The time has come for us to announce the four finalists of the ninth edition of PIPA Prize. Selected amongst the 71 artists nominated for this edition of the award, Arjan MartinsEli Sudbrack (assume vivid astro focus)Romy Pocztaruk and Vivian Caccuri  will be running for a total donation of R$130,000 – a sum that includes an artistic residency at Residency Unlimited, in New York – , which corresponds to the award’s main category, PIPA Prize.

Asides from the main category, chosen by the Award Jury, the Finalists will also be evaluated by the audience of the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro (MAM-Rio), where they will be showing their artworks in an exhibition from September 1st to October 28th, 2018. The visitors attending the show will also get the chance to vote on their favourite artist at the museum’s exhibition. The most voted artist will be declared winner of another PIPA Prize category, Popular Vote Exhibition, and will receive a donation of R$24,000.

Watch the video in which Luiz Camillo Osorio, curator of the PIPA Institute, reveals the names of the four PIPA Prize 2018 finalists:

Meet the PIPA Prize 2018 finalists: 

Arjan Martins

Arjan Martins, “O Estrangeiro XIX”, 2017

Yellow watercolours stains. Fragmented black bodies. A little girl whom, copied from Oscar Peterson’s “Girl Talk” album cover, seems to hide her smile with one of her hands. These are some of the elements which seem to appear again and again in the latest paintings by Arjan Martins, also known as Argentino Mauro Martins Manoel. After selling bread in the School of Visual Arts of Parque Lage in order to finance his artistic formation, the Rio de Janeiro-born artist became one of the most important representatives of Brazilian contemporary painting.

His production revolves around the incorporation of signs and codes excluded from history, and his canvases and drawings retell the history of colonization and slavery from the opressed’s point of view. Works that discuss, hence, “my time, your time, and our time”, as he told the PIPA Institute curator Luiz Camillo Osorio in an interview in May 2017.

Arjan’s specific positionality is is visible in the last exibitions he presented. In Brazil, he was part of “Ex-Africa”, the largest group show on African contemporary art ever presented in the country. He also opened two exhibitions abroad last year: a solo show in Basel, Switzerland, the result of an artistic residency and Brasileia Foundation; and a group show in Lagos, Nigeria, where, together with Brazilian, German and Nigerian artists, he discussed the commercial relations between the African, American and European continents during the colonial period.


Eli Sudbrack (assume vivid astro focus)

avaf, “Shada shada la chatte”, 2007, performance com La Chatt

Putting together a number of different languages, the immersive, large-scale installations by avaf – which is at times a collective project, at times a solo one run by Eli Sudbrack – are at once multimedia ambiences and political declarations. Elements such as music, performance, painting, projection and objects involve the audience in a sensorial, collective experience, drowning them in colours, lights, sounds and images. avaf’s works are influenced by various movements, from pop culture, comic books and nightclubs to politics, sociology and art, discussing matters such as civil rights and freedom of expression while questioning general labels for gender and identity.

The very variety of the artist’s composition defies assumptions of authorship, turning it into an always-shifting project, open to collaboration with professionals such as architects, graffiti artists, performers, musicians, designers, dancers and other artists.


Romy Pocztaruk

Romy Pocztaruc, “A última aventura, Fordlândia II”, 2011

A small island abandoned in the South of Bronx, in New York, the Trans-Amazonian Highway, and the Olympic villages of Berlin and Sarajevo are some of the unpredictable places where Romy Pocztaruc has developed her works, which usually take shape through photography and video.

The idea of journey is recurring in the artist’s production. Pocztaruc generally travels through distant geographies, seeking out remains of once pharaonic projects afterwards abandoned. Less interested in their political and documentary appeal of such places than in the small memories and ruins they keep, her visual and audiovisual approach many times reveal something like the vestiges of utopia.

Besides these “Julio Verne-like” adventures, as the artist puts it, her works also explore the possible connections between art and other fields and disciplines, such as science and communication.


Vivian Caccuri

Vivian Caccuri, “TabomBass”, 2016

A series of sound speakers is piled up and laid out in a half-moon shape. The shaping would remind that of the “big wall” of street parties, if it weren’t for the candles placed in front of it. As the sound is released from the speakers, composed only of low frequency sounds, the lit candles move. That’s “TabomBass”, sound installation presented by Vivian Caccuri at the 32nd São Paulo Biennial in 2016. Produced in collaboration with Brazilian and Ghanaian musicians (the latter, from the city of Acra, which received a number of Afro-Brazilian immigrants after the Malês’ Rebellion), the work is representative of Caccuri’s work, which seeks to combine sound experiments and matters related to historical and social conditioning.

Born in São Paulo, the artist lives in Rio de Janeiro since 2007. Just three years after her move, she helped reoccupy an abandoned factory named Fábrica Bhering, near the city centre, where she built her studio. But she is, above all, a citizen of the world: before participating in a Music Production and Sound Design course at Dubspot in New York, she had already been in Princeton University in a research scholarship, and exhibited her work in several cities in Brazil and abroad. The list includes places such as Manaus, Helsinki, Riga, Varsovia, Oslo, Valparaíso, Acra, Venice and Carlsbad, in the US. In fact, she is currently on view in the latter, with the group show “Ojalá”. In Brazil, her solo show at Galeria Leme should open soon.

The four finalists are also invited to participate in PIPA Online, a category open to all participating artists which begins in one month from now, in July 15th. Keep tuned for more.

For more information on the finalists and the remaining 67 PIPA Prize 2018 participants, please see their artists’ pages on our websites, featuring artwork images, interviews, curriculum and more.

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