Biggest national art award in the field of new media gives 40,000 euros to the winner
Sonae Media Art Award is a Sonae initiative with Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea – Museu do Chiado, which seeks to encourage creativity and innovation in society, awarding young Portuguese or foreign creatives who live in Portugal and present original works with multimedia as a support and/or a subject, both in an exploratory and innovative way and from a critical and historical point of view.
Rodrigo Gomes is the winner of Sonae Media Art Award’s second edition, the most important national contemporary art award, worth 40,000 euros. This initiative is a result of Sonae’s corporate responsibility policy, which seeks to promote creativity and innovation in society, namely through promoting and developing initiatives in the fields of art and education.
Rodrigo Gomes was chosen among the five finalists by a jury that analysed his original works currently on show in a collective exhibition at MNAC – Museu do Chiado. The jury for this second edition was formed by Filipa Oliveira (curator and current artistic director of Forum Eugénio de Almeida, in Evora), Nuno Crespo (lecturer and researcher in the fields of aesthetics, art theory and critique, architecture and philosophy) and Rasmus Vestergaard (director and head curator at DIAS – Digital Interactive Art Space, the first Danish kunsthalle with a specific focus on media art and digital art).
The Sonae Media Art Award covers all kinds of contemporary creation, from picture to sound, including the exploration of video, computing, sound and mixed media, in which other forms of art such as performance, dance, cinema, theatre or literature may be incorporated.
The first edition, in 2015, had Portuguese artist Tatiana Macedo as the winner of the Sonae Media Art Award, with her work '1989', which explored video and film, through a triple projection with spatial sound, in a personal and sensitive way, connecting individual and political.In this second edition, Rodrigo Gomes stood out with his work 'Estivador de Imagens' which, according to the jury, "revealed a good understanding of what is the exhibition of a new media art piece in the gallery of a museum. The match between picture, sound, motion and matter, in a sculptural installation, was completely achieved. One should equally stress the installation’s ability to engage the spectator in a satisfying artistic experience. Besides these technological and formal aspects, one should also mention the way his work establishes a vital connection between the legacy of important artists like Harun Farocki and current themes like vigilance, terror and war.
The jury would also like to stress the particular quality and relevance of the works presented by the remaining finalist artists, showing a vast research and experimentation field, visible in the various media that comprise them.
In André Martins’ work, 'Memorial Feed', the questions raised are very important in the context of the discussion about what it means to exist in a network, the right to be forgotten, anonymity and the way we’ll be remembered digitally. The spatial configuration of the piece 'Wolfanddotcom', by André Sier, is complex and defying, revealing a considerable programming and image building work. In 'Samarra'’s case, Nuno Lacerda’s work, the audience is actually building an image, in an inviting and playful game. As far as 'GOD', by Sofia Caetano, is concerned, the relation between video images and the ‘mise en scène’ is efficient as it engages the spectator in a direct relation with the work and the suggested immersiveness is very interesting and up-to-date.
Last but not the least, the jury would like to stress the importance of the joint work of MNAC and Sonae in organising this award, which contributes in a vital way to the discussion and the development of new media art in the Portuguese context.”