Mutina for Art awards This Is Not a Prize 2021 to Shirana Shahbazi

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Mutina for Art awards This Is Not a Prize 2021 to Shirana Shahbazi
Shirana Shahbazi, F0A3039. Photo: Anne Morgenstern.

MILAN.- Mutina for Art announced that This Is Not a Prize 2021 award has been assigned to artist Shirana Shahbazi (Tehran, 1974).

This Is Not a Prize is not just an annual award but also Mutina’s commitment to support a future project of the selected artist: from an exhibition to a collaboration with an international institution, a publication or the production of a new artwork.

Shirana Shahbazi has been selected by the Mutina team, by its CEO Massimo Orsini and by the curator of Mutina for Art Sarah Cosulich, for the vast multidisciplinary territory to which her photographic research taps into. This Is Not a Prize 2021 recognizes Shahbazi’s ability to constantly rethink the image and its implications through unsettling compositional devices.

Shirana Shahbazi’s photographs are intriguing, ambiguous and challenging of the space they are interacting with. She portrays still-lives informed by the history of art, objects which she positions on pedestals and displays, but also portraits and landscapes that she often mixes in her exhibitions developing a single interconnected ensemble. All subjects, rigorously captured with an analogue technique, confront contemporary imageries and the notions of reality and illusion.

Shahbazi is interested in boundaries: between figuration and abstraction, bidimensionality and three-dimensionality, but also between the edge of the image and the area of perception. Design, architecture, fashion, graphics or display are at the bases of her photographic research which, though a great understanding of color and composition, becomes a way to speak about representation and about the act of looking.


In 2020 This Is Not a Prize was assigned to Silke Otto-Knapp, who will present a special project at Casa Mutina Milano in the fall 2022.

In 2019 This Is Not a Prize was assigned to artist Shimabuku, whose installation will be unveiled at Mutina’s headquarters in 2022.

In 2018 This Is Not a Prize was assigned to artist Liz Larner, whose solo exhibition at Kunsthalle Zurich in June 2022 will be sustained by Mutina.

In 2017 This Is Not a Prize was assigned to artist Jochen Lempert, who held a solo show in the MUT exhibition space in 2018.

In 2016 This Is Not a Prize was assigned to artist Giorgio Andreotta Calò. The recognition took form in Mutina’s support of his project for the Italian Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017.

This Is Not a Prize is an initiative that is part of the wider project Mutina for Art, which also includes MUT – an exhibition space at the company headquarters in Fiorano and a project space at Casa Mutina Milano – and Dialogue – a program of international collaborations with artists, galleries and institutions.

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