The Visible Award is the first international production award devoted to artwork in the social sphere, that aims to produce and sustain socially engaged artistic practices in a global context. Every recipient is decided through a public jury in the form of a temporary parliament, developed in collaboration with prestigious art institutions.
The Temporary Parliament: a collective learning experience
As part of the project, Visible has instituted the Visible Award, the first European biennial award of 25,000 Euros that aims to support ongoing socially engaged artistic projects. In doing so Visible creates, in collaboration with leading museums and other art institutions, discursive platforms in the form of public juries, and seeks to offer a platform for innovative projects that have the potential to become visible in fields other than artistic ones.
Visible’s approach has been unique from the outset for piloting the public jury format at the 2013 Award at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. Subsequently, in 2015, the Award was organized in collaboration with Tate Liverpool at the Liverpool City Council, where the notion of a Temporary Parliament was inaugurated. The public’s engagement in the assessment and voting on the art projects transformed the Award into an occasion for collective learning and the expansion of the discourse instigated by and around the projects.
The Award as an Ongoing Research
The Visible Award is looking for artistic projects that, in a radical and proactive way, are able to rethink our cities in their approach to urban and rural communities, put into question education models while reconsidering different ways of sharing knowledge, support alternative models of economic development and new ideas for the allocation of resources, rethink the access to information or the priority of ecological and environmental needs, as well as experimenting with participatory and democratic political models while starting these open-ended projects. These are just a few examples of how artistic processes can create areas for reflection and mobilization, acting as a field for action within the public domain, in favor of a reading of participation in art that considers the social body as a potential power for bringing about responsible change and social transformation.
The Visible Award not only takes up discussions about the development of art in a responsible relationship with the complexities of social change, but it also offers artists real opportunities to produce, and thus the possibility to experiment and work on new visions that can have a significant impact on the shared imaginary and on reality itself. The award intends to break away from the conventions governing the production of public art in the form of monumental objects, in order to focus on a new form of commitment in art, and on the relationships between the production of art, science, and culture. In order to achieve this, it is essential to create new spaces and processes, rather than producing self-contained objects, and finding potential new areas for interaction, in which spectators can be considered as proactive subjects.
The Visible Award thus wishes to bring out those artistic processes that manage to expand their practices from the ordinary spaces for art and enter directly into the public realm in its various representations.