Jonas Van Holanda (*1989) is the winner of the 2022 Helvetia Art Prize. The winner holds a Bachelor's degree from Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD). Born in Brazil, the artist creates immersive installations that frequently incorporate videos and his own texts. His artistic research moves between concise content und poetic narration, dealing in-depth with subjects such as language, ecology and sub-areas of quantum physics, which he then consciously reinterprets in ephemeral works and enhances with intimate fictional texts.
In his most recent audio-visual installation, "Moving Towards Us" (2022), currently part of the Plattform22 exhibition at Kunsthalle Palazzo in Liestal, the artist takes his first look at the physical and philosophical concept of negative entropy. Within this ongoing research project he takes a closer look at the possibilities of physical transformation. The work combines video, projection, sound and text to explore the body beyond its physical manifestation as a sensory and temporal experience.
Assuming there is no measurable maximum speed, every visual phenomenon could happen at an infinite speed. Our understanding of space, time and existence would dissipate, a body could suddenly disappear or be replaced by another. With this scenario, Jonas Van Holanda mobilizes our perception in his work: "Moving Towards Us" (2022) reveals moments of transformation that are rooted in the trans artist's own reality and identity. The spherical sounds that fill the small exhibition space at Liestal’s Kunsthalle demonstrate an intense devotion to vibrations and the principle of negative entropy. With the idea of transforming flesh into sound, the artist addresses the consequences of both his hormonal and spiritual transition. The jury was impressed by the refreshing way in which Jonas Van Holanda handles an extremely complex subject, managing to open up the space for a societal utopia by means of quantum physics, while respecting the softness of a poetic space.
This year's Helvetia Art Prize jury comprises Michael Babics and Olivia Jenni (management team at Kunsthalle Palazzo, Liestal), 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) 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 Helvetia 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, Jonas Van Holanda receives prize money of 15,000 francs, and, on the other hand, the opportunity to present his work to an international specialist audience and the general public with a solo exhibition at the LISTE Art Fair Basel 2023. Since being founded in 1996, the LISTE has been committed to actively promoting galleries 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.
The installation "Moving Towards Us" (2022) by Jonas Van Holanda can be seen as part of the Plattform22 exhibition at Kunsthalle Palazzo in Liestal until 26 June 2022.
7 May – 26 June 2022
Wed – Fri: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Sat / Sun: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
P.O. Box 277