The picture shows the young Irish dissident and political activist Bernadette Devlin surrounded and harassed by journalists and press photographers

Duncan Campbell - Winner of 2008

In Make it fall, Bernadette of 2008, Duncan Campbell takes an open and experimental approach to the story of the Irish dissident and political activist Bernadette Devlin. His interest in the workings of contemporary history and the way it is communicated by the media is closely related to his scepticism towards documentary reality. This “special form of fiction" has led him to give shape to the spaces in between, which also means accepting the fragmentary. Not only does Campbell’s work represent a critical and intelligent analysis of documentary strategies, it is also a sensitive and respectful portrait of an extraordinary person, rendered in striking images and brilliant sequences.

In addition to the cash prize, Baloise acquires a group of works by the award winners and donates them to two important European museums.Campbell's works Bernadette as well as Sigmar were presented to the collection of the mumok Vienna.

In Sigmar (2008) Campbell mostly works with abstract details from the paintings of Sigmar Polke, accompanied by scraps of a fictional dialogue (in German) with the painter, the content of which cannot be grasped.

These apparently very different works are based on Campbell’s conviction that narration can only be subjective and that the documentary is only a “peculiar form of fiction.” Yet history must be related, and stories told, in forms that also allow their inherent contradictions and discontinuities to be experienced. “I am striving in my films for what Samuel Beckett terms ‘a form that accommodates the mess’” (Duncan Campbell).

Portrait of the Artist Duncan Campbell
Duncan Campbell, *1972, lives and works in Glasgow, United Kingdom