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Bizumic awarded Berlin Visual Artists’ Residency

Media release

Date: 16 February 2006

Mladen Bizumic awarded Creative New Zealand Berlin Visual Artists’ Residency

New Zealand artist Mladen Bizumic is the recipient of the 2006 Creative New Zealand Berlin Visual Artists’ Residency at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin.

The 12-month residency begins in August 2006. Bizumic, who divides his time between Auckland and Vienna, will use the residency to create new work, at the same time strengthening his connections with artists, curators and gallerists in Berlin.

His work will focus on the relationship between people and their surroundings, dealing with the green areas of Berlin and its seven sister cities (Budapest, Istanbul, Los Angeles, Madrid, Moscow, Paris and Warsaw), all of which he plans to visit either before or during the residency.

“I can’t wait to start on Seven Sister Cities, which is probably the most ambitious project I’ve ever undertaken,” Bizumic says. “It is a multi-screen video installation based on the physically impossible idea of being in seven different places around the globe at the same time.”
Founded in 1974, Künstlerhaus Bethanien has hosted more than 400 artists from 30 countries since that time. Bizumic will be the fourth New Zealand artist to take up the biennial residency, which the Arts Board of Creative New Zealand has offered since 2000.
Arts Board Chair Alastair Carruthers says a recent evaluation showed that New Zealand artists regarded the Berlin residency very highly.

“It provides the selected artist with an opportunity to spend time in a stimulating environment, developing their practice and building international networks,” Mr Carruthers said. “This residency is perfect timing for Mladen, who is a young, exciting artist already making his mark in Europe.”

Bizumic describes Berlin is “an ideal place” for him to work for twelve months. “The city is buzzing with creative energy, new museums and cutting-edge galleries. Many international curators, writers, musicians and artists live and work in Berlin. I’m particularly excited to be given this opportunity because the Künstlerhaus Bethanien is a great set-up for artists to work full-time on their projects with no distractions.”
Bizumic, whose work has been shown extensively both nationally and internationally, graduated with a Masters of Fine Arts (1st Class Honours) from the Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland. In the past year, he has presented works in several large exhibitions in Europe, including Re: Modern at Künstlerhaus, Vienna; Art-fair at Art Cologne; and Playground at ARTplay - Architecture and Design Centre in Moscow.

In January, he had a two-person exhibition called Superstructure Doubled at Korridor Artspace in Berlin and this month, his solo show, The Crystal Memorial, featured at Charim Gallery in Vienna.

He is also one of 14 New Zealanders whose work features in High Tide: new currents in contemporary art from Australia and New Zealand with support from the Arts Board of Creative New Zealand. The exhibition opened this month at Zacheta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, Poland and will travel to the Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Bizumic is represented by the Sue Crockford Gallery in Auckland and the Charim Galerie in Vienna. His work is held in many New Zealand public and private collections, including the Chartwell Collection/Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Te Papa - The Museum of New Zealand, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, University of Auckland Collection and the University of Otago Collection.

In 2003, Bizumic was an artist-in-residence at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth and in 2004, he was the recipient of the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship at the University of Otago.

Previous New Zealand recipients of the Creative New Zealand residency at Künstlerhaus Bethanien are Peter Robinson (2000), Michael Stevenson (2002) and Ronnie van Hout (2004).

The Berlin residency is one of a number of international artist residencies offered by Creative New Zealand to provide opportunities for New Zealand artists to develop their practice, build international networks and enhance their careers.


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