The “ad occhi chiusi…” Prize, based on collaboration between Artissima and Fondazione Merz, is inserted in the research activities of the foundation on young art of the Mediterranean, and offers an international artist selected from the participants at the fair in 2022 the possibility of a residency in Sicily. The research conducted during the residency period will be presented in the programming of ZACentrale at Cantieri Culturali della Zisa in Palermo.
The title of the prize takes its cue from a phrase by Marisa Merz, “When the eyes are closed they are extraordinarily open”, which prompts us to rethink how the artists – in the opacity of the general media riot, packed with images that are too fast and too superficial to be able to describe reality – offer a truly personal vantage point. Palermo and Sicily represent multifaceted territories containing multiple points of observation and perception, in which contradictions and resolutions coexist, starting from cultural, linguistic and narrative stratification. Territories in which sensory as well as physical boundaries are repositioned and altered by the actions of men and women in incessant transit. Due to this characteristic, these are places in which to look at things while remembering that “when the eyes are closed they are extraordinarily open”.
Each year the award will focus on a theme indicated by an international jury of experts, who will select the winner during the days of Artissima.
The winner of the 2021 edition was Heba Y. Amin (Zilberman Gallery, Istanbul Berlino).
The winners of the 2022 were Nona Inescu (galleria Spazio A, Pistoia) and Alex Ayed (galleria ZERO…, Milano).
The 2023 jury is composed of:
Lara Khaldi, artistic director, de Appel, Amsterdam
Beatrice Merz, president, Fondazione Merz, Torino
Agata Polizzi, curatorial coordinator, ZACentrale, Palermo
Francesco Stocchi, artistic director, MAXXI, Roma