Francesco Fabbri Prize 2021, curated by Carlo Sala

Villa Brandolini, Solighetto di Pieve di Soligo

November 27 – December 19, 2021.

On Saturday, November 27, 2021, an award ceremony was held for the winning and mentioned artists of the Francesco Fabbri Prize for the Contemporary Arts. The event, curated by Carlo Sala, is promoted by Fondazione Francesco Fabbri in collaboration with the city of Pieve di Soligo, with the support of the Veneto Region.

The jury awarded some mentions: in the Emerging Art section, the first one went to Giulia Maiorano (Milan, 1991) for the work CASTLES IN THE AIR (2020), an installation composed of a series of ceramic elements. The work succeeds in positively subverting the expression recalled in the title of the work, which usually designates a project that is unlikely to be realized: the artist wanted to give tangible form to the domain of imagination. Davide Serpetti (L’Aquila, 1990) won second mention for his work Singer in the rye (2020). The painting depicts actor and singer Donald McKinley Glover-also known by the pseudonym Childish Gambino – one of the characters in the contemporary ‘pantheon’ that the author’s imagination feeds on daily. Serpetti drew and reworked the frame of a music video clip thus using American mass culture as a visual pretext for expressing feelings and emotional states.
Finally, the last mention of the section goes to the Vaste Programme collective for the 2021 installation Gänzlich Unerreichbar, which reflects on artificial intelligence and machine learning processes. The authors, instead of adopting a positivist attitude, worked on the unfathomable aspects of these technological processes. Their video presents mysterious features and incomprehensible where the only form revealed is that of the face of a Silenus, thus harking back to the thought of German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche when he argued that In order to understand science, one must also invoke a Dionysian dimension untethered from logic.

The jury’s first mention in the Contemporary Photography section went to Cecilia Del Gatto (Fermo, 1995) for Umi Hotaru (2021). The author connected the narrative aspects of her work to the formal dimension, to refer to the events of a specific historical moment.
The work was created by using the bioluminescence of sea fireflies (adopted in wartime by the Japanese army) to imprint the text of a soldier’s letter from the front reflecting on life issues on the paper.
The work The Starry Sky, Reconstructed Subjects (2021) by Caterina Erica Shanta (Landstuhl, 1986) won second mention in the Contemporary Photography section. The author created the work through the technique of photogrammetry by merging the various images made by participants in the Madonna della Bruna festival in Matera. Every year during the event a papier-mâché float is destroyed by the participants generating a loss that the author wanted to fill through her work.
The jury’s final mention goes to Carlo Zanni (La Spezia, 1975), an author who has been questioning the relationship between humans and digital technologies for years, for the work Free Shipping, Free Return (Caterina) of 2021. The image on display is the result of an Instagram filter that superimposes on the face, in the form of tattoos, phrases taken from the check-out pages where the sales process of virtual stores ends. This process allows us to reason about the social role and psychology of eCommerce, but also on contemporary phenomena related to self-representation.
The composition of the Prize Juries was able to include influential critics and curators: for the “Emerging Art” section Lorenzo Balbi, Rossella Farinotti, Antonio Grulli, Stefano Raimondi; for the “Contemporary Photography” section Daniele De Luigi, Francesca Lazzarini, Giangavino Pazzola and Valentina Tanni, with Carlo Sala , curator of the Prize, participating in both.
The Prize is promoted by the Francesco Fabbri Foundation in collaboration with the City of Pieve di Soligo and the support of the Veneto Region. It is included in the regional schedule RetEventi
Culture Veneto 2021 for the Province of Treviso; under the sponsorship of TRA, LandscapeStories and Lago Film Fest.

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On Nov. 25, 2022, “Emilio” and “Umi Hotaru,” another work by the artist, will end up on display at the Palazzo
Martinengo (Brescia) along with those of the winners of the other competing sections.
Cecilia Del Gatto will receive in 2023 as a prize a period of residence in the “House of Artists” in Milan to continue her activity.

In No. 5 of “The light observer magazine,” which features the relationship with light through
multiple viewpoints of visual artists, there is an interview about the project “Umi hotaru” by artist Cecilia Del Gatto.
Eleonora Paciullo and Hugo Berger were able to tell, through their questions, the long and complicated sequence of studies and findings that made possible the realization of the photographic project.

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