The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2003 was awarded to Aurelia Mihai.
Members of the three-person jury were Iris Dressler (former director of HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund), Diana Ebster (former curator at lothringer 13/spiegel, Munich) and Anja Kreysing (artist and NRW Media Art Scholarship Holder 2002). The jury selected the scholarship holder from 53 applications.
Aurelia Mihai’s project Tal der Träumer is based on an examination of historical culture in the USA. The intention is to create an installation based on two spaces, which on the one hand takes up the aesthetics and languages of the scientific exhibition and on the other hand of the scientific-documentary film. California and Nevada become the paradoxical venue for Egyptological research and archaeological excavations. The subject of the investigation are detailed imitations of Tutankhamun’s tomb or the Sphinx, as found in the gambler’s metropolis of Las Vegas, as well as film sets from the Hollywood industry.
The staging of a fictional and “fake” study of antiquity is caught up with reality: for example, the movie set of Cecil B. De Mille’s monumental film The Ten Commandments (1923) – i.e. the set of a 30-metre-long temple architecture – was buried in the sand of the Santa Maria dunes after the end of filming. Remains of these sets were found 10 years ago and examined by archaeologists. However, the movie set has not yet been lifted The jury was convinced by the accurate preliminary research, the conceptual approach as well as the planned realisation and presentation of the project. Furthermore, the complex layers between documentation, fiction, science and illusionism, which the project Tal der Träumer contrasts, were decisive.
In addition, the projects submitted by Christine Erhard (Düsseldorf) and Monika Pirch (Düsseldorf) were also mentioned with praise.
Aurelia Mihai (*1968 in Bucharest, Romania) studied at the Art Academy Bucharest, Art Academy Düsseldorf and at the KHM Cologne. She has been teaching at the HBK Braunschweig since 2009. Prizes and scholarships among others: E-STAR scholarship IEA N.Y., Villa Aurora scholarship, L.A., EMARE scholarship, HTBA Hull, Förderpreis für Bildende Kunst der Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf; EuRegio Kunstpreis; Villa Massimo scholarship Rome and IASPIS, Stockholm. Her works have been shown internationally and have been featured at numerous festivals.
Further information on the artist’s website