Michael Tedja challenges the visitor’s intellect and calls for a discussion of the development of contemporary art in the context of globalisation. For the Prix de Rome 2023, the artist creates 2 works: a 60-piece painting ‘How to Study the Sea Poetically’ and ‘Vertical Reality’, in which 232 paintings come together. Tedja’s autonomous paintings are at the interface between poetry and philosophy. They were created by the Aquaholist in the Holarium, a fictional character and a fictional space, which the artist created in 1999.
The jury is enthusiastic about Michael Tedja’s singular visual language, and the mix of ingredients within his multi-faceted practice that encompasses visual art and literature, the lyrical and the political. The members of the jury praise the non-binary position that Michael adopts in relation to his artistic identity. His authentic, consistent and recognisable oeuvre features a range of artistic values and positions, which are relevant for the development of contemporary visual art.