The Prize is promoted by the historical Fonderia Artistica Battaglia, located in the Lambrate area, Via Oslavia 17, 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, Rochelle Goldberg, Marguerite Humeau, Nico Vascellari 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. Eleven 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.
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.
Traditional lost wax casting process is based on a series of 5 positives / negatives passages: the original model transforms in its own negative / anti-form twice before becoming eternal bronze, once as a silicon and plaster mould, which hosts the wax translation, and once as refractory earth, site for the pouring of molted bronze. Negative space resists as a necessary state of the form itself, essential and crucial chamber of translation. How is it possible to render this indispensable passage into a self-standing form, and to be transformed into bronze? The fourth edition of the BFSP (2019/2020) asks the twelve selected artists to investigate the negative spa-ce, its anti-area, and anti-forms, and to explore their potential within the lost wax casting process.
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