for me to grow my professional network and develop as an artist.”

He says, “During the course of my residency I hope to conduct extensive field research in the Ore Mountains. I look forward to working with craftspeople, modes of production and materials specific to this region in an attempt to trace its socio-economic arc. Of particular interest is the traditional mining settlement of Seiffen located in the Erzgebirgskreis district, its historical significance as a major contributor to early industrial development in Germany and transformation to its modern day role as a manufacturing centre for Germany’s wooden toy carving industry.

“Similarly, I plan to look at the changing role of the ‘Lichtfabrik’ building, which currently houses the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, from its original use in the early 20th century as a light manufacturer to its current function supporting the production of contemporary art.”

The Creative New Zealand Visual Arts Berlin Residency runs from October 2016 to October 2017. It alternates with the biennial Creative New Zealand Berlin Writer’s Residency.

The Künstlerhaus Bethanien is one of Europe’s largest international residency programmes for artists. As well as giving the selected artist the chance to experience a new culture and new ideas, Creative New Zealand’s residency helps to raise awareness of our visual arts in Berlin.

Previous recipients are: Greg Semu (2014), Ben Cauchi (2012), Alicia Frankovich (2010), Sara Hughes (2008), Mladen Bizumic (2006), Ronnie van Hout (2004), Michael Stevenson (2002) and Peter Robinson (2000).

Oscar Enberg

Oscar Enberg (b. 1988) lives and works in Auckland. His installations typically weave together multiple (often prototypical) characters and storylines from film, literature, art and social histories, which he then exploits as both generators of sculptural forms and construction logic for larger installations. In recent projects, Enberg has explored the role that chance plays in economic systems to reveal fundamental instabilities in those systems. In his work he casts traditional craftspeople and artisans as “potential protagonists, introducing examples of slow labour into larger narratives, simultaneously highlighting and stabilising the precarious content at play.”

Enberg’s recent solo exhibitions include “the prophet, the wise, the technician, and the Pharisee” at Artspace, Auckland, (2015-16) “Jean, Jean et l’enfant sauvage”, Thomas Duncan Gallery, Los Angeles (2015), “Sire So-and-So or Richard Pågen”, Johan Berggren, Malmö, Sweden (2014), “The Pynchons, S01E02: Slouching Towards Dignity”, Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland, New Zealand (2014). In 2015 Enberg participated in Les Règles du Jeu / The Rules of the Game at Centre Pompidou”, Paris.

Image Credit: Oscar Enberg Imagination Dead Imagine (lilt for tenor and Jean Arp electric guitar) (detail), 2015 brass, bronze, copper plated, powder coated and rusted steel flue, stainless steel cowl, hand woven willow, wrought iron, custom electric guitar (Fijian kauri, mahogany, rosewood, paua shell veneer) 2000 x 4500 x 1200mm overall

Media contact:
Sarah Pomeroy
Creative New Zealand
04 489 0725 or 027 677 8070