Anri Sala has been announced as the winner of the 2014 edition of the Vincent Award in The Hague. Sala, who was shortlisted for the prize alongside Pierre Huyghe, Manfred Pernice, Willem de Rooij and Gillian Wearing, presented a single installation condensing three previous works that display his interest in music and time: Le Clash (2010), Tlatelolco Clash (2011) and Doldrums (2011). Reunited under the common denominator of the British band’s 1982 hit “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” Le Clash and Tlatelolco Clash are two highly poetic films in which the melancholic images of a majestic but deserted Plaza de la Tres Culturas in the Tlatelolco district of Mexico City are accompanied by a limping rendition of the tune played through a barrel organ. Named after three periods that defined Mexican culture, the desolated square perfectly mirrors the feelings of frustration of the song — a Mick Jones composition penned at a time when both the band and the Punk movement it was associated with were at the end of their tether. Almost as if to provide a consolatory answer, the third piece, Doldrums, features a single drum playing automatically to an inaudible low-frequency sound. The Vincent Award was established in 2000 in memory of the late Antwerp-based dealer Monique Zajfen as a platform to support a pan-European vision of contemporary art. Previously held at the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht and at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the prize is structured like the Turner model, with a group exhibition of four artists and a winner nominated by a jury made of six experts. Past winners include Paweł Althamer, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Deimantas Narkevičius, Neo Rauch and Wilhelm Sasnal. Sala’s piece will remain on view at The Hague’s Gemeentemuseum until February 2015.
by Michele Robecchi