The sixth edition of the international art fair in Bolzano sees the launch of UNCENSORED, an art award sponsored by the Cassa di Risparmio Foundation, which raised 11 million euros in 2007 (over 40% went to the art and culture sector), and organized in collaboration with Kunst Meran/o Arte.
The award-winning piece of art will not only become the image of the 2010 Kunstart fair, but it will also be bought and permanently exhibited at the Kunst Meran/o Arte gallery. A second award of recognition will also be presented. The artist winning this award of recognition will become the artist in residence during a month at the gallery of Kunst Meran/o Arte, and also receive a grant. "UNCENSORED" was designed by Kunst Meran/o Arte; this very active Southtyrolean gallery recently featured two very successful exhibitions celebrating female art in the past and in the present. The exhibitions were “Vote for women” and “The eye of Meret Oppenheim”. The latter, an individual exhibition under the care of Valerio Dehò, was financed with the help of the Cassa di Risparmio foundation. It is still open to the public, and shows 60 works of art of the last twenty years of artistic production by Oppenheim.
Designed for emerging artists, regardless of their age, the award focuses on works of art which thanks to their expressiveness are able to detect issues and evils of the contemporary society, to address the society's inherent taboos and forever suppressed problems, which art alone can lift into visibility. Therefore, the “Uncensored” award will go to the artists who succeed in causing discussions and debates while representing the truth in a direct and uncomfortable manner. Those artists show that artistic provocation is never unsubstantiated, and that its paradox and irritating elements may help expanding our view of the world. “Uncensored wants the scandal of truth, wants to be a window to the world of art, searching and finding truth” explains Valerio Dehò (curator of the Kunst Merano Arte and president of the jury). “It might not be to everyone's liking, but you simply cannot ignore art that causes a scandal only because it is telling the truth, or because artists are not social mediators; often it is them who anticipate transformations and criticise social hypocrisies. There is no need for art that provokes for the mere sake of provocation, nor for art that wants to please the media, making the headlines even before anyone has seen or discussed it. Art wants truth, and truth often is naked, defenceless, easy to distort or to be used for one's own end. Artists are honest if they express their feelings even though they might not correspond to the feelings of all. To censor art often means to be afraid of reality, not wanting to further investigate the problems of the world.”
The award is part of the sixth, renewed edition of Kunstart that pays tribute to the commitment of the museums, institutions and art dealers of the region (it hosted last year's edition of the European biennal of contemporary art Manifesta 7). However, at the same time, it focuses on the business aspect that is at the centre of every fair. The organisers also pay special attention to the many influences that contemporary art has on fields such as design, communications and industrial production. This fair also offers a lot to first-time visitors and collectors. The organisers of Kunstart want to focus on what is the essence of every fair, namely stimulating the market. Thus, the organisers want to maintain an approach towards art that is not exclusively a cultural or minority one, but rather open to the majority and to an economic perception in general. This concept was the reason for creating the initiative “SOLD OUT”, sponsored by the ITAS Insurance Group. All participating galleries will exhibit a piece of art with a value of 5,000 euros. Each visitor will receive a fake 5,000 euros banknote which can then be spent freely according to one's taste. One lucky visitor will then be chosen by lot, receiving thus the piece of art 'bought' with the banknote. Thanks to these and other sponsors (all companies with close ties to the world of art) the organisers of Kunstart 09 will surprise the visitors with a completely renewed programme.