Terna, operator of the Italian national electricity grid, has announced the winners of the “Driving Energy Award 2022 – Contemporary Photography”, the free competition open to all photographers in Italy, aimed at promoting the country’s cultural development and new talents in the sector.
Those selected as having best interpreted the theme of the Award, “Cameras on Driving Energy”, were Paolo Ventura, who received the Senior prize (from 31 years upwards) with his work entitled “I Ginestra”, and Gaia Renis, who won the Youth prize (up to 30 years) with the photoraphic work “Stereocaulon vesuvianum”.
The two Special Mentions, for works inspired by the themes of “Contemporary normality” and “Circularity”. Ever-recurring cycles”, went to Mohamed Keita, with his work entitled “Walking and Walking…”, and to Eva Frapiccini, with “The Door of Light aka Homage to D.M.”, respectively. The third Special Mention, attributed based on the votes of over one thousand Terna personnel, forming the largest public judging panel for a photography prize, went to Andrea Botto and his photographic work “Shockwave”.
The works of the five winners and other 35 finalists are now exhibited at Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, until 27 November, with free entry. The exhibition for the Award is also the first Terna project and the first project at Palazzo delle Esposizioni to enter the Metaverse, the 3D virtual space in which users can move, share content and interact through their own customised avatars. On the official website of the Award, premiodrivingenergy.terna.it, a special 3D version of the exhibition will be available, remaining always open from anywhere in the world.
The Award, which received the Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic, invited photographers to turn their gaze on the contemporary world in order to render an artistic vision of Terna's mission, in its role as director and enabler of the energy transition.
“The excellent participation in the Driving Energy Award 2022, with its transversal and inclusive approach, demonstrates Terna’s commitment to culture through the values that characterise its actions to promote Italy. More than 1,300 participants in the award represent the best creative response to Terna’s invitation to build an open, sustainable and brave future, also through the photographic works that we are proud to celebrate today”, stated Valentina Bosetti, Terna Chairwoman.
“With the first edition of the Driving Energy Award, we successfully provided visibility to works and artists of all ages and origins with notable interpretative talent and, at the same time, we are proud to have also launched a far-reaching cultural project. These evocative images are capable of expressing a vision of Terna’s mission offering both visual exploration and multiplication of value and knowledge around the theme of energy”, said Stefano Donnarumma, Terna CEO.
“It was not easy to select the pool of 40 finalists because the Award received many submissions with a generally very high level of artistic quality. The subsequent selection of the five winners proved even more difficult: we faced a stimulating critical challenge, engaging with works that can, in a certain sense, all be defined as winners in terms of their authority, expressive mastery, refined interpretation and artistic courage. The final decision was led on one hand by the logic of ‘primus inter pares’ or first amongst equals, while on the other there was a requirement to highlight works that, more than others, could be considered as representative of the country’s artistic community”, explained Marco Delogu, Curator of the Award and President of Palaexpo.
The notes on the selection attribute the prize for the Senior category to Paolo Ventura (55 years old) “for having offered an original, subtle interpretation of the brief, yet one with many implications and references. With ‘I Ginestra’, Paolo Ventura emphasises that “harnessing” and “transporting” energy are, first and foremost, a human endeavour, as he explains in the motivation for his work”. The Junior prize went to Gaia Renis (23 years old) “for having submitted a brave, complex and stripped-back work: centred on the phenomenon of energy at the microscopic level, starting from its imperceptible nature and proceeding to highlight its evidently essential role for ecosystems and biodiversity”. The Special Mention for “Contemporary Normality” was awarded to Mohamed Keita (29 years old) “for an exquisite composition, both in terms of aesthetic impact and conceptual density, presenting reflections that explore two fundamental aspects of energy as a central element of contemporary normality: its role for the survival of man, and as a transformational element in the urban landscape”. The Special Mention for the theme of “Circularity. Ever-recurring cycles” went to Eva Frapiccini (44 years old) “for having chosen to present that particular form of ‘relational and devotional energy’ that animates the dialogue between artists distant in time and space. A dialogue which, in turn, is based on the ‘transmission of the energy’ inherent in works of art, their spirit, and which is composed of a universal language”. The third Special Mention went to Andrea Botto (49 years old) “for the highest rated work by a large majority of Terna’s employees, who were able to view and vote for the 40 finalist works on the TernaCult portal”.
The works of the five winners and other 35 finalists, awarded prizes totalling € 26,000, were judged by Curator, Marco Delogu, and a high profile technical and artistic panel of judges formed of Salvatore Settis, art historian and academic; Lorenza Bravetta, curator of photography, cinema and new media at La Triennale di Milano; Elisa Medde, editor, curator and writer on photography; Emanuele Trevi, writer and literary critic, Premio Strega 2021; Jasmine Trinca, actress and director, and Massimiliano Paolucci, director of External Relations, Institutional Affairs and Sustainability at Terna. The judges were supported by the Presidential Committee for the Award, composed of Valentina Bosetti and Stefano Donnarumma.
The selected works have also been published in the third edition of the photographic volume “Driving Energy”, the official catalogue of the Award.
The exhibition at Palazzo delle Esposizioni has the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Italian Ministry of Culture, the Italian Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security, the Lazio Region and Roma Capitale.
Driving Energy, Premio Terna 2022
Hardcover, 21 x 30 cm, 104 pages | Punctum Press | 978-8895410-51-7
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