The Enhancement of creativity
The winner of the 16th edition is Anna Drozd-Tutaj (Poland) of the ‘Sculpture and Installation’ section, with the work The Power of the Element, a rare example of a work of art that uses crochet doilies to create a contemporary and spectacular composition which, despite its monumentality, retains an ephemeral character. The jury’s motivation reads: “The jury selected the site-specific installation by the Polish artist Anna Drosz-Tutaj for its linearity and clean execution. It is a visual device that, through the assembly of coloured doilies, evokes the power of the elements and of the memory which compacts our emotional and logical being. Stability and dynamism, originate and original, operate as a conspiratio oppositorum in perfect harmony.”
The winner of the 17th edition is Ohau Chen (Taiwan) with the work Back to Glory: Make_Great again from the section ‘Sculpture and Installation’. Ohau Chen uses the video installation to propose a hypothetical future through the use of common political propaganda materials. The artist invites the public to cast their vote on an imaginary proposal for the militarization of the elderly population as a response to the progressive ageing of society. “The work presents a dystopian future in which the elderly are persuaded to serve the national army in preparation for an imminent war – it reads in the jury’s motivation. – Though hypothetical, this condition speaks to present reality and the dread of conflict that hangs over us indiscriminately. The dilemma is clear: Whom to sacrifice? Young or old? The artist invites the public to vote. The cynicism of the work exacerbates the artist’s critical stance on issues such as biopower and thanatocracy in our increasingly technocratic contemporary world. How is the human body dehumanized and exploited? What decision-making processes and governance structures are at stake? The promise of a binary democracy failed because it continued to function by presenting the illusion of free choice.” The jury was impressed by the clever mix of various media and the interdisciplinary approach to the work. The artist’s unique sense of humour and visual language, as well as reinventing the aesthetics and sensibility of propaganda, further convinced us to embrace his invitation to reflect on today’s condition.
The jury chose to confer two mentions of honour, one for each edition: for the 16th edition, it goes to Kailum Graves, with the photographic work The Otherness of Self, and for the 17th edition for Chih Chiu with the performance Self-Service Barbershop. The works of Anna Drozd-Tutaj and Ohau Chen are on view until April 16 2023 in the extraordinary spaces of Arsenale Nord in Venice, together with the works of the other finalists of the Arte Laguna Prize, counting 240 works of art coming from over 50 states in the whole world.
Numerous Special Prizes were also assigned, which provide the production of works, residencies all over the world, the opportunity to exhibit in important galleries, international and Italian festivals, collaborations with companies, and monetary prizes, confirming Arte Laguna Prize as one of the most important competitions with many opportunities for the artists. #