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Anita Mucolli is the winner of the 2021 Helvetia Art Prize

The 2021 Helvetia Art Prize goes to Anita Mucolli (*1993). She is a graduate of the Bachelor's in Fine Arts at FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel. The Helvetia Art Prize is an award for young artists and includes prize money of 15,000 francs and the possibility to stage a solo exhibition at LISTE Art Fair Basel.
Anita Mucolli, The Bank of Dreams, 2021. Vista dell'installazione Plattform21, MASILugano, 2021. Foto: Mattia Angelini.

Anita Mucolli (*1993) is the winner of the 2021 Helvetia Art Prize. The winner holds a Bachelor's degree from the FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel. Inspired by Jonathan Crary's book "24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep", she uses various media and technical precision to tackle the issue of how late capitalist systems aim to penetrate even further into human biology and needs. The jury is impressed by the reflected, complex rendering of the subject.

In her latest work, "The Bank of Dreams" (2021), which is currently on show at the Plattform21 exhibi-tion at the Museo d'arte della Svizzera italiana (MASI) in Lugano, she addresses a future scenario in which capitalism is appropriating technological progress, entering the human subconscious and com-mercializing dreams.

In the foyer of the Palazzo Reali museum building in Lugano, which is architecturally reminiscent of a bank, Anito Mucolli has installed an ATM. It remains unclear in this ambiguous scenario between reality and fiction whether the machine is real or a work of art. The outer frame of the ATM is made of scagliola, which resembles marble. Its design picks up the classical style of the architecture. In the middle, a flat screen shows video ads for the bank and its innovative technology. Once the music and voice from the adverts are heard over the speakers, it emerges that this is no ordinary ATM, rather dreams are being sold here: test-driving your dream car, trying on special clothing, seeing loved ones again or even visiting alluring locations.

Anita Mucolli's work can been seen at the Plattform21 exhibition at MASI (Museo d'arte della Svizze-ra italiana) in Lugano from 22 August to 5 September 2021.

This year's Helvetia Art Prize jury comprises Francesca Benini (Curator at MASILugano), Kathleen Bühler (Head Curator at the Museum of Fine Arts Bern), Julian Denzler (Curator at the Museum zu Allerheiligen Schaffhausen), Joanna Kamm (Director of the LISTE Art Fair Basel), Andreas Karcher (Head of Helvetia's Art Department) and Nathalie Loch (Curator of Helvetia's Art Department)

Start-up assistance as part of cultural commitment

With the Art Prize, Helvetia Insurance supports young artists at the beginning of their career. The Hel-vetia Art Prize is aimed at the graduates of Swiss universities of applied sciences in the field of fine arts and media art. The prize is a double form of assistance: on the one hand, the winner receives prize money of 15,000 francs, and, on the other hand, the opportunity to present his or her work to an international specialist audience and the general public with a solo exhibition at the LISTE Art Fair Basel 2022. Since being founded in 1996, the LISTE has been committed to actively promoting galler-ies and artists in the young and middle generations.

The Helvetia Art Prize is a key aspect of the international insurance group's commitment to art. The prize has been awarded each year since 2004. Initially known as the Nationale Suisse Art Prize, it has been named the Helvetia Art Prize since the merger of Helvetia and Nationale Suisse. Helvetia, which also insures art, has one of the most important collections of contemporary Swiss art, stretching back more than 70 years. The collection focuses on paintings, drawings and photography. Since 2015 Helvetia has had its own, publicly accessible display space in the form of the Helvetia Art Foyer at its head office in Basel. Here, thematic exhibitions featuring works from its own collection or solo presentations by artists are staged.

Anita Mucolli's work "The Plattform21Bank of Dreams" (2021) can be seen at the Plattform21 exhibition at MASILugano until 5 September 2021.

22 August – 5 September 2021

Opening hours:
Tues / Wed/ Fri: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Thurs: 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
Sat / Sun / public holidays: 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Mon: Closed

Museo d’arte della Svizzera italiana
Via Canova 10, 6900 Lugano

Contact information


Jonas Grossniklaus
Head of Media Relations

+41 58 280 50 33