On 27 September, Terna, the national electricity grid operator, proclaimed the winners of the second edition of the Driving Energy – Contemporary Photography Award, at the Palazzo Esposizioni Roma, the venue for the exhibition, which can be visited from 27 September to 15 October, of the 41 finalist photographers. This is the final stage of the free competition, promoted by Terna and open to all photographers in Italy, professionals as well as amateurs, aimed at the promotion and cultural development of the country and new talents in the sector.
The works of the 41 finalist photographers were judged as the most deserving among the approximately 2,800 entries to the Prize, coming without exception from all 107 Italian provinces, with the photographers’ ages ranging from 18 to 89, by the curator of the entire project Marco Delogu, photographer, publisher, curator and President of the Azienda Speciale Palaexpo, and by the Jury, of high technical and artistic profile, presided over by Lorenza Bravetta, consultant in the field of photography and curator of the Photography, Cinema and New Media sector of La Triennale di Milano, supported by the Award’s Presidential Committee, composed of Igor De Biasio and Giuseppina Di Foggia, respectively President and CEO of Terna. These works will also be featured in the photographic volume Driving Energy, the Award’s official catalogue.
The theme of the Prize was In Praise of Balance, in an attempt to link such a philosophical and aesthetic theme to the difficult balance that Terna tries to maintain between electricity produced and electricity consumed in Italy (as we know, electricity cannot be stored so it must be produced in exactly the same quantity as it is consumed).
The competition prizes, totalling €29,000, plus, of course, the important visibility that Palazzo Esposizioni offers, were distributed as follows:
The Senior Prize (only for photographers over 30) was won by Dione Roach (1989), a multi-disciplinary artist, although he prefers photography both as a documentary medium and as a tool for intimate and experimental research, who lives between Italy and Cameroon, “for having interpreted the theme of the Prize with courage by combining narration of the present, individual history and collective events”.
The Youth Prize (only for photographers under 30) was won by Martina Zanin (1994), visual artist and author of the book I Made Then Run Away (2021) for Skinnerboox. Present in recent years in national and international exhibitions, she was awarded “for having taken the reflection of the Prize to several levels thanks to the installation solution and the choice to rely on the hybridisation of codes and languages”.
The Amateur Prize (only for photographers who have not made photography their profession) was won by Antonio Vacirca (1972). Self-taught, he has focused his attention on portraits and travel reportage, preferring analogue black and white. His photographs have appeared in various magazines, websites and exhibitions. He was awarded the prize because his works, as the Jury wrote, carry out ‘an analysis of balance as visual harmony and thus of meaning’.
The Academy Mention (Award for young photographers still in their academic training period – judged by the winners of the Driving Energy 2022 Award) was given to Beatrice Aiello (2002) “for having worked on an entirely intimate interpretation of balance, centred on the idea of motherhood and the mother/daughter relationship”. A student at the IED in Rome, her artistic research is oriented towards the investigation of interpersonal relationships and the emotional dynamics that animate them. Definitely the most experimental work of the five winners.
Terna’s most voted Mention Work (voted exclusively by the people working in the company promoting the project) was given to Lorenzo Pipi (1992), photographer, content creator and social media mentor, as he defines himself. This work was awarded because it “invites us to prioritise the centring of the self, the search for our inner balance and the focus on what in our lives is essential and worth pursuing”.
The exhibition boasts a very broad mix of themes and exhibition methods, as well as 3 methods of digital fruition, aimed at the widest possible enjoyment: what has been called the Metaverse, i.e. a virtual tour of the exhibition in a futuristic digital environment through the VR visor, the free PDE (Premio Driving Energy) app with which it is possible to view all the works on show and more, and the virtual tour accessible from the award’s official website.
Premio Driving Energy 2023 – Contemporary Photography, curated by Marco Delogu, Palazzo Esposizioni Roma, 27.09 – 15.10.2023
Also this year, the Prize received the prestigious Medal of the President of the Republic.Under the patronage of: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Environment and Energy Security, Lazio Region, Department of Culture of Roma Capitale
To make the exhibition experience as complete as possible, this year the Driving Energy Award is also available on smartphones and tablets. In fact, the PDE (Driving Energy Prize) App will be available free of charge for both Android and iOS devices, offering exclusive content on the finalist authors and the functionality of viewing the works in Augmented Reality. In addition to the App, the exhibition will be visitable at any time and from anywhere in the world through the virtual tour and the space in the Metaverse, this year with a space designed ad hoc to offer users an original and meaningful experience to be lived as a complement and enrichment of the physical exhibition.
To find out about the finalists and the latest news on the Prize, you are invited to visit qui the official website.
images (cover 1) Announcement of winners, Premio Driving Energy 2023 – Contemporary Photography (2) Premio Driving Energy 2023, Installation view, Sala1 (3) Winners, Premio Driving Energy 2023 – Contemporary Photography (4) Dione Roach, «Bokassa», winner Senior Award (5) Martina Zanin, «Dear F», detail, winner Junior Award (6) Premio Driving Energy 2023, Installation View Sala3, Metaverso