DucatoPrize 2023 - Contemporary Art Award at Volumnia / Piacenza

DUCATOPRIZE 2023 Contemporary art award

Sept 23 - Oct 22, 2023

Stradone Farnese 33, Piacenza, Italy


Photo courtesy: Flavio Pescatori

DucatoPrize, currently in its fourth edition, gets into full swing with the opening of the exhibition of the ten finalist artists. Born in 2019 from the desire of Michele Cristella, with the aim of promoting a dialogue between contemporary art and the territory of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza, the DucatoPrize focuses on artists, national and international, already known in the contemporary art world but also young people still enrolled at educational institutions in order to provoke, through their research, a critical reflection on the most significant and urgent aspects of the present. In fact, it is divided into two sections: Contemporary and Academy, in order to give space both to those artists who have already started their career in the art world and to the experimentations of emerging artists.
The new and refreshed 2023 edition includes for the first time an artistic director, curator Giacomo Pigliapoco, who is responsible for both the artistic direction and strategic management of the Prize, particularly the planning and strengthening of its activities, the curatorship of the finalists' exhibition, and the production of the printed issue.
Besides this, DP23 sees important new features. Among the applying artists, 50 artists are selected to become part of this edition's catalog. From these, 5 finalists are chosen for both categories, Contemporary and Academy, for a total of 10 artists featured in the final exhibition and 2 winners, one for each category. A further innovation is the establishment of a Residency Prize that will see the selected artist spend a month in the spaces of IRIS Project in Venice Beach - LA, California (USA).
The jury of the prize is totally renewed with each edition and is composed of personalities with a strong international outlook. This edition in particular sees the involvement of: Julieta Aranda, artist and co-director of the e-flux platform; Nerina Ciaccia, creator, together with Antoine Levi, of the Ciaccia Levi Gallery, Paris, Milan; Luigi Fassi, director of Artissima, Turin; Stéphane Ibars, director and chief curator of La Collection Yvon Lambert, Avignon; Bernardo Mosqueira, arti director of Solar dos Abacaxis in Rio de Janeiro and ISLAA Curator at the New Museum, New York.
The winners' selection takes place in collaboration with a Collector's Board made up of ten international collectors and specifically features: Fabio Agovino, Federica Maria Bianchi, Valter Cassandro, Marco Ghigi, R F Jefferies, Marcelle Joseph, Enea Righi and Lorenzo Paini, Rebecca Russo, Anastasia Sgoumpopoulou, Roberto Spada.

From the 23rd of September to the 22nd of October, 2023, Volumnia gallery, operating within the context of the former St. Augustine's Church in Piacenza, hosts the exhibition of the 10 finalists' works, with a display designed by Fosbury Architecture, and featured the works of Tomaso De Luca, Adji Dieye, Xavier Robles de Medina, Wisrah Villefort, Liao Wen for the Contemporary category and Friedrich Andreoni, Luca Campestri, Gala Hernández López, Flavia Spasari, Alla Zhyvotova for the Academy category.
This year DucatoPrize is partnering with Fosbury Architecture, a Milan-based collective association that created the exhibition display for the show. The architects worked among the aisles of the former Sant'Agostino's church in Piacenza, which now houses Enrica De Micheli's Volumnia gallery.
The exhibition project is based on a secular idea of sustainability, where the circularity of the process is foregrounded. The stretch film used for packaging, temporarily alters the flows and spatiality of the interior environment. Ytong building blocks, provided on loan for use by Xella, are used to design all the supports for the ten works in the exhibition. At the end of the event, all blocks will be returned and put back into the production cycle. Fosbury Architecture is a collective founded in 2013 by Giacomo Ardesio, Alessandro Bonizzoni, Nicola Campri, Veronica Caprino and Claudia Mainardi, a research group that aims to expand the boundaries of the discipline, redefining its role and rethinking its production processes in the perspective of current challenges.The jury considered the following works worthy of recognition for their ability to question, expand, and enrich today’s contemporary art scene debate by offering unexpected concepts and innovative visions. Adji Dieye won in the Contemporary category with the installation Untitled black, Cultura Persa e Imparata a Memoria (2022). The Collector’s Board awarded Tomaso De Luca a special mention for Desperate Times (2022). The Residency Prize was granted to Wisrah Villefort, who will take part in a residency at the IRIS Project, Venice Beach, Los Angeles, in the spring of 2024. Friedrich Andreoni emerged as the winner in the Academy category with his installation I Was So Wrong (2021).