Artist Carlos Herrera, with his work “Autorretrato sobre mi muerte” (Self-Portrait on My Death), won the 2011 arteBA-Petrobras Visual Arts Prize
Carlos Herrera received the arteBA-Petrobras Visual Arts Prize, a distinction given out for the eighth year in a row and part of Petrobras’s Cultural Program. The winner once more received the (non-acquisitional) Stimulus Prize of $50,000 (Argentine pesos) for his work Autorretrato sobre mi muerte [Self—Portrait on My Death], a sculpture/ object installed on the floor and summing up the artist’s feeling about death, his own death in particular. The project consists of a white translucent plastic bag containing the artist’s favorite objects, with two dead squids in the process of decomposing: it has the effect of a live clip on decomposition and death.
Herrera was born in Rosario, Santa Fe in 1976. He studied at the Escuela Superior de Diseño Gráfico in Rosario and in workshops of the Art and Humanities Department of the National University of Rosario. His main exhibitions have been held in various provinces of Argentina as well as in Peru and Italy; on a collective level, he has exhibited in England, Italy, the United States and Peru. Carlos Herrera won the Chandon First Cultural Prize of the National Museum of Fine Arts of Neuquén in 2007, as well as various prizes and mentions in the National Rosario Salón of the Museo Castagnino in Rosario, the Osde Prize,and mention in the Banco de la Nación Argentina for the Visual Arts, at the Recoleta Cultural Center in Buenos Aires. In 2010-2011 he was awarded the Kutica [Kuitca?] Grant of Torcuato Di Tella University as well as the Tupac grant in Lima, Peru (2006), the Nuevo Banco de Santa Fe grant (2005) and the Trama fellowship of Rosario’s Antorchas Foundation (2000).
The responsibility of presenting the arteBA-Petrobras Visual Arts Prize fell to its directors, Sonia Becce (freelance curator) and Claudio Iglesias (critic and freelance curator). The prize was given out by the CEO of Petrobras Argentina, Carlos Alberto da Costa, the president of the arteBA Fundación, Facundo Gómez Minujin, and the directors of the prize.
The awarding of the prize followed the installation in situ, and was decided by an International Award Jury made up of Eduardo Costa (artist, Argentina), Cecilia Fajardo-Hill (chief curator of Molaa, USA) and Jochen Volz (curator of the Instituto Inhotim, Brazil).
Prior to this, the Selection Jury, made up of the prize directors and Alejandro Ros (graphic designer), chose the seven finalists among the artists in competition, giving them $12,000 (Argentine pesos) to produce their work and then show it at arteBA.2011, 20th EDITION. The finalists, the duo of Victoria Colmegna and Valentina Liernur, Pablo Accinelli, Carlos Herrera, Mariana Telleria, Belén Romero Gunset, Luciana Rondolini and Santiago Villanueva had their works on exhibition in the space of the arteBA-Petrobras Visual Arts Prize in the Blue Pavillion of the convention center La Rural.
The arteBA-Petrobras Visual Arts Prize is the best-recognized distinction in the contemporary art circuit and one of Argentina’s most legitimizing prizes, consolidating itself increasingly as a launching platform for new talents. Various disciplines in the visual arts, such as photography, painting, installation, sculpture, drawing, video, performance, video installation and intervention or urban action, among others, place the competition among the productions of an innovative and vanguard contemporary art.
“We conceive of this edition of the prize as a shared investigation, constructed from questions and answers with the participating artists and with the public. In so conceiving this call for works, we track the idea of change as a problematic concept for current art and, starting from that, putting in focus the space-time of the art fair, a characteristic chronotope of our era that modulates not only the evolution of artistic institutionality, but also the structures of perception and behavior; in a word, the form in which the art of the present conceives of itself. We encountered projects which, far from meekly adapting themselves to our original concerns, doubled the stakes, leading us to reflect on dilemmas and to come up with decisions that we had not in any sense foreseen. With Alejandro Ros’s decisive contribution on the selection jury, we designed this exhibition project in which the inherent restrictions of a prize format are only the starting point: we hope the show can be gone through both as a diagnostic and as a vademecum of certain tendencies in art production in which a certain modern search for radicality is brought in line with a very profound aesthetic austerity, whatever the chosen formal language may be. Art can change, and does change. And artists can operate on events to summon up one of the characteristics of contemporary culture that the art fair paradigmatically exemplifies: the irreversible decomposition of the present.”
Sonia Becce – Claudio Iglesias,
Directors of the eighth edition of the arteBA-Petrobras Visual Arts Prize