Winners


Friday 6th October, six winners were awarded prizes following votes by this year's 53 finalist artists.

@Bargehouse, OXO Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, London SE1, 6-8 October.

Winners
Project Prize 4,000 € - Laura Kuch, 'Wunderkammer VI'
Painting & Drawing Prize 4,000 € - Jonathan Di Furia, 'Soft corners'
Photography & Digital Graphics 4,000 € - Kyu Sang Lee, 'The Festival of Insignificance'
Video & Animation Prize 4,000 € - Love Enqvist, 'Magellania'
Installation, Sculpture & Performance Prize 4,000 € - Maria Luigia Gioffrè, 'Penelope's white wall'
Super-Young Prize 3,000 € - Meng Zhou, 'Mr Lei, Rain Rain Rain'

Finalists' full voting results
Project Prize: 2nd Kalina; 3rd Linda De' Nobili
Painting & Drawing Prize: 2nd Alina Petre @theathev; 3rd Yaprak Akinci
Photography & Digital Graphics Prize: 2nd Hang Zhang; 3rd Ellie Davies
Video & Animation Prize: 2nd Dilara Koz; 3rd Miguel Angel Rego Robles
Installation, Sculpture & Performance Prize: 2nd Izabela Maciejewska; 3rd Maria Rondeau
Super-Young Prize: 2nd Eda Sutunc; 3rd Jevon Chandra

On show artworks chosen by Fatoş Üstek and jurors, George Clark, Övül Ö. Durmusoglu, Rozsa Zita Farkas, Attilia Fattori Franchini, Anna Gritz, Nav Haq, Harriet Loffler, Louise O'Kelly, Ilaria Puri Purini, Filipa Ramos, Emiliano Valdes and Ben Vickers

Prizes

Prizes


GALLERY BENEFITS PROGRAMME 2017

Here are the names of aritists invited to exhibit in the coming months with our partner galleries:

Art Rooms - Alex Backer, Edmund Cook, Love Enqvist, Eduardo Gómez Escamilla, Christina Gednalske, Dilara Koz, Miguel Ángel Rego Robles, Eleonora Roaro, Dutem Schwöllen, Saskia Olde Wolbers

Artisti Italiani - Montserrat Diaz, Alexi Paladino

Burning Giraffe Gallery - Samuele Mollo

Cell 63 Luisa Catucci Gallery - Eleonora Roaro

Die Mauer - Ruben Hamelink, Dalia Baasiri

La Macina di San Crespi - Kalina

Plenum Gallery - Ellie Davis, Kyu San Lee

White Noise Gallery - Patricia Mato Mora

Studio 38 Contemporary Art Gallery - Aeson Tronco Baldevia, Ruben Hamelink, Benjamin Heim, Hanna Hetherington, Kalina, Dilara Koz, Teddy Lo, Micaela Mau, Meng Zhou



  • 23,000 € cash prizes
  • 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 €
  • Super-Young Prize 3,000 €

Benefits

When you enter
  • You could be invited to show in one of our 12 partner galleries
  • You receive immediate exposure across the network
  • You could be included in our weekly showcase ‘Editors' choices’
  • Receive active promotion in Celeste's internet social media channels
As a finalist
  • Your artwork is introduced to 180 past jurors of Celeste Prize
  • Your artwork is exhibited in central London during Frieze week
  • You meet the jury in London
  • You benefit from the communications whirlwind in the international art press
  • You and your artwork are published in the Prize's printed catalogue
As a winner
  • You receive everything Finalists receive, plus
  • We send a dedicated email about you to everyone in Celeste
  • You are interviewed in a dedicated news page in Celeste
  • Exposure in national and international press channels
  • Receive free Premium membership in Celeste
  • Receive your share of 23,000 € cash prizes

About

Artists, photographers and creatives submit online their artwork for review by a jury of top, art curators and critics. Six winners will receive 23,000 € prizes and every participant is up for selection in our 12 gallery benefits programme.

Past and present chief-jurors
2017 - Fatoş Üstek, Turkey
2016 - Ellen Blumenstein, Germany
2015 - Koyo Kouoh, Senegal
2014 - Elena Sorokina, France
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

Celeste Prize promotes and supports the work of visual artists, ensures that it's seen daily in over 100 countries and each year by an audience of over 2 million people. Exhibitions have been held in Berlin, London, Miami, Milan, New York, Rome and Venice.

Deadlines

2017
Become Premium for a 10% discount on entry fees.
18 July
Last day to enter artwork from your account in Celeste.
4 September
Jury announces names of this year's 53 finalists artists.
6 October
Awards ceremony, Bargehouse OXO Tower, London.

Jury

Benefits

Exhibition opportunities for everyone

An exciting group of galleries, a residency and an art fair, interested in spotting new talent, will in September select artists for free exhibitions in their spaces.


Photos

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Final

Final
final exhibition Celeste Prize 2017
6 - 8 October 2017
The Bargehouse, OXO Tower, London
During Frieze week

Terms

TERMS & CONDITIONS, CELESTE PRIZE 2017, 9th EDITION

These ‘Terms & Conditions’ were published on 15th March 2017
The deadline to join is 30th June 18th July 2017

Enter artwork from your personal page in Celeste Network: sign-up or loginto your account, at the centre of your admin homepage find the box 'Join the prize', click on 'Enter a work', then follow the steps to pay entry fee, begin to upload, then publish.

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 50 works and 3 projects, a catalogue of circa 80 pages which will contain illustrations of finalists' works and critical texts, as well as 6 prizes totalling 23,000 € in cash. Awards night and exhibition of finalist works at The Bargehouse, OXO Tower, London, 6-8 October 2017.

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. There is no special subject, title or theme required for participating works. They can range from being figurative to abstract, from conceptual to participatory to performance. Works submitted to the prize can have been exhibited before or not.

23,000 € cash prizes
A two-stage selection process guarantees openess, clarity and legitimacy to selections and awards by the jury and finalist artists.
  • First phase, the jury publishes its choice of finalist works.
  • Second phase, the finalist artists themselves vote the awards at the final exhibition.

PROJECT PRIZE, 4,000 €*
Artists are encouraged to present works which investigate relevant social, political, economic or personal themes today. Projects can include up to 10 works in a mixture of media such as installation alongside video and photography, or in any one media, for example a photographic series or a series of paintings. Each project must consider a maximum exhibition area of 6x6metres and the use of 6 linear-metre wall space. 3 Projects will be selected for the final exhibition by the chief-juror of the prize, Fatos Üstek.

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’ jury.

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’ jury.

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’ jury.

INSTALLATION, SCULPTURE & PERFORMANCE PRIZE, 4,000 €*
Installation works of any nature in any material, video installation, multimedia or multidisciplinary 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’ jury.

SUPER-YOUNG PRIZE, 3,000 €*
Super-Young prize promotes artwork by artists under 26 years old. Entrants can be students or not, from art school, secondary school, university, academy or art courses, or be artists working outside education. Works can be submitted in any media such as painting, photography, drawing, installation, sculpture, video, performance or any other artistic crossover or derivative. 10 Works will be selected for the final exhibition by the chief-juror, Fatos Üstek. Entry to the final exhibition will be subject to verification by Celeste staff who will be requesting documentary proof of age (only artists under 26 years old on the date 15 March 2017 - date of publication of these Terms & Conditions - can apply) to confirm admission to the final in London.

*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.

Art. 4 – SELECTIONS & WINNERS
In order to guarantee accountability and the highest possibile degree of professionalism during the selection process of finalist works, the jury has been divided into specialist panels, in which curators with a track record in a particular media make selections.

Fatos Üstek is chief-juror of Celeste Prize 2017, 9th edition

The specialist panels within the Jury:

Project Prize
Fatos Üstek, independent curator, Art Night London

Painting & Drawing Prize
Övül Ö. Durmusoglu, independent curator
Ilaria Puri Purini, Contemporary Art Society
Fatos Üstek, independent curator, Art Night London
Emiliano Valdés, Museum of Modern Art Medellin

Photography & Digital Graphics Prize
Rozsa Zita Farkas, Arcadia Missa
Attilia Fattori Franchini, independent curator
Fatos Üstek, independent curator, Art Night London
Ben Vickers, Serpentine Gallery

Video & Animation Prize
George Clark, independent curator and film maker
Anna Gritz, Kunst Werke Berlin
Filipa Ramos, Art Agenda, Vdrome
Fatos Üstek, independent curator, Art Night London

Installation, Sculpture & Performance Prize
Harriet Loffler, Norwich Castle Museum
Nav Haq, Muhka
Louise O'Kelly, BlockUniverse
Fatos Üstek, independent curator, Art Night London

Super-Young Prize
Fatos Üstek, independent curator, Art Night London


SELECTION OF FINALIST WORKS
Each selector, in his or her prize category, chooses and publishes online 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-juror Fatos Üstek. In the event of there being an equal number of preferences for works in any prize category Fatos Üstek will decide which works will go forward into the final exhibition. If more than one work by the same artist is chosen as finalist by the selection panel, Fatos Üstek will decide if both or just one will go to the final exhibition. Selections will be announced online by end-August.

WINNERS & PRIZE 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 6 prize categories (Projects; Painting & Drawing; Photography & Digital Graphics; Video & Animation; Installation, Sculpture & Performance: Super-Young). 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, Fatos Üstek 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. At the final event each juror is invited to nominate his or her preferred finalist artwork, the artists involved will receive the honorary mention but not a cash prize.

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

Art. 5 – ENTRIES & DEADLINE
Entry deadline is 30th June 18th July 2017, midnight 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
Submit your artwork or project via your personal account in Celeste.
Steps to submit: login or sign-up, at the centre of your admin homepage find the box 'Join the prize', then click on the button 'Enter a work', follow the steps for payment, then upload the image and text of your candidate work, then publish by pressing the 'Confirm' button. If you cannot finish in one go, you can save and return later to finish uploads.

30 €* for each work in ‘Super-Young Prize’, for under-26 year olds (25 € for each additional work).
50 €* for each work (40 € for each additional work).
90 €* to enter the ‘Projects Prize’ which includes up to 10 works (70 € for additional projects).

*Become a 2017 Premium member for a 10% discount - read full details

To submit: sign-up or login to your personal admin page in Celeste, click on ‘Enter a work’ in the 'Join the Prize' box, follow the steps to pay your entry fee, and immediately begin to upload your artwork, description and statement.

(B) BY POST/ MAIL
Entry fee: 50 € for ‘Super-Young Prize’ or 80 € for each work. 120 € to enter the ‘Projects Prize’ which includes upload by Celeste staff of upto 10 works on a specific project.
Entry fees are not refundable.
Send to: Celeste Network, 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:
To submit your video to the prize, upload it first in your free account in Vimeo, https://vimeo.com Then join the prize from your account in Celeste and copy the video's Vimeo weblink into the submission form in Celeste Prize. In this first, pre-selection stage of the prize your video should not exceed 500 MB. The original version will be requested if you are selected for the final exhibition. You will also need to prepare and upload a still image taken from your video.

Entry fees are not refundable.

Art. 6 - METHODS OF PAYMENT
(a) Online with credit card or via Paypal
Login, enter your personal admin area and click on the box ‘Join the prize’, pay with credit card or use an account in PayPal, then begin to upload your 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 only, net, without transfer fees or commissions payable by Celeste on receipt. For bank transfers sent from outside Europe you must ADD 10 € Euro to the entry fee.
Please state the following details if you make a bank transfer:
1. Participating artist’s full first and family names, email address.
2. Celeste Prize 2017 entry.
Entries paid via bank transfer will be activated as soon as the credit is received, usually after 2 days. For valid entries, payments no later than the deadline date.

(c) Western Union
Send to: Name: Steven; Surname: Music; Address: San Gimignano (Siena); Country: Italy.
Ensure that we receive your entire, entry fee amount in Euro €, net of any transfer charges. If we have to pay transfer charges your application process will be halted. Please include in the description which accompanies your payment the following: ‘Entry fee payment for Celeste Prize 2017 include artist’s name, surname and country from where the money is being sent’. Then, send confirmation email to [email protected] with the transaction code. As soon as we receive your entry fee we shall activate in your account in Celeste the possibility to upload your prize work.

Art. 7 – TIMETABLE FOR SELECTIONS & EXHIBITION
  • 30th June 18th July - last day to join Celeste Prize 2017.
  • 1st September 4th September - expected publication of the jury’s choices for the 53 finalist works and projects.
  • 6-8th October - awards night and final exhibition at Bargehouse, OXO Tower, London, UK.

Art. 8 – TRANSPORT & TRAVEL
Only the actual work (in its original size, medium and content, as described at the moment of submission online to the prize) can be brought to the final exhibition and be voted for prizes. In some exceptional cases, for example very large or complex installations, a reduced format of the work can be brought to the final for exhibition in agreement with the Organizer. Each finalist will arrange and cover transport and 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 chief-curator and the Organizer. All construction and production costs, as well as costs for particular supports to the installed work such as extra lighting, stands, or wiring to complete set-up, will be covered by the artists themselves.

Art. 9 – CATALOGUE
A copy of the 80 page catalogue with illustrations of the finalists' works, presentation of artists work and critical texts written by members of the jury, will be available free to finalists and everyone who will be present at the final exhibition in London.

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 2017 ‘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 expressly 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 2017’ 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 2017, 9th edition
is organized by Celeste Network,
Via Sangallo 23,
53036 Poggibonsi (Siena), Italy.
Tel / Fax: +39 0577 1521988
Email
Prize Presentation Page



APPLICATION FORM FOR POSTAL ENTRIES ONLY - Celeste Prize 2017, 9th edition

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 2017 Terms & Conditions.

1. I wish to apply to Celeste Prize 2017
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
Super-Young 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 Jury.
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 and I accept the ‘Terms & Conditions of 2017 Celeste Prize’.

Signed_________________________________
Date___________________________________

Send Postal Applications to
‘Celeste Prize 2017’,
Celeste Network, Via Sangallo 23, 53036 Poggibonsi (Siena), Italy.
Tel & Fax: +39 0577 1521988
Email
Prize Presentation Page

Friends

friends we would like to thank


Interviews

Celeste Prize 2017 winners talk about their practice


LAURA KUCH, winner, Project Prize

1. Why is Wunderkammer VI relevant today?
Wunderkammer VI is part of a series of installations I have been working on a since 2010. Wunderkammer translates as ‘wonder chamber’ and is the German equivalent to a cabinet of curiosities. Originally it described a collection concept from the late Renaissance and Baroque period. The collections consisted of a wide range of diverse natural history objects and artefacts: from stuffed armadillos, Chinese porcelain, exotic shells, cherry-stone miniatures and alleged unicorn horns. The word Wunder (wonder) in Wunderkammer, does not refer to the notion of biblical miracles or supernatural wonders but to the idea that these collections were aimed at giving rise to amazement and wonder amongst spectators, containing objects that were wonders in the sense of their extraordinary, strange and mysterious nature.
The Wunderkammer series explores the question, what can a cabinet of curiosities of the here and now be, long after the legendary unicorn trophies turned out to be only the tusks of the common narwhale and the last terra incognita on the globe has been explored; after what the sociologist Max Weber called "the disenchantment of the world" – brought about by the Enlightenment and Modernity. Where and how can we still find wonder today? How can we create meaning and knowledge through wonder and how can we explore and appropriate even – or especially – the most common and familiar things not by de-coding them but by continuously wondering about them?
Wonder, and to continuously wonder, means to acknowledge the miraculous and the, what I call, realm-of-the-ever-unknow it provides. This realm creates a space for imagination that, by each of us, can be filled with infinite possibilities of ideas and thoughts depending on our individual experiences, hopes, preferences, longing and interests. Especially in a time like today, where scientific and objective knowledge are habitually accepted as the definite and most validated answer, and where we tend to believe we have access to all knowledge through the internet, I strongly believe we should employ wondering as possible way of examination and knowledge production. Filling the unknown with our own subjective thoughts allows for insights that lie beyond the functionality or the scientific knowledge of things and rather sheds light on our inner selves, as well as the relationship of ourselves with the things around us, and provides us with the possibility to appropriate the world and create meaning and meanings through our own ideas.

2. How does the work fit in with your general practice?
In my Wunderkammer, there are neither dragon’s eggs nor magic potions. Instead you will find many objects that at first sight could be mistaken for everyday objects or familiar materials and motifs. Wonder today, I claim, lies in the poetic potential of the ordinary. What constitutes both my art practice and identity is the desire to re-enchant (at least parts of) the world by searching for, insisting on and pointing out, or revealing, the poetic within everyday things and materials and thereby creating alternative meanings that lie beyond the conventional understanding of them.
As wonder objects my artworks become a part of my Wunderkammer collection – an ever-growing object archive of which I am the creator and collector at the same time.
My work is related to a strand of artistic practice termed Romantic Conceptualism by Jörg Heiser and Jan Verwoert. Although the Wunderkammer is originally a Renaissance concept, I recognise a very Romantic idea behind it: to wonder and to acknowledge the miraculous is the precondition to discover the poetic within things. My practice and research are based on the ideas of German Early Romanticism, a literary and philosophical movement formed by a group of young poets and writers in the city of Jena at the end of the 18th century. The Early Romantic Novalis stated in 1798: ‘The world must be romanticised. In that way one finds original meaning again (…) By giving what is common an elevated meaning, the ordinary a mysterious aspect, the familiar the dignity of the unknown, the finite the appearance of infinity, thus I romanticise it’. Romanticising can take place through a poetic representation of things by the means of poetry and other forms of literature as explored in the Early German Romantics’ writings, but also, I claim, within a fine art practice like mine. The romanticised art-object allows two perceptions at the same time. It hovers between the ordinary, namely the familiar physical object or material itself, and the exalted and poetic, which is revealed by relating the object to an idea or concept. (which may include performative elements or minor alterations of the original object). The idea is then conveyed by the use of language, namely in the title and sometimes also in the material description. What constitutes my artworks from the past years is exactly this combination of components: They are idea- objects representing my romantic mindset encountering the world and exploring the dialectic between real presence and the absence of presence, between material transformation and imaginary transformation, between visibility and invisibility, materiality and immateriality, between finitude and infinity

3. What are your future projects?
I currently experiment with different set-ups of my Wunderkammer installations. I built a big space in my studio which is painted entirely white, including the floor. This space serves as a kind of three-dimensional empty sheet of paper to me in which I try to create various visual-conceptual dialogues by selecting and arranging my artworks in various ways. For that my wonder objects serve as my vocabulary with which I’m trying to ‘write’ arabesque bodies of text that evolve in space, or ‘chapters’ of an ever-unfinished novel.
In a way is do think of myself as poet, a poet that became a visual artist holding the means that fine art offers. Whereas the format of writing in a two-dimensional way is eventually always doomed to formal linearity when read and a certain narrowness – with a set beginning and end – in the (conventional) format of a printed book, my form of writing in space with objects is not bound to such (limiting) formats.
At the moment I’m planning to integrate some of my older artworks in these new installations. I used to work with sound and make sound sculptures in the past and I am curious to explore the concept of a Gesamtkunstwerk by adding an audio element to my installations.

4. In which ways are the visual arts still a motor for change in our society?
My first impulse was to answer this question with a quote from John Cage’s Lecture on Nothing:
1. That is a very good question. I should not want to spoil it with an answer.
2. My head wants to ache.
3. Had you heard Marya Freund last April in Palermo singing Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire; I doubt whether you would ask that question.
4. According to Farmers Almanac this is False Spring.
5. Please repeat the question …and again … and again …
6. I have no more answers.

On a second thought I will try to give an answer to that huge question on the basis of my hopelessly romantic conviction. Novalis realised: ‘The world has an original ability to be enlivened through me. I have an original tendency and ability to enliven the world’. Novalis and his fellows were highly influenced by the philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s subjective idealism. A central aspect of this was that our ‘schöpferische Ich’ – which translates as creative-imaginative self – enables us, in transcendental liberty, to create the world out of ourselves. Like Novalis I believe in our ability to enliven the world and hence to understand ourselves as integral part of the world. Visual art, or much rather art in general, provides an approach by which the world can be shaped embracing the possibilities and power of our original ideas, our own imagination. This approach of the artist can serve as a model and I believe more people need to believe in the power of their creative-imaginative self. I sometimes give workshops to people outside of the art world who work in organisations in which I introduce to them to ways of approaching the world as an artist in the hope that this sparks some change. Yet in order to really change the world or society art and the knowledge of the artist has be become a more intergral and appreciated part of society. For which I hope will happen.


KYU SANG LEE, winner, Photography & Digital Graphics Prize

1. Why is The Festival of Insignificance relevant today?
First of all I do not want to suggest that there is more relevance in my works than in any others. However, contrary to the work’s title I believe there is still significant relevance in the piece, especially in this time where everyone seems to admire only what is extraordinary. I believe that people nowadays have become scared by the word ‘insignificance’. Therefore, I wanted to emphasize and highlight the value of things that we regard as ordinary – but which we all have in common – such as anxiety, fear, friends and love.

2. How does the work fit in with your general practice?
To me the Festival of Insignificance is merely a visual translation of my life during a certain period not so long ago. The work is (literally) a documentation of the time I spent with others and myself around me. Ever since I was young, I have naturally been more of a listener than a speaker. It was always inspiring to listen to someone else’s life, and it is still very important in my general practice. So from time to time other’s experiences appear as subjects or as a visual narrative in my images.

3. What are your future projects?
Broadly speaking, I think my projects in the next year will continue to be a study on relationship between art and time. My interest in time has always been evident in the work that I make, and recently I am becoming more intrigued by artworks or objects that have endured for a long time. Everything from 1000 BC artefacts, to a vintage metronome and to classical music. I feel a strong admiration for art that has survived over such long spans of time, and am always surprised when it still manages to communicate with and move modern individuals. I don’t know exactly how it will turn out visually, but recently I have suddenly become mesmerized by Bach’s Goldberg Variations – which I have listened to since childhood. (Wilhelm Kempff’s recording is literally playing as I am writing this.) Since I purchased an original copy of the piece I am studying each page of the music.

4. In which ways are the visual arts still a motor for change in our society?
As an artist I realize that the power of mass-media probably has a much stronger direct influence than visual art. Throughout history, visual art was not intended for everyone, and it probably will remain that way in times to come. It is difficult and costly to purchase an artwork, and therefore not everyone can do that. However, there is one way that visual art holds power over other forms of art and that is the fact that it is bound to a material. Materiality can give a sense of ownership. It does
not even have to be an original artwork - and I think that is why postcards and other reproductions that galleries sell can be as important as the real thing.
The more important thing is to be able to be impressed or have an experience in front of an artwork. And especially when it comes to photography, there is something that penetrates your mind and emotions – a feeling which cannot be replaced by other forms of art because while photography is far from reality it often creates the belief that it could be real. And there is something that comes into that gap between belief and skepticism. I would be happy just to see someone standing in front of my work, giving it their attention, and experiencing it for a long time – feeling whatever emotion they feel. In the end I think my works are about love and hope. And it is always important to think about them.


LOVE ENQVIST, winner, Video & Animation Prize

1. Why is Magellania relevant today?
The fact that we are loosing so many languages with all that it implies. The colonization of language. My personal effort to visualize and relate to the ghosts and speak about the unspeakable in what is known as the South, hopefully have many entry points for the audience.

2. How does the work fit in with your general practice?
Magellania is a long term project with many outputs and it tends to be an element of utopia somewhere. The inherent quality of absence transformed into a presence. The documentary and performative aspects of filming that involves displacement. The work also brought me closer to my father.

3. What are your future projects?
A larger installation inspired by the history of the Co-op movement and their archive. A project space in Venice. A Magellania publication breaking up and rebiulding years of research and accumulated material.

4. In which ways are the visual arts still a motor for change in our society?
The possibility to carve out a space for resistance. The ability to transfer between categories as a hybrid language and be allowed to be confused and complex. I would like to see it as a tool in the search for a different kind of consciousness.


MARIA LUIGIA GIOFFRE', winner, Installation, Sculpture & Performance Prize

1. Why is your winning work 'Penelope's Wall' relevant today?
What I feel is missing today is fairytales. Since the XXI century has come, mankind have been more and more engaged with science and even art is starting to deal with data-analysis and algorithms. Planets and galaxies have been observed and calculated, Gods and Goddesses have fallen apart. Neptune does not scare inhabitants of the sea and Jupiter is visible at the telescope: the magic is sacrified for a hint of knowledge. "Penelope's white wall" might be therefore read a non-positivist novel which responds to an urgency of a wonder.

In particular, the story reinterprets the character of Penelope, wife of Ulysses, king of Ithaca, as described in the Homer's Odyssey. Ulysses leaves the house for twenty years and already after few years, everyone thinks he died. Suitors begin to enter the house of the queen, asking her hand in marriage. Penelope, trustful in the return of Ulysses, wouldn't choose anyone to marry with. For years, she has been weaving a shroud, promising to choose a new husband once the shroud was completed but if by the day she was working on a loom, in the night she secretly was unraveling what she had done during the day. In "Penelope's white wall" we see Penelope painting an wall which does not dry because she paints and re-paints it. The unfinished wall allows Ulysses, traveller and migrant, to be free to go back and forward from the house without restrictions.

Neverthless, once "Penelope's white wall" is installed in a gallery-space, we might say it takes a different relevancy. Audience can experience the ambivalence of the artwork: is the wall being prepared to hang artworks or is this painting the work itself? By this way, "Penelope's white wall" allows to put highlights on the backstage rather than on the stage, on the process rather than on finished pieces.

2. How does the work fit in with your general practice?
The last performance of "Penelope's white wall" at Oxo Tower has lasted for four hours without break. "Penelope's white wall" is first of all a performance which explores duration through a gesture or a single action. Some of my previous works as "Lettere di non-corrispondenza per un vuoto permanente" and "Drown of the origin" do exactly this. "Lettere di non corrispondenza per un vuoto permanente" is a letter which "lasts" for five meters. The letter is written in asemic: a writing practice (some call it automatic writing) which is based on gesture-signing rather than on words-meaning. "Drown of the origin" is a video-piece which look at time through a single action and frame-scene.

In terms of performance, I would say performance might be read as an action, every action as a performance, not only when it takes place on a stage or choosen space. My aim in performance, when taken as aesthetic research, is to go deeply at the seeds of the action, focusing on one single action and exploring what that exact action can narrate.

All my works relate to distance and longing, "Penelope's white wall" somehow makes this too.

3. What are your future projects?
The future is not until it is. I'm actually working on a solo exhibition.

4. Are the visual arts still a motor for change in our society?
When did they stop to be it?


MENG ZHOU, winner Super-Young Prize

1. Why is Mr. Lei, Rain Rain Rain relevant today?
I really want this piece to make people think about their own individual relationship with the natural environment and begin to appreciate how the the world that we share is at once extremely powerful and yet worryingly fragile. In the wake of the recent and unprecedented weather events in the Caribbean the imperative to respect the natural world has never been more urgent. Human / environmental relations are at a critical juncture and I hope that the symbolism of the solitary man in the thick of the vast wilderness will encourage my audience to take stock of their debt to the natural world.

2. How does the work fit in with your general practice?
My work usually centres, in one way or another, around the human form and on movement. This was actually one of the first pieces of moving image work that I have created and represents a new way of thinking about the body for me. Dance is a constant inspiration for much of my work and I have often used mental images of dancers as the basis for my paintings. Using video as a media allowed me to think more carefully about how movement itself, rather than representations of it, can be used symbolically - about choreography in a sense.

3. What are your future projects?
I am currently working with a group of dancers and performers to create a site-specidfic dance installation - its something that I have wanted to do for a long time and although the plans are still in their formative stages it’s something I’m really excited about.

4. In which ways are the visual arts still a motor for change in our society?
I was deeply saddened by the recent news of President Trump’s decision to pull the USA out of UNESCO because I believe that cultural understanding is imperative to human solidarity. The arts have a really unique capacity to draw human beings together and to create dialogue. They make us think about the world in new and creative ways and they act as conduit for new types of questions and new types of answers. In that they serve as a reminder of our shared human heritage the arts could not be any more valuable to us. I think that it is the duty of artists to highlight and to challenge the injustices of the day and to bring them to light.


JONATHAN DI FURIA, winner, Painting & Drawing Prize

1. Why is 'Soft corners' relevant today?
The interdependence between man and the environment is a current topic, today more than yesterday.

2. How does the work fit in with your general practice?
'Soft Corners' is just a puzzle card, I’ve always focused my attention on the precariousness of the human condition.

3. What are your future projects?
To proceed with a collaboration with some finalists of Celeste Prize 2017.

4. Are the visual arts still a motor for change in our society?
Art may help us see the world from different perspectives, art can influence the way we think, art can also contribute to change, but I personally think art does not have the power to change the world or our society, however, the artist may have the honor and perhaps the burden of translating the change into images. Seize the zeitgeist, this is the real big challenge.