> Introduction by Lorenzo
> About the Emerging Talents Award, by Franziska Nori and Riccardo
Lorenzo Bini Smaghi
The mission of the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi is make the Palazzo Strozzi a dynamic cultural destination, while providing an international platform for Florence, Tuscany and Italy. An initiative of the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, the Centre for Contemporary Culture Strozzina was born just over a year ago, and since the beginning, the Fondazione’s Board has seen the CCC Strozzina as a significant means to fulfil the Palazzo Strozzi’s mission. From the beginning, the Board has strongly supported the creation of a prize for Emerging Talents, as it feels that Italian contemporary artists are often at a disadvantage in the international art market. The Emerging Talents Award is intended to give young Italian contemporary artists the opportunity to develop their creative abilities and exhibit their works in major centres abroad, such as Berlin and Amsterdam.
Twenty-five young Italian artists worldwide have been nominated for the first Emerging Talents/Talenti Emergenti award. The artist were nominated by a scholarly committee which includes Andrea Bellini (independent curator and director of the art fair Artissima in Turin), Luca Cerizza (independent curator and critic), Caroline Corbetta (critic and independent curator), Andrea Lissoni (art historian and curator) and Paolo Parisi (artist and teacher at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna). Each of the committee members represents a new generation of independent curators, critics and art historians with international experience. The international jury – Kathrin Becker, Director of the Videoforum at the Neue Berliner Kunstverein; Jan Boelen, Director of Z33, Belgium; Rudolf Frieling, Curator of Media Arts at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA); Hubertus Gassner, Director of Kunsthalle, Hamburg and Cornelia Grassi, of Greengrassi Gallery, London – makes two awards, selected from the artists presented by the scholarly committee. The two winners receive a scholarship to study for 6-12 months at the Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin and at the Netherlands Media Art Institute/Montevideo (Amsterdam), allowing them the chance to enrich their creative activity and come into contact with local critics, galleries and art institutes. This is not the only prize for emerging talents in Italy, however, it is exceptional in the ways in which it offers young Italian contemporary artists opportunities to situate themselves in the international scene.
In addition to all the professionals who helped create the Emerging Talents/Talenti Emergenti award — notably the members of the scholarly committee and the members of the international jury — I would especially like to thank the Foundation’s public and private Founders, the Province of Florence, the City of Florence, the Florentine Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Partners (APPS), all of whom have strongly supported the CCC Strozzina and the award from the start. We would also like to thank the CCC Strozzina’s public and private sponsors, including the Regione Toscana and Moleskine who generously provided both moral and financial.
Finally, I would personally like to acknowledge the entire Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi team — its Advisory Board, its Director General James Bradburne, and especially the Project Director of the CCC Strozzina Franziska Nori and her staff —for having worked to create an award that breathes life into the slogan “think global, and act local.”