The Prize is promoted by the historical Fonderia Artistica Battaglia, located in the city centre of Milan. First opened in 1913, the foundry has always been home to some of the most important national and international artists: from Marino Marini to Kengiro Azuma, from Alighiero Boetti to Giuseppe Penone, all supported throughout their work by the expert and skilled hands of the foundry’s master artisans. The most recent generation of young artists nurtured by Battaglia includes artists like Francesco Arena, Giorgio Andreotta Calò and Peter Waechtler.
The BFSP is an annual award addresses to young international artists established with the aim of promoting the use of bronze and the ancient lost-wax casting process in contemporary art practices.
The BFSP wishes to be an international showcase for new emerging talents, through the monitoring, selection and formation of international artists in the production of innovative works.
Ten international leading figures of the contemporary art world select ten artists each presenting a proposal for a bronze cast. A jury then evaluates the projects paying specific attention to their procedural features, which are of extreme challenge within the casting process.
For the Edition 2017-2018, the Prize will also have the support of Banca Generali, leading Italian reality in private banking, which is devoted to the promotion of original and unprecedented events.
The BFSP is a proactive platform for cultural / technical research within the millenary tradition of bronze casting. The Prize aims to promote the unique experience of an artistic collaboration with a traditional bronze foundry. At Fonderia Artistica Battaglia manual skills and understanding of the different material stages in lost-wax bronze casting are investigating day by day under the supervision of skilled artisans. The BFSP wishes to challenge the very nature of lost wax casting in all its different features: from a procedural point of view to its cultural implications and potential translation in the world of contemporary art.
The second edition of BFSP 2017/2018 focuses on one of the most fascinating features of bronze: the copper alloy is virtually eternal. Such timeless quality made bronze an irreplaceable tool for humankind since 3500 BC. To this day, bronze artefacts are often the only instruments allowing us to catch a glimpse into the world of long gone civilisations and cultures from all over the planet. To find a material capable of withstanding centuries of history means to work with an instrument capable of reaching out towards an infinite number of future generations to come. BFSP would like for the selected artists to reflect upon the responsibilities that come with casting an ideal shape / value / content before eternity (and what these contemporary shapes / values / contents might be).
Banca Generali is a leading player in Italy in financial planning and capital protection for clients, leveraging on its top-of-the-industry network of financial advisors and versatile and innovative asset management services. The bank manages €55.7 billion (at 31 December 2017) for more than 250,000 customers through a network of about 1,970 professionals across Italy. The Company’s mission is having “trusted professionals always by the Customers’ side, developing and looking after their life plans.”
Banca Generali’s customizable offer is made up of banking services, investment solutions, advisory and wealth management. The Company can count on:
· A distribution network segmented by target customers (Banca Generali Private);
· Generali Fund Management Luxembourg, the company under Luxembourg law responsible for developing and managing top asset management products and a trust company: Generfid Spa
· A range of over 5,200 top financial instruments of more than 50 leading international management firms, exclusively available to Banca Generali Group’s customers.
· An advanced system of digital contact service for the operations. Founded in 2000, Banca Generali has been listed on the Milan stock exchange since November 2006 and is a subsidiary of Assicurazioni Generali, synonymous with reliability and security for over 180 years.
MARGUERITE HUMEAU - 35000 A.C
The winning project of the BFSP #02, 35000 A.C (Sphinx Death Mask), is by Marguerite Humeau, (1986, France) produced between January and February 2018, during the residency period in Fonderia Artistica Battaglia.
This experience offered to the artist the opportunity to realise the proposed project in tight collaboration with the master artisans of Battaglia, who followed the production with Marguerite throughout all the process phases.
The installation of Humeau’s final piece will take place between the Artists Studio, with a description and presentation of the residency time, and the actual foundry room of Battaglia, one of the most significant places of the bronze sculpture production in Italian history.
The work does not reveal at first sight, yet it remains suspended as a silent guardian and orchestrator, almost as the public becomes the object of observation.
The dense athmosphere of more than 100 years of bronze castings, the fire, earth, wax smell, involve the installation in a timeless discourse, the necessary unity between the past and the future, embossed in the present of matter.
The Sphinx to which Marguerite Humeau refers, emblematic and fabulous figure of the ancient tales, crosses the ages, coming from a distant past when humanity was born and going towards a fictionalized future where humanity will be absorbed by the machine.
The Sphinx lives in us, it is a part of our selves through a constant transformation; it confronts us with the enigma and the limits of our lives, it challenges our destiny as much as it supervises us and destroys us, announcing a potential total annihilation of humankind.
The Sphinx is who protects the man but also the one that devours him.
Marguerite Humeau interprets it as one of the oldest surveillance systems.
The Sphinx is who protects the man but also the one that devours him.
Marguerite Humeau interprets it as one of the oldest surveillance systems. Thus, in 2018, the Sphinx, named “Otto” by the artist, is deployed via surveillance and security devices present around the world, as a secret weapon to control humanity.
Symbol of an implacable disembodied manoeuvre, which no human being can escape, it re-enacts the original carnage which was employed to destroy humanity and of which it was the inexorable weapon of the divinities and of an extra-ordinary nature.
The bronze mask that faces us plunges the viewers into a future scenario in which the Sphinx / drone would train to hide from the human eye at a time when the curve of history will reverse, to absorb and destroy humanity.
From observer and protector, it becomes a predator. Its figure, captured in a movement and drawn with extreme precision, is represented here in high definition.
It is a human flesh in full transformation, passing from zoomorphic to anthropomorphic, and from anthropomorphic to a warfare weapon.
Click here to download the BFSP #02 exhibition press release