The Ermanno Casoli Prize. Not just another award.

30 October 2013

The story of prizes relating to the visual arts set up by companies or corporate-run foundations has a long tradition. Esso, Terna, Enel, Illy and Furla are just some of the big names who have entwined their own business life with the promotion of art, achieving benefits in terms of brand identity while at the same time aiding the creation of contemporary art. In this scenario, the Fondazione Ermanno Casoli – Elica’s "cultural branch" – has established itself as one of the most innovative. The FEC-organized Prize has carved out an important place for itself through several editions, sparking off exciting new ways of interaction between young artists, the public, the workplace and employees. A risky path and one that, for this very reason, is dedicated to innovation. The prize was inaugurated in 2009 by Francesco Arena, working within Elica itself, and Arena was followed by Francesco Barocco (2011) and Anna Franceschini (2012). These three internationally recognized artists were successful in implementing artistic events wholly in synch with the objectives of both the Foundation and the company.
Now in its fourteenth edition, the time has come for the prize to "migrate". So far, the initiative has always taken place in the Marche region: this year, however, the Foundation has accepted the invitation from the city of Siena to implement the project as part of the activities to support its candidacy for European Capital of Culture 2019. The event, devised by the winner of the prize, artist Danilo Correale, is entitled The Game and involves the employees of three historical companies from the Siena area: ColleVilca, PR Industrial and Trigano. Correale has created a three-sided soccer game – a deconstructed version of traditional football invented by artist Asger Jorn – entirely organized by employees of the companies taking part. The process has been running for the past few weeks and has involved the artist in a series of meetings with employees in a camper equipped as a mobile office, where decisions have been made about various aspects of the tournament, from the choice of badges and strips to the organization of the fans.

A date for the event has already been arranged: December 8th, at the stadium in Colle di Val d’ Elsa. The whole process will be documented in a film that will be presented to the public in February 2014.

Danilo Correale has commented on the FEC Facebook page regarding his experience over the intense first few days spent together with the employees. A good place to start, even before the game’s actual kick off.