NOVO BANCO Photo 2015: Ângela Ferreira, Ayrson Heráclito and Edson Chagas

NOVO BANCO Photo 2015: Ângela Ferreira, Ayrson Heráclito and Edson Chagas
28/01/2015
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NOVO BANCO and Museu Coleção Berardo hereby announce the names of the three artists chosen for the 2015 edition of the NOVO BANCO Photo award, the most prestigious contemporary art award in Portugal: Ângela Ferreira (Lisbon), Ayrson Heráclito (Salvador da Baía) and Edson Chagas (Luanda).

NOVO BANCO is thereby continuing its commitment to cultural sponsorship in the field of photography, maintaining the format and monetary value of the award as well as its intention to promote international ties through the selection of artists, who may be citizens of Portugal, Brazil or one of the Portuguese-speaking African countries.

The criteria for selecting the artists stipulate that they must have held an exhibition of works in the medium of photography and/or to have brought out a publication in 2014. The jury that selected the artists is made up of representatives of the aforementioned geographical triangle and consists of Luís Silva (Lisbon), the founder and director of Kunsthalle Lissabon; Adriano Pedrosa (São Paulo), the artistic director of the Museu de Arte de São Paulo; and Bisi Silva (Lagos), the founder and director of the Centre for Contemporary Art in Lagos. The members of the jury analysed the exhibition landscape in the area of photography during the period to which the award relates (2014).

Ângela Ferreira was nominated by the jury for her solo exhibition Indépendance Cha Cha, which was held at the Lumiar Cité gallery in Lisbon in 2014. This exhibition, which was a continuation of Ferreira's project for the Lubumbashi Biennial, juxtaposes a sculptural form reminiscent of the colonial architecture of central Lubumbashi with two videos. One of the videos documents a performance presented at the Biennial that deals with narratives of forced mining in the area while the other shows a performance of "Indépendance Cha Cha," an emblematic anthem of the independence movements of francophone Africa in the 1960s.
In the opinion of the jury, Edson Chagas "uses the urban setting of cities such as Luanda, London and Newport as a backdrop to create an 'archive' of mundane objects. His interest centres on capturing the way in which abandoned objects strewn across a city give an insight into the consumer habits of a given location. By photographing these objects, and at times by moving them and initiating his own composition, he creates a relationship between the object and the context, between an idea and reality. Edson Chagas has been nominated for the NOVO BANCO Photo 2015 award for two exhibitions: Luanda, Encyclopedic City, with which Chagas represented Angola at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013), winning the Golden Lion for best national participation; and the solo exhibition Found Not Taken, a series shown at the Belfast Exposed Photography gallery in 2014 that is still underway."

In the opinion of the jury, the work of Ayrson Heráclito (Macaúbas, Brazil, 1968) delves into the rich relations between Africa and Brazil, exploring the political, social, and cultural ties between the two territories. In so doing, Heráclito reveals a particular interest in the history of slavery and Afro-Brazilian religions, which he examines from a privileged vantage point: Salvador, Bahia, the capital of Afro Brazil, where he is based. The artist works primarily in video and photography as well as installations and other media. Last year Ayrson Heráclito took part in several exhibitions, showing works such as Segredos Internos (1999-2009) in Do Valongo à Favela (Museu de Arte do Rio, Rio de Janeiro); Múltiplo II in Histórias Mestiças (Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo); and the video Barrueco (2004) in Memórias Inapagáveis (VideoBrasil, SESC Pompeia, São Paulo).

The selected artists will show their works at an exhibition featuring previously unseen material that is due to open on 17 June at the Museu Coleção Berardo. The name of the winner will be revealed in September on a date to be announced.

Pedro Lapa, the chairman of the jury of the NOVO BANCO Photo award and the artistic director of the Museu Coleção Berardo, states that "over the course of the last few editions of the award, it has been possible to construct a network of knowledge, circulation and awarding for Portuguese-speaking artists. All of the countries involved have had a taste of artistic practices in their colleagues’ areas of photography, which they had often not encountered before. The award has therefore made an important contribution to strengthening this Portuguese-speaking network, which must be safeguarded in an ever more globalised world in which new connections are being forged. The continuity and enduring nature of these processes is essential to bringing them into being. The fresh commitment made by Novo Branco is worthy of praise and a source of great satisfaction for the Museu Coleção Berardo and all those who believe in the importance of its role."