Prize

We want to thank all artists who submitted works to Celeste Prize this year for their commitment and support. We received works from more than 60 countries around the world.

The year's six winning works, voted by the 43 finalist artists themselves at a crowded exhibition on Saturday 15 November in Milan, can be seen below.

Video documentation of the event and interviews with winners will be published here soon.

  • NEW Project Prize 4.000 €
  • Painting & Drawing Prize 4.000 €
  • Photography & Digital Graphics Prize 4.000 €
  • Video & Animation Prize 4.000 €
  • Installation, Sculpture & Performance Prize 4.000 €
  • Visitors Choice Prize 500 €

Exhibition benefits in 2015 with galleries.
See 'Results' below for the names of selected artists:
  • Viewbook - Portfolio website builder
  • Frattura Scomposta - Exhibition
  • Dino Morra Arte Contemporanea - Exhibition
  • InTour ZAK Gallery - Exhibition
  • LAP Public Art Award - Exhibition
  • Les Territoires - Exhibition
  • Site Specific - Exhibition and Residency
  • Spazio San Giorgio - Exhibition
  • Synap(see) - Exhibition
  • theformatgallery - Exhibition
  • Two Bronze Doors - Exhibition



Selectors

Elena Sorokina is chief-curator of Celeste Prize 2014, 6th Edition

Past editions of Celeste Prize have been curated by

  • 2013 - Ami Barak (France)
  • 2012 - Katya Garcia-Anton (Spain)
  • 2011 - Eugene Tan (Singapore), Sara Reisman (USA)
  • 2010 - Julia Draganovic (Germany), Mark Gisbourne (UK)
  • 2009 - Mark Gisbourne (UK), Adrienne Goehler (Germany), Victoria Lu (China)


Photos

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Location

Pedro Velez
  • Final exhibition and awards night
  • Assab One, Milan, Italy
  • 15-23 November 2014

Terms

TERMS & CONDITIONS CELESTE PRIZE 2014, 6th EDITION


The deadline to enter works or projects has been extended to 30 July 2014.

These Terms & Conditions were published on 23 January 2014.


It’s simpler, faster and cheaper to submit online.

To submit online a work or a project:

sign-up or login http://www.celesteprize.com/eng_auth_login/ ; once in your verified, personal admin page click on the box ‘Celeste Prize 2014’, pay entry fee and begin to upload.


Art. 1 – AIM

The prize has been established to promote international contemporary art in the widest possible sense. There will be a final exhibition of 40 works and 3 projects, a catalogue of circa 70 pages which will contain illustations of finalists' works and critical texts, as well as 6 prize awards totalling 20,500 € in cash prizes. Awards night and exhibition of finalist works at Assab One, Milan, Italy, from 15 to 23 November 2014. 


Art. 2 - ELIGIBILITY

The competition is open to any person practicing art, either as a full-time or part-time professional or student, or as a self-taught artist from anywhere in the world. There is no age limit for applicants and the prize is open to all artists whatever their qualifications, with or without experience of public or private exhibitions. The prize encourages participation by artists at every level.


Art. 3 – PRIZES

Excellence in content, contemporary aesthetic, technique, and material is sought in the selection of works for the final exhibition. Works submitted to the prize must have been completed in the last 36 months, and do not necessarily have to have been exhibited before. There is no special subject, title or theme required for participating works, and they can range from being figurative to abstract, from conceptual to participatory to performance.


20,500 € cash prizes.

A two-stage selection process guarantees openess, clarity and legitimacy to selections and awards: firstly, a top, international panel of art critics and curators publishes its choice of finalist works, then the finalist artists themselves vote the award winning works at the final exhibition.


NEW - (A)  PROJECT PRIZE 4,000 €*

Artists are encouraged to present works which investigate relevant social, political, economic or personal themes today. Up to 10 works in any media can be included in a project for this new prize. Each project must consider an exhibition area of 6x6metres and the use of 6 linear-metre wall space. 3 Projects will be selected by the chief-curator Elena Sorokina for the final exhibition.


(B) PAINTING & DRAWINGS PRIZE  4,000 €*

Media accepted: oil, acrylic, vinyl, watercolor, graphite, pencil, ink, illustrations, printing in its various forms, etc. The work can have any form of support: canvas, paper, cardboard, wood, plastic, metal, glass, etc. Diptychs or triptychs are considered one work. There is no limit to the size of works accepted. 10 Works will be selected for the final exhibition by the ‘Painting & Drawing’ specialist panel.


(C) PHOTOGRAPHY & DIGITAL GRAPHICS PRIZE  4,000 €*

Media accepted: digital or analogue photography; computer graphic modeling; net/web art and software art presented in a 2D format; works in which several media are used, for example digital manipulations which include the use of painting or other forms of manual expression, collages, polaroids, mobile phone photographs, etc. Diptychs or triptychs are considered one work. There is no limit to the size of works accepted. 10 Works will be selected for the final exhibition by the ‘Photography & Digital Graphics’ specialist panel.


(D) VIDEO & ANIMATION PRIZE  4,000 €*

Media accepted for the video and animation: video, short film, time lapse, stop motion, any kind of animation 2d and 3d, any kind of combination between video, film and photography in motion (see video Art. 5. (B), for video formats). 10 Works will be selected for the final exhibition by the ‘Video & Animation’ specialist panel.


(E) INSTALLATION, SCULPTURE & PERFORMANCE PRIZE  4,000 €*

Installation works of any nature in any material, video installation, multimedia installation; sculpture – all materials are accepted (organic or inorganic); net/web art and software art presented in a 3D format with or without web streaming; works with an interactive basis and/or connection to electricity, motorization, light, sound art or video installation. Any kind of human or interactive performance, which may or may not include the use of any form of software and hardware. Live Media audiovisual performances can either be projected on screens or presented as a live audiovisual performance, sound art and all forms of participatory art. There is no limit to the size of works accepted. For finalist works, it might be necessary to adapt them to site-specific necessities. 10 Works will be selected for the final exhibition by the ‘Installation, Sculpture & Performance’ specialist panel.


(F)  VISITORS CHOICE PRIZE   500 €* - Visitors choose one work at the finalist exhibition.

*Celeste Prize has by Italian Law to hand over to the Italian state 25% of finalists’ prize money for tax purposes. This sum will be withheld by the Organizer from each first prize winner and all finalists who receive reimbursements.


Art. 4 – SELECTIONS & WINNERS

Chief-curator of Celeste Prize 2014, 6th edition

Elena Sorokina, Paris and Moscow


The jurors


Project Prize

Elena Sorokina


Painting & Drawing Prize

Daria de Beauvais - curator at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France

Jelle Bouwhuis - curator at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Andrea Bruciati - independent curator, Italy

Elena Sorokina - independent curator, Paris, France

Pedro Vélez - independent curator, Chicago, USA


Photography & Digital Graphics Prize

Katerina Chuchalina - curator at V-A-C Foundation, Moscow, Russia
Jonathan Lahey Dronsfield - independent curator and philosopher, UK

Solvej Helweg Ovesen - artistic director at Grosses Treffen, Berlin, Germany

Elena Sorokina - independent curator, Paris, France


Video & Animation Prize

Antonia Alampi - curator at Beirut Art Centre, Cairo, Egypt
N'Goné Fall - independent curator and founder at Gaw-Lab, Senegal

Natasa Petresin Bachelez - chief-editor, Manifesta Journal, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Elena Sorokina - independent curator, Paris, France


Installation, Sculpture & Performance Prize

Daniele Balit - independent curator, France

Andrew Hunt - director at Spacex, Exeter, UK

Mélanie Mermod - independent curator, Switzerland

Oscar Roldàn-Alzate - curator, Museum of Modern Art of Medellin, Colombia

Elena Sorokina - independent curator, Paris, France


What's NEW in SELECTIONS?

Celeste is constantly seeking to improve ways in which shortlisted artists are selected - not only to guarantee the quality of finalist works but also to ensure maximum openess and accountability in the process. To reach this goal, we have decided this year to create smaller, specialist panels in which curators with a track record in a particular media make selections for finalist works in that particular media.


FINALIST SELECTIONS

Each selector, in his or her prize category, chooses and publishes 10 works for the finalist shortlist. The 10 works which receive a majority of preferences in each prize category will go through to the final exhibition. There will be 10 finalist works in each prize category, except in the Project Prize category in which there will be 3 projects chosen by the chief-curator Elena Sorokina. In the event of there being an equal number of preferences for works in any prize category Elena Sorokina will decide which works will go forward to the final exhibition. If more than one work by the same artist is chosen as finalist by the selection panel, Elena Sorokina will decide if both or just one will go to the final exhibition.


WINNERS & VOTING

Only works present at the final exhibition can be voted for prizes. Each finalist will exercise one vote of preference in each of the 5 prize categories (Projects; Painting & Drawing; Photography & Digital Graphics; Video & Animantion; Installation, Sculpture & Performance). The voting will be confidential. No one may vote for themselves or in agreement with other finalists, to do so will result in disqualification. Voting slips will be named and checked by Celeste. Winners will be those artists who receive the highest number of preferences in their prize category. In the event of a tie during voting in any prize section, Elena Sorokina will decide which artist shall be the winner. Finalists unable to be present at the voting will be able to cast their vote in advance via email: info [at] celesteprize.com. Prizes will be given directly at the awards ceremony during the final exhibition.

A sixith prize, ‘Visitors’ Choice Prize’, will be awarded by the visiting public at the exhibition on the awards night.

All finalists' artworks, including those by prize winners, will remain after the awards ceremony and exhibition, property of the artists or of their legitimate owners.


Art. 5 – SUBMISSIONS & DEADLINE

Entry deadline is 30 July 2014, 8pm Italian time. This deadline hour and date is the last moment in which entry fees can be paid. Participants will have a further 7 days in which to upload their works and complete submissions.

There are two ways of submitting a work:

It's EASIER and more ECONOMIC to submit directly online.


(A) DIRECT UPLOAD ON WEBSITE

Entry fee: 50 € for each work (40 € for each additional work). 90 € to enter the ‘Projects Prize’ which includes upto 10 works on a specific project (70 €  for additional projects). Entry fees are not refundable. To submit: sign-up or login to your personal admin page in Celeste, click on ‘submit’ in the box 'Celeste Prize 2014’, pay your entry fee, and immediately begin to upload your artwork, description and statement. You can always return to finish upload, when you have completed all uploads click on 'confirm' to ensure your work is visible and among candidate works to the prize.


(B) BY POST/ MAIL

Entry fee: 80 € for each work (entry fees are not refundable). 120 € to enter the ‘Projects Prize’ which includes upload by Celeste staff of upto 10 works on a specific project.

Send to: Celeste Prize 2013, Via Sangallo 23, 53036 Poggibonsi (Siena), Italy.

Include the following:

1. A complete and signed copy of the Application Form (see below and print).

2. On CD/DVD (or as positive photographs and text): Curriculum Vitae or a short biography, preferably written in English, but other languages are also accepted; An image file of the work you wish to submit, including title and description.


Image specifications for all works (except videos):

Images can be uploaded onsite in JPG or PNG; we advise at least 2,500 pixels on the longest side, sufficient for reproduction in the prize catalogue if selected. It is possible to approve, or not, visualisation onsite of the image in high resolution. If you are applying by mail send images of your works on a CD in JPG or PNG format. We advise a document size of 21x29 cm at 300 dpi. Or send a photograph in positive format, minimum size 15x10cm, maximum 21x29cm (A4). Please indicate on the reverse of all photographs: name and surname, address, title of work, medium, dimensions (width x height) and year of execution.


Image specifications for videos, motion graphics, animation, and live media:

If you upload in vimeo.com and cross-link you do not have to send in your work. Send your video art work on CD-ROM or DVD Data, or upload on the website, in the following format: MP4, speed or data rate 2500 kbits/sec (for regular video) or 5000 kbits/sec (for high definition); there is no duration limit. If your work is selected for exhibition you will be invited to send a copy of the original art work with its full quality characteristics. It is necessary to send a still-photograph taken from the video for reproduction in the 2014 Celeste Prize Catalogue (above for photo characteristics).


Art. 6 -  METHODS OF PAYMENT

(a) Login http://www.celesteprize.com/eng_auth_login/ , enter your personal admin area and click on the box ‘Celeste Prize 2014’, pay for your entry with credit card via PayPal before you begin to upload artwork.

(b) Electronic bank transfer*:

Account name: Celeste Network

Bank name: Banco Posta

Branch: Poggibonsi (Siena), Italy.

IBAN: IT74 W076 0114 2000 0000 5409 079

Bic/Swift: BPPIITRRXXX

*Send your entry fee in € Euro currency, net, without transfer fees or commissions payable by Celeste on receipt. For bank transfers coming from outside-Europe you must ADD 10 € Euro to the entry fee.

You must state the following details when bank transfers are made:

1. Participating artist’s full first and family names.

2. Celeste Prize 2014 entry.


Art. 7 – TIMETABLE FOR SELECTIONS & EXHIBITION

(A)  30 July, 8pm Italian time  - last day for entries to Celeste Prize 2014.

(B)  15 September - publication online of selectors’ choices for the 43 finalist artists.

(C)  15 - 23 November - awards night and final exhibition at Assab One, Milan, Italy.


Art. 8 – TRANSPORT & TRAVEL

Each finalist will arrange and cover transport/insurance costs of his or her work to and from the final exhibition location, as well as any personal travel arrangements. Installation and hanging of works for the exhibition will be decided by the Organizer. Any construction or production costs associated with creating or setting-up installation or sculpture works will be covered by the artists themselves.


Art. 9 – CATALOGUE

A copy of the 70 page catalogue with illustrations of the finalists' works and critical texts written by members of the selection panel will be available free to every finalist, while participating artists will receive a discount on list prices (see ‘Catalogues’ page). Copies of the catalogue can be collected at the finalists’ exhibition or requested at info [at] celesteprize.com


Art. 10 – ACCEPTANCES AND COPYRIGHT

(A) By ticking online Celeste Prize’s ‘Terms & Conditions’ or signing the ‘Application Form’ (the latter if prize submissions are made by post), artists accept and are responsible for all that these 2014 ‘Terms & Conditions’ and Celeste Network’s website ‘Terms of Use’ contain and declare.

(B) All works appearing onsite and in print remain copyright and property of the artists who created them or the works’ legal owners. But artists expressely allow Celeste Network to use the images of works they upload in Celeste Prize for communication and promotion purposes only, to create the prize catalogue, to use in online pages in Celeste Network or other promotional material associated with the prize inside or outside Celeste's websites.

(C)  CDs, DVDs, CVs and any texts or catalogues submitted for the prize will not be returned, but archived by the Organizer.

(D) Those persons who upload text, images, or videos onto the prize website, and/or those persons who upload on behalf of participating artists, are personally responsible for the texts and for the visual content of the uploaded images. The Organizer reserves the right to remove any defamatory images or texts, he considers defamatory, unless these are motivated in writing by the artist. Artworks uploaded and presented to ‘Celeste Prize 2014’ and personal webpage relating to the artist will remain visible online and in use as described in (B) above, as part of the complete visual documentation of each prize submission and cannot be removed.

(E) Applicants to the prize authorize the Organizer Steven Music, Celeste Network and all those persons charged with working for them to handle personal data and images of creative work submitted to Celeste Prize, according to Italian Law - Legge 675/96 (the so-called ‘Privacy Law’) and successive amendments to it, D.lgs 196/2003 (Codice Privacy), for the purposes of insertion of information in databases and website. Any controversies will be argued and settled in the Italian legal forum. Personal data, images of creative work, or films and videos taken by the Organizer during the course of any event organized by Celeste Network, might be used by the Organizer to promote artists, other contemporary art events, web promotion, communications, and marketing without necessarily seeking another written consent from third parties.

(F) The Organizer retains the right to change the Terms & Conditions should the need arise.

Celeste Prize 2014, 6th  Edition

is organized by Celeste Network,

Via Sangallo 23,

53036 Poggibonsi (Siena), Italy.

Tel / Fax: +39 0577 1521988

info [@] celesteprize [.] com


APPLICATION FORM - Celeste Prize 2014, 6th edition

(only for postal entries)

If you wish to enter the prize by post complete and sign the Application Form and send it with all materials requested in Art.5 (B) of the 2014 Terms & Conditions.

1. I wish to apply to Celeste Prize 2014:

Name and Family name/Surname_________________________

Male/female__________________________________________

Postal address________________________________________

Place & date of birth (city & nation)_____________________

Place of work/study (city & nation)_______________________

Email and website_____________________________________

Telephone number/cell._________________________________

2. With the following artwork:

Title________________________________________________

Measurement (width x height x depth in cm)________________

Medium_____________________________________________

Support_____________________________________________

Year of execution______________________________________

If the work is a video, name author of musical credits_________

3. I wish to enter the following prize category(ies)

(make a cross beside) :

Projects Prize

Painting & Drawing Prize

Photography & Digital Graphics Prize

Video & Animation Prize

Installation, Sculpture & Performance Prize

4. I have attached the following documentation listed in Art. 5 (B) of Terms & Conditions:

Signed and completed Application Form, photographic or video materials, CV, receipt confirming payment of 80 € entry fee in which the Organizer uploads my candidate work, or 120 € to enter the Projects Prize.

5. Acceptances

1) I accept selections made by the members of the Selection Panel.

2) I accept the decision to award prizes to artists who receive a majority of preferences from other finalists.

3) I accept the selections made for catalogue illustration.

4) I have read & accept the ‘Terms & Conditions of 2014 Celeste Prize’.

Signed_________________________________

Date___________________________________

Send Postal Applications to:

‘Celeste Prize 2014’,

Celeste Network, Via Sangallo 23, 53036 Poggibonsi (Siena), Italy.

T & F +39 0577 1521988

E: info [@] celesteprize [.] com W: http://www.celesteprize.com

Results

Winners of the 6th edition Celeste Prize 2014

Project Prize 

Winner 4,000 € - Mateusz Sarello, Swell

Painting & Drawing Prize
Winner 4,000 € - Emmy Mikelson, Threshold composition no.20
Second - Giovanni Sartori Braido, STRUTTURE AMMASSATE IN UNO SPAZIO
Third (equal votes) - Zach Mory, Untitled
Third (equal votes) - Rubaba Haider, The stitch is lost, unless the thread be knotted - I

Photography & Digital Graphics Prize
Winner 4,000 € - Akos Rajnai, Human visibility
Second - Andrei Mateescu, Residential
Third - Marina Morón, She's asleep XIV

Video & Animation Prize
Winner 4,000 € - Shumona Goel & Shai Heredia, I am Micro
Second - Younes Baba-Ali, Televendita
Third - Elno, Aqua et amor

Installation, Sculpture & Performance
Winner 4,000 € - Shelbatra Jashari, Writing Piece
Second (equal votes) - Dario D'Aronco, surface for three female voices
Second (equal votes) - Graziano Meneghin, La sfida di Marsia / Verso il supplizio di Marsia
Second (equal votes) - Mark Aerial Waller, SOLA

Visitors’ Choice Prize
Winner 500 € - Anna Gramaccia, Cover me up


Exhibition Benefits 2015
28 artists will exhibit in 10 galleries which are collaborating with Celeste Network


Viewbook – Amsterdam
Portfolio website builder for each of the 12 prize winners

Frattura Scomposta – Milano
Elisa Anfuso, Alessandra Baldoni, Gianluca Chiodi, Labant, Aryan Ozmaei, Giorgio Pignotti, Milena Sgambato, Tanya Zommer
 
Dino Morra Arte Contemporanea - Napoli
Shelbatra Jashari, Dejan Kaludjerovic, Akos Rajnai, Giovanni Sartori Braido, Mark Aerial Waller
 
InTour ZAK Gallery - Siena
Matteo Montani
 
LAP Public Art Award - Potenza
Jukuki
 
Les Territoires - Montreal
Rebecca Digne
 
Site Specific - Siracusa
Zoi Pappa
Luigi Presicce
 
Spazio San Giorgio - Bologna
Lorenzo Crivellaro
 
Synap(see) - Siena
Sara Montironi
 
theformatgallery - Milano
Dario Carrata, Andrea Fiorito, Laloba, Emmy Mickelson, Zoi Pappa, Luana Perilli, SR Studiolab, Sultane Tusha
 
Two Bronze Doors - Dallas
Vaia Paziana

Texts


'Society of Artists' by Elena Sorokina, chief-curator of Celeste Prize 2014, 6th edition


After a year as artistic director of Celeste Prize, I would like to highlight what I have found to be the most interesting and important aspects of Celeste. Initially conceived as a trans-geographic online network, Celeste offers a platform for emerging artists, responding to their need of contextualization, experimentation and visibility. It serves as an active mediator for discussion about artists work and how it is recognized, represented, promoted and distributed. We could say, Celeste network uses the legacy of historic models of Societies of Independent Artists or Kunstvereine in Germany, adopting it to our internet age. Like these associations, open to anyone who wanted to display their work, Celeste is also based on the principle of open submissions and on the economy of reciprocity. There are no limitations on age, geography or medium. Celeste' mission is to offer a platform of visibility for emerging and mid-career artists working outside the institutional context. 

In the last years, Celeste has become a platform of encounter and meeting between artists and curators. Inviting twelve curators working inside and outside institutional settings, Celeste provides them with an opportunity to get acquainted with new work and discover new artists who come not from the usual channels of arts production and dissemination. Today, in a vastly expanded curatorial field, the role of curators and strategies of curating are radically shifting. However, the creative and intellectual exchange between artists and curators remains fundamental, and the primary curatorial task is still to engage with artists in an insightful dialogue and to contextualize their work, weaving connections between artists, curatorial projects and the public.
 
Celeste Prize which is held every year, is based on a unique collaboration between artists and curators, representing a model of their constructive interdependence. Artists play a crucial role in the prize, selecting the actual winner in the second stage of the selection process. The selection process is organized in two stages. An international panel of invited curators vote independently from each other, selecting works and projects to be shortlisted. All choices by each curator are visible online. The shortlisted artists are invited to exhibit their work in the final exhibition, this year taking place at Assab One, Milan. Voting the winners allows artists to have an important voice in the process, and to engage with their peers' work.

As a common initiative, we decided to introduce an open jury session before the awards ceremony, conceived as a moment of collective learning and sharing of knowledge. Curators present at the awards ceremony will talk with the public about their experiences, comment on some of the work selected and dialogue with the finalists. 

This year's edition of Celeste Prize featured many interesting projects, with all curators making their choices according to their professional expertise and personal sensibility. We are very happy that Celeste can stimulate many interesting, emerging artists, helping them to establish and develop international contacts with curators and other professionals from museums, alternative spaces and publications.


Andrea Bruciati

My choices cover a generational germline of painters who are proving themselves upto the mark with regard to painting and large-scale projects. They are artists who have chosen to work in a consistent and professional manner, pursuing innovative research without  compromises in the face of traditional painting practice. In this dynamic, colour and sign are not only used as independet languages of expression, but are also channels for changing observation and constant metamorphosis. What I'm interested are practical solutions which are bold and layered, which turn the phenomenological data in the work into appearance, opening up a double line of interpretation, detection and empathy. I believe these peculiarities exist in the ten works I have selected, because their pictorial vocabulary shatters and reinvents the support, creating precipitous visions in a concrete space.

I would like to highlight in the works of Arriagada, De Angelis, Gramaccia, Sartori Braido, Seraphim, Tone, Tusha, Valeri, Yaluff and Zaccagnini, linguistic interpretations which in my opinion are intriguing and timely. These are artists which have the potential for professional growth and are deserving of mention. They will also benefit from the special set of circumstances which Celeste Prize has invested in heavily this year, namely the final exhibition and possibility to meet other arts professionals in Milan in November.


Daria De Beauvais

I chose 10 works by the following artists: Yuko Kokubun, Alessio Larocchi, Caterina Silva, Adrian Tone, Rocio Saenz, Giovanni Sartori Braido, Victoria Arney, Sebastiano Longaretti, Anna Gramaccia, Zach Mory.

“Biotron” is the key word in Yuko Kokubun’s research, imagining a controlled chamber in which magical creatures can come to life. Her bright painting on an animal skin is evocative at once of the neo-geo artistic movement and of an imaginary world that is going beyond science fiction.
Alessio Larocchi’s abstract map is on the verge of dissolving a recognizable image into a labyrinthine metaphor of the artist’s mind. What is on view is a structured absence, a silent tension between empirical map and abstract form.
One could get lost in Caterina Silva’s abstract and evocative oil on canvas. With an expressionist gesture, a use of subtle colors and a monumental scale, the artist imagines “an open form able to go beyond the limits of language in describing reality.”
At the threshold of human and (maybe) digital gesture, Adrian Tone’s painting creates confusion in the looker’s eye. It is an image that seems at the same time transparent and carbonized, in both cases it is like a trace, a torn image on the verge of disappearance.
Urban art seems a good departure point when looking at Rocio Saenz’s work. Human and animal figures are mixed with abstract elements made of drips, patterns and color fields, creating a vivid imagery in which one’s eye could get lost.
Giovanni Sartori Braido’s acrylic on canvas appears as a 21st century still life. Dead animals, fruits and vegetables from classical painting have been replaced here by a screen – from an old-fashioned TV or computer – in dialogue with blurred geometrical shapes.
Representation, memory and our relationships to natural forces – in this case the 2011 Tsunami in Japan – are questioned in Victoria Arney’s etching. On top of an uneven landscape made of debris appears a red dot, covering and unveiling at the same time a frenetic mark making.
This very simple yet extremely evocative watercolor by Sebastiano Longaretti brings to our eyes a surrealist image: a heart seated on an armchair, its arteries becoming tentacles imprisoning the furniture – a mental image coming from the artist’s subconscious?
Anna Gramaccia’s ink on paper is reminiscent of embroidery as well as camouflage. These apparently opposite references are here poetically linked, creating a dreamlike feeling, on the verge of automatic drawing; while the subtle choice of colors evokes watercolor.
Working after a predefined system, Zach Mory proposes an abstract drawing illustrating the repetition of day-to-day life. The question is to find a meaning, be it in art or in society, and to choose if beauty lies in the accumulation or in the details.


Andrew Hunt

My selection was initially based on a search for interesting new critical visual forms. Connected subjects and related themes of appropriation, antagonism and humour started to emerge as I went through the careful process of looking at the submitted work. Anastasia Booth’s Unicorn, for example, consists of a bust with a wig and black horn, and attempts to deal with female sexuality via a critically affirmative, yet indecipherable forerunner Disco Bomb (1989) by Martin Kippenberger, a work that contains a similar bust, this time made from a readymade wig and disco ball. Similarly, Jason File’s Life Copy steals CNN footage of himself performing a role as an expert on terrorism, after a book he co-authored on this subject was published. In turn, 9991/24 (Dynamic Biography) by Richer/Meyer/Marx (Berlin) exaggerates and accelerates an unidentified individual’s life story to an absurd level of international success and failure, through a performance that takes Frank Sinatra’s My Way as it’s starting point.
In many respects, Towel and radiator by Jacopo Trabona contains a similar indecipherable humour to Kippenberger’s aforementioned work in its carful yet impish pairing of objects, this time working with the history of abstraction. And in a more occult manner, ESG The Praying Machine by Txema Novelo and Sola by Mark Aerial Waller meditate on ideas of the cosmos (via rock and roll and mysticism in Novelo’s case, and through the universe, civilisation and the individual in Waller’s) to produce a temporally slow rumination on history through sound and film.
If any work mischievously reflects the selection process for Celeste, it’s Curami by Marika Marchese: ‘Curami’ translates as ‘Take care of me’, ‘Cure me’, or in the contemporary art context ‘Curate me’. In many respects, this final work chose itself.