Helvetia Art Prize
Prize winner 2022: Jonas Van Holanda
Jonas Van Holanda (*1989) creates immersive installations that often combine videos with his own texts as well as sculptural objects and sound. The Brazilian-born artist’s research-based practice moves between content conciseness and poetic narration. He deals in-depth with topics such as language, ecology and quantum physics, which he reworks and reinterprets through intimate fictional texts and ephemeral works.
For example, in the spatial installation "Moving Towards Us" (2022), for which he received the Helvetia Art Prize 2022, Van Holanda reveals moments of transformation rooted in his own reality and identity as a trans artist. Exploring the physical and philosophical concept of negative entropy, he understands physicality as a sensory and temporal experience.
The Helvetia Art Prize 2022 jury – consisting of Michael Babics and Olivia Jenni (management team, Kunsthalle Palazzo Liestal), Kathleen Bühler (Chief Curator, Kunstmuseum Bern), Julian Denzler (Curator, Museum zu Allerheiligen Schaffenhausen), Joanna Kamm (Director, Liste Art Fair Basel) and Nathalie Loch (Curator, Kunst Helvetia) – was impressed by Van Holanda’s refreshing approach to an extremely complex topic. They found that with "Moving Towards Us", Van Holanda succeeds in using quantum physics to open up space for a social utopia.
The judging for the Helvetia Art Prize 2022 took place in May 2022 as part of the exhibition project “Platform” at the Kunsthalle Palazzo Liestal. This annual exhibition presents a selection of new works by the most promising graduates from various Swiss art schools.
Committed to the Arts
The Helvetia Art Prize is an important part of the internationally active insurance group’s commitment to art. The prize, which was launched in 2004, is intended as start-up aid for graduates of Swiss art schools and underlines the company’s long-standing commitment to Swiss art. It specifically promotes artists who are at the beginning of their careers. While the company’s own collection of contemporary Swiss art – which is considered one of the most important of its kind – focuses primarily on painting, drawing and photography, the sponsorship award for young art is open to a wider array of artistic practices. This is intended to give resonance to new ideas and art forms explored by the upcoming generation of artists. The prize includes financial support of CHF 15,000 and an exhibition at Liste Art Fair Basel.
HEK (House of Electronic Arts)
HEK (House of Electronic Arts) in Basel is a museum dedicated to digital culture and new art forms of the information age. This year, as a special guest of Liste, HEK is presenting media art by Joana Moll, Entangled Others (Sofia Crespo and Feileacan McCormick) and Christof Nüssli, who address ecological subjects and work to redefine our relationship to the environment.
Entangled Others (Sofia Crespo and Feileacan McCormick) uses machine learning to create new animal and plant forms that celebrate biodiversity and call on humans to appreciate diverse species. With the work “Sediment Nodes”, presented at Liste, the collective explores the microscopic universe of sediment-laden waters. Joana Moll, on the other hand, points to the ecological effects of the commercial surveillance activities of large companies, such as the tracking of online customers. Her video installation “Carbolytics” makes the ecological footprint of the energy costs of global data collection visible. Meanwhile, Christof Nüssli’s installation “Trees Etc.” addresses the effects of global warming in Senegal. The installation is based on a message by Mamadou Senghor, a teacher and village elder in Nguecokh, Senegal, that shows rituals developed by locals to deal with this catastrophe.
I Never Read, Library
I Never Read, creates a dialogue between artists and their audiences and highlights the importance of art books as an art form. Together with the exhibitors and artists of Liste Art Fair Basel, I Never Read, compiles a library for this year’s fair.
As a collaborative concept and through the sharing of books, the library is a sustainable and democratic place for gallerists and visitors.
The I Never Read, Library at Liste Art Fair Basel as well as the I Never Read, Art Book Fair Basel, which takes place simultaneously at the Kaserne Basel, see themselves as a significant step towards a more open and inclusive art world, in which inspiration and knowledge are freely accessible to all.