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14 Dec 2012

Faena Prize 2012 Winner Announcement

Franco Darío Vico
'Vairoletto Foundation'

Faena Arts Center


The international Jury has selected the Argentinian artist, Franco Darío Vico, from among 837 projects coming from over 40 countries as the winner of this year's Faena Prize. His project will be exhibited at the Faena Arts Center in 2013.

Phone: + 5411 40 10 9233

Faena Arts Center
Aimé Paine 1169
Puerto Madero
Buenos Aires, (1137)

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Buenos Aires, 15 November 2012: The international Jury for the Faena Prize 2012—formed by Carlos Basualdo, Caroline Bourgeois and Inés Katzenstein, and coordinated by Ximena Caminos—met in Buenos Aires to judge 837 submissions for this year's edition. The winner: Argentinian artist Franco Darío Vico.

The Jury stressed both the number and diversity of the entries, submitted by artists from all over the world. 40% of the projects were from Argentina, with the rest came from over 40 countries, including the USA, Italy, Germany, Spain, Colombia, the UK, Chile, Brazil, Mexico and the Netherlands.

'We have chosen Vairoletto Foundation by Franco Darío Vico as the winning submission of the 2012 Faena Prize for the Arts edition. The proposal, whose freshness and defiance of convention we found interesting, is based on a little-known character from Argentinian history: 'Juan Bautista Bairolet–Vairoletto' a bandit operating in Santa Fe Province in the early twentieth century. He was described as the 'Robin Hood of the Pampas' because of his solidarity with the poor and his anarchic attitude to official hierarchies and institutions. Our recognition of Vico's work was prompted by the challenging of institutions as well as the artist's rejection of the grand sculptural gesture supposedly called for by the FAC's space. The choice was also informed by the way he turned the prize into a political funding reallocation exercise. We have selected a project that subverts the privileged position of the arts in contemporary society and expands, thoughtfully and in a spirit of celebration, the very definition of artistic practice,' said the Jury.

A native of Santa Fe Province, Argentina, Franco Darío Vico will receive a total of $75,000. Of that sum, $25,000 will go to the artist himself, and the remaining $50,000 will be used to finance the project's production. The end result will be exhibited at the Faena Arts Center in mid-2013.

As an integral part of his project, the artist proposes to divide up the prize money as follows:

• $25,000 for the organization of a new prize with 25 winners, each to be given $ 1,000 for the production of their works.

• $25,000 for the new prize's opening and publicity campaign, and the making of an institutional video for the Vairoletto Foundation.

• The artist will keep half of the $25,000—his prize money—and donate the other half to charitable organizations.

The Jury also singled out the artists Santiago Sierra (Madrid) and Sebastián Díaz Morales (Comodoro Rivadavia) for special mentions.

To promote artistic experimentation, encourage the crossover of disciplinary expressions and explore every possible combination of art, technology and design—while blurring the boundaries between them—the 2012 edition of the Faena Prize called upon artists and art collectives from all over the world to submit projects for installations, sculptures, pictures, technology and audio.

'I think the Jury's choice is very much in keeping with the spirit of the Faena Prize, which is located in a very interesting place and always seeks to show the cutting edge of contemporary art. Franco, this year's winner, did not let himself be seduced by the spectacular nature of the exhibition space and deconstructed the prize—and in a way that transcends all barriers—with an extremely interesting reflection on the social role of art in our time,' explains Ximena Caminos, Executive Director of the Faena Arts Center, as well as the Jury Coordinator for the Faena Prize.

'Our Arts Center—which is just over a year old—transcends its own limits in an extremely vital way. I have always thought of our projects as spaces where invention, experimentation and the testing of urban life can be seen as a collective social experience where the city becomes the field of experimentation in which to practice utopia and the pursuit of the ideal,'
concludes Alan Faena.