1973, Saint martin d’Hères
The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2015 was awarded to Céline Berger.
Members of the three-person jury were Dr. Inke Arns (Director of HMKV, Dortmund), Thomas Thiel (former Director of Kunstverein Bielefeld) and Denise Ritter (artist and NRW Media Art Scholarship Holder 2012). The jury selected the scholarship holder from 55 applications.
On the one hand, Céline Berger is interested in how precarious working conditions are inscribed in (visual) language (Employees, Release, both 2010). On the other hand, the artist examines the ways in which language is used to achieve personal career goals within the company. For this so-called “business coaches” make use of a variety of models and conversation techniques: Neuro-linguistic programming, systemic constellation, transactional analysis, emotional intelligence. The relationship between “trainer” (coach) and “client” (coachee) represents a narrative universe that is particularly interesting for the artist: It is a framework within which “stories of the world of work” are told. Céline Berger weaves these stories, which she finds for example in the case studies of the Harvard Business Review, into poetic narratives (e.g. in Rare birds in these lands, La Ronde, both 2013). The artist, whose view was doubtless sharpened by her stay in the Netherlands, succeeds in creating an extremely detailed analysis of the current corporate world, which at some moments is quite frightening. The jury is impressed by the accurate work of this artist, who manages to distil artistic reflections on the present, which is increasingly shaped by economic thinking, from the functional language of our working world. The work Ballade, which was produced as part of the scholarship, was shown in 2018 at Dortmunder U and Temporary Gallery, Cologne. The screenings were organised by the medienwerk.nrw office.
Céline Berger (*1973 in Saint martin d’Hères, France) explores the medium of language. Her artistic work focuses on today’s working and business world.