All-female prize-winners of Italian Quadrennial Exhibition

Adelita Husni-Bey's video work

 ROME -- The unexpectedly all-female prize-winners of the 16th Quadrennial Exhibition -- the most important national exhibition dedicated to Italian contemporary art -- were announced Monday in the Eternal City’s Hotel de Russie.

 The 16th Quadrennial Prize of 20,000 euros was awarded to Rossella Biscotti, who will also have the opportunity to exhibit her work at Rome’s Termini station. The Illy Under 35 Prize of 15,000 euros went to Adelita Husni-Bey, with two special mentions to Alek. O and Quayola.

 The results of the awards, announced by the President of the Rome Quadriennal Foundation, Franco Bernabè, were decided upon by a unanimous international jury composed of Ferran Bernblit, the director of the MACBA (Barcelona’s museum of contemporary art), Volker W. Feieraben, the patron of Frankfurt’s VAF Foundation, and Susanne Pfeffer, director of the Fridericianum Museum of Kassel, and the next curator for the German pavilion at Venice’s Biennale. The artistic director for Illy Coffee joined the jury for the Illy Under 35 Prize.

 “The jury decided to award the 16th Quadrennial Prize to Rossella Biscotti for ‘Il viaggio’ (The Journey), a 2016 work which, through different levels of meaning, gives visibility to a human drama that takes place every day in the Mediterranean Sea. Her work overturns and repoliticizes the artistic practices that descend from minimalism and from 60s’ conceptual art, revealing the whole potential and complex nature of art,” said Bernabè quoting the jury.

 “The jury decided to award the Illy Under 35 Prize to Adelita Husni-Bey for ‘AGENCY-Giochi di potere’ (AGENCY-Power Games), a 2014 video that proposes alternative representations of political life and underlines the fundamental role of education as the foundation of brotherhood. Through an intense work with a group of teenagers, the work proposes a simulation that follow the twists and turns of reality and examines how decisions are made in society. The result is a work full of optimism that benefits from the complicity of the protagonists and of the public,” the president continued.

 The 16th quadrennial art exhibition is currently underway at Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, running until Jan. 8, 2017.