COAL 2022 AWARDS : THE WINNERS

COAL 2022 AWARDS : THE WINNERS

The COAL Awards ceremony, dedicated in 2022 to the theme of oceans, took place on June 8, on the occasion of World Oceans Day. Marina Gioti is the winner of the COAL 2022 Award for her project Sounding the Silent World. A special jury prize was also awarded to Brandon Ballengée for his project Searching for the Ghosts of the Gulf.

The awards were presented by Christopher MilesThe award was presented by the Director General of Artistic Creation at the Ministry of Culture during a ceremony held at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris, in the presence of the nominated artists and the members of a jury made up of experts in art, ecology and research, under the presidency of Christine Germain-Donnat, Director of the Museum of Hunting and Nature, and Bruno David, President of the Museum of Natural History.

The Ocean, this geographical, dreamlike and political horizon, cultural heritage as much as natural and breeding ground for the imagination, is at the root of the global phenomena that make our planet habitable. First carbon sink before the forests, climate regulator, it constitutes the largest ecosystem on the planet, at the very place where life emerged. It is also the cradle of economic and commercial life, housing the majority of humans in its coastal areas and supporting three billion people who depend directly on marine biodiversity for their livelihood.

The transformation of the oceans in the face of climate change is a real challenge, both in terms of taking action and in terms of raising awareness of processes that are sometimes elusive: ocean warming, rising sea levels, acidification and deoxygenation of the seas, overexploitation of fishery resources, plastic pollution, degradation of marine habitats, proliferation of invasive species, etc.

The projects of the winners of the COAL 2022 Prize, the Special Jury Prize of the COAL 2022 Prize and the COAL Student Prize – Culture & Diversity 2022 reveal the ocean’s riches to the greatest number of people and imagine new concrete actions to revive resilience with the worlds of water.

“This prize perfectly illustrates the raison d’être of the François Sommer Foundation. “ Alban de Loisy, General Director of the François Sommer Foundation, reminded us.

“It’s important that in the art field there are people who stand up, speak out and show the threats to the ocean. I hope that the winning projects will carry this type of message. Let’s protect the ocean also for its beauty and not only for the services it can provide to humanity. said Bruno David, President of the National Museum of Natural History.

The COAL Prize is a formidable breeding ground, a reserve of talents, an irreplaceable and precious tool of artistic watch “, Christine Germain-Donnat, Director of the Museum of Hunting and Nature.

What strikes me is the poetry, the poetry of the ocean of tears in which we find a life, the poetry of the myth of Eleusis, the poetry of a free man who will always cherish the sea, it is the poetry of the ocean to which the creators are confronted today to find solutions with the scientists Christopher Miles, Director General of Artistic Creation, Ministry of Culture.

Marina Gioti, winner of the COAL 2022 Award

The jury members awarded the COAL 2022 Prize to Marina Gioti for her project Sounding the Silent World, which aspires to explore the past and present state of derelict wrecks and ships, their touching presence and puzzling materiality in order to activate a discourse and speculation on their future. The artist chose the archaeological site of Eleusis, west of Athens, as a case study. Ancient sanctuary and ritual center, home of the eponymous mysteries and entrance to the mythological underworld, the coastal city, now an industrial center, hides in its abyss a true marine cemetery.“You deal with the long time, the distant past, but you also evoke the future of these wrecks; at the same time what comes from very far and what goes very far “Olivier Lerude, Senior Official for Sustainable Development at the Ministry of Culture, addressed the winner during the award ceremony.

Prospective image of Marina Gioti's work for the COAL 2022 award, ©Paul G Allen's Vulcan Inc hi
Prospective image of Marina Gioti's work for the COAL 2022 award, ©Paul G Allen's Vulcan Inc hi

Sounding the Silent World

Wrecks and derelict vessels are a major source of marine pollution. The economic crises of recent years have led to an increase in the abandonment of ships worldwide. The North Atlantic Ocean alone contains a quarter of these potentially polluting vessels and, with them, at least a third of the sunken oil. While UNESCO grants wrecks over 100 years old a protected cultural heritage status, recently wrecked ships remain in a legal limbo, their disposal and decommissioning depending on local governments and policies. Like most recent ruins, these wrecks are deprived of their ruin value. They are rightly considered as disturbances, as waste.

Sounding the Silent World is a multi-faceted research project that aspires to explore the past and present state of these recently wrecked buildings, their touching presence and puzzling materiality in order to activate a discourse and speculation about their future. The artist chose the archaeological site of Eleusis, west of Athens, as a case study. Ancient sanctuary and ritual center, home of the eponymous mysteries and entrance to the mythological underworld, the coastal city, now an industrial center, hides in its abyss a true marine cemetery.

As a work-archive taking the form of a film, an exhibition and publications, the project immerses the visitor in an archaeological park that has become grotesque, where the ancient ruins struggle to cohabit with the most modern. A video, realized for the most part underwater, is scripted around naval stories but also ancient myths, scientific data and founding texts of ecology. Through a lyrical and scientific approach adopting the methods and narratives used in archaeology, environmental science and marine biology, Marina Gioti seeks ways to combat the ongoing oceanic ecocide while delivering a reflection on what we consider heritage.

Brandon Ballengée, winner of the Special Jury Prize

The jury also distinguished Searching for the Ghosts of the Gulf by Brandon Ballengée, an interdisciplinary art and environmental advocacy project that seeks to make visible the biodiversity that is disappearing with indifference, making the Gulf of Mexico a case study as Louisiana’s coastal lands erode at an unprecedented rate, also threatening the people and their cultures.

Searching for the Ghosts of the Gulf

The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, designed to drill the deepest offshore well ever, in the Gulf of Mexico, is considered one of the largest industrial petrochemical accidents in modern history. The incident that took place in 2010 caused the spill of nearly 700 million liters of oil into the ocean. The oil spill impacted all of the Gulf’s ecosystems, which are among the most diverse in the world and the very basis of the food chain. Its long-term effects are not fully assessed, even though thousands of small spills continue to occur in the area from the DWH, Taylor, or MC20 platforms.

Pioneering artist, biologist and activist Brandon Ballengée intends to give form to these “environmental insults” and report on the shock caused by the Deepwater Horizon explosion on the Gulf’s biodiversity. His aesthetic and committed approach intends to inspire individual actions, the only engine for systemic change. Following the triptych “to depict, to mobilize, to expose”, the project is declined in three times. Represent (draw, photograph, and x-ray) absent species from natural history collections to create prints and drawings made from dried crude oil. Engage coastal communities through field trips and participatory ecological art programs. To present and share the works during ephemeral exhibitions in unconventional places.

Searching for the Ghosts of the Gulf is an interdisciplinary art and environmental project that seeks to make visible the biodiversity that is disappearing with indifference, making the Gulf of Mexico a case study as Louisiana’s coastal lands are eroding at a rapid pace, threatening the inhabitants and their cultures.

Brandon Ballengée, Searching for the Ghosts of the Gulf, 2022
Brandon Ballengée, Searching for the Ghosts of the Gulf, 2022
Brandon Ballengée, Searching for the Ghosts of the Gulf, 2022
Brandon Ballengée, Searching for the Ghosts of the Gulf, 2022

JURY 2022

  • Bruno David, President of the National Museum of Natural History
  • Mark Dion, Artist
  • Catherine Dobler, Founder of the LAccolade Foundation
  • Marc Feldman, General Administrator of the Orchestre National de Bretagne
  • Christine Germain-Donnat, Director of the Museum of Hunting and Nature
  • Hélène Guenin, Director of the MAMAC, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Nice
  • Elsa Guillaume, Artist, winner of the COAL Ocean Prize 2015
  • Olivier Lerude, Senior official for sustainable development at the Ministry of Culture
  • Léo Marin, Director of the Eric Mouchet Gallery and Curator of The Possible Island
  • Anne-Marie Melster, Co-founder and Managing Director of ARTPORT_making waves
  • Charlotte Meunier, President of the Nature Reserves of France
  • Romain Troublé, General Manager of the Tara Ocean Foundation

The prize money for the COAL 2022 Prize and the Special Jury Prize
The winner of the COAL Prize receives a prize of 10,000 euros and a residence at the Domaine de Belval, owned by the François Sommer Foundation.

The Special Jury Prize awarded to Brandon Ballengée is endowed with 3,000 euros from the COAL 2022 Prize partners.

Partners of the COAL 2022 Prize

The COAL Prize is supported by the
European Union
via the European cooperation program ACT – Art Climate Transition, from
Ministry of Culture
and the
French Office of Biodiversity
of the
François Sommer Foundation
of the
Museum of Hunting and Nature
of the
Foundation LAccolade.
This edition also benefits from a partnership with the
National Orchestra of Brittany
and the
Surfrider Foundation Europe
.

Find out more:


Take a look at

THE CURLEW BY PHILIPPE BAUDELOCQUE
A call for air at the Nuit Blanche Métropolitaine de Nanterre
TRANSFORMING ENERGY, Collectif Berru, Season France – Portugal

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