Awardee: Franco Mattes

Emerging Fields, 2016

Eva and Franco Mattes are Italian born artists, they live and work in New York. Their medium is a combination of internet, video and performance. Their work explores the ethical and moral issues arising when people interact remotely, especially through social media, often creating situations where it is difficult to distinguish reality from simulation. Solo exhibition venues include Essex Flowers, New York; Postmasters Gallery, New York; Carroll/Fletcher, London; Site, Sheffield; PNCA, Portland. Group exhibition highlights include White Chapel, London (2016); Sundance Film Festival (2012); MoMA PS1, New York (2009); Performa, New York (2009, 2007); National Art Museum of China, Beijing (2008); The New Museum, New York (2005); Manifesta 4, Frankfurt (2002) and the Venice Biennale (2001). Mattes’s work has been written about in Artforum, Frieze Magazine, e-flux Journal, The New York Times, The Guardian. They are faculty at the SVA MFA Fine Arts department.

Project: Fukushima Texture Pack

Eva and Franco Mattes were invited by local artists and community organizers to make a new work, granting them access to the otherwise off-limits Fukushima Exclusion Zone. For Fukushima Texture Pack, they will photograph surfaces inside the Zone, both indoor and outdoor, including floors, tatami, walls, dirt, grass, pavements, desks and closets. Each photo will be turned into a digital, seamless texture, and distributed online, freely available for anyone to use. Their provenance will be clear. Mattes will then trace the photos’ online wanderings, collecting the outcomes of their manifold uses. The textures may be used by video game designers, architects, artists, scenographers and kids. They will be incorporated into new artworks and in the design of both commercial and independent productions. Possible distribution channels may include a “Pantone-style” catalogue, which will give them a physical circulation as well. The project includes an installation of transparent plexiglass frames placed in the same locations where the photos were originally taken.