StartPoint Prize 2015

Lex Hoogendam

Nowadays, it is increasingly more difficult to avoid facts concerning the state of the world. Wars continue and the dead pile up ever closer to the borders of our world. How can we, who only know this new reality with unpredictable consequences from the media, react? How is it possible to not only form a relatively objective opinion, taking into account the contradictory aspects of the situation, but also to react meaningfully through a work of art? Socially engaged art is nowadays virtually an artist’s duty, but it is increasingly more difficult to get beyond the reach of facts or NGOs' activities. Lex Hoogendam has created a video which is socially engaged and yet avoids literal narrativity. Its explosive symbolism of an omnipresent terrorist (?) in a mask refers to the Middle East, but what's next? Just like IS aims its contrived media missiles at Europe, Hoogendam lets the conflict take place on a media level. For him it represents the level of knowledge as well as of instrument. Brilliantly, he leaves our reason to fail in its inability to orient itself within different levels of situations. The reality liquidly fades into dizziness and becomes a metaphor of our own position, and even the political steps of the US in the given area.