Aernout Mik (1962), the Netherlands

Aernout Mik was awarded the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art 2002 'for his consistent oeuvre of video installations, in which he uses the medium of video in combination with other artistic resources. His working method has had a major influence on the present generation of "video artists" in the Netherlands'.

6.jpgVisual artist Aernout Mik was awarded the prize for his consistent oeuvre of video installations, in which he uses the medium of video in combination with other artistic resources. His working method has had a major influence on the present generation of 'video artists' in the Netherlands'. In the video films created by Mik the events that take place between the characters stand on their own, but evoke conflicting emotions of a disquieting or humorous nature. This effect is reinforced by the fact that Mik creates several layers of reality, in which he combines staged action - both live and on video - with sculptural forms embedded in an architectural structure, thus creating a physical link between the viewer and the work. A good example of this was the solo presentation which Mik staged in gallery Fons Welters in Amsterdam in 1999. In an architectural structure consisting of steadily narrowing corridors and low doorways, video films were shown of collapsing buildings and injured people, next to a life-size 'dummy' of an anthropoid.

Biography

Aernout Mik was born in Groningen in 1962. He studied at the Academie Minerva in Groningen from 1983 to 1988, and participated in the Ateliers '63 alternative art school in Haarlem. The artist has since built up an impressive list of exhibitions both in the Netherlands and abroad. He has taken part in a number of important group exhibitions, including in the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art in Amsterdam (Wild Walls, 1995), the Grazer Kunstverein in Graz (Mise en Scène, 1998) and the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto (Still/ Moving, 2000), and was represented at the Biennales in Sao Paolo (1991), Venice (1997) and Melbourne (1999). More recently, he has staged large presentations at the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (Reversal Rooms, 2002), the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London (3Crowds, 2000), and the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven (Primal gestures, minor roles, 2000), where he presented (virtually) his entire oeuvre in a 'total installation'. In 1997 Mik received the Sandberg Prize for his videos Lick and Fluff. His work is included in the collections of important Dutch museums, including the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art in Amsterdam, the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven and the Centraal Museum in Utrecht.