the Mediterranean contemporary art prize is the biennial prize conceived by the Porta Coeli Foundation to produce systematic and substantial solicitations in contemporary art, promoting the development of an environment that encourages the creation of relations with those many specificities of territories and society that characterise Italy. In order to produce frictions, encounters and exchanges of collective and mutual interest, the Foundation creates the conditions for the connection of an international artistic community with instances and roots of geographical, cultural and anthropological contexts of high value and certain peculiarities.

Common ground
the theme

the “common ground” is that metaphorical place where divergences meet, where the dialogue and the negotiation of commonality sought. It is a place where entities that recognise themselves as different find the possibility of exchange, of a consensual encounter. This common place is not devoid of conflict, roughness and compromise, but also focused on a shared sense of the humanity that is nourished by the celebration of moments of cultural conviviality: this is the true meaning of the event. Common ground is also a symbolic formula in subtle antinomy with the fluid nature of the sea to which it refers: an allusion to the unstable and controversial form of the relational dimension, whose vitality and contrasts have always been the subject of art investigations.

Castle of Monteserico
the context

The Castle of Monteserico rises not far from the battlefield where the Normans and Byzantines clashed, the focal point of a great parable that from Robert Guiscard (buried in nearby Venosa, Potenza, near his magnificent Incompiuta, his unfinished temple) led to the conquest of Sicily and the creation of artistic languages that linked Byzantine mosaic art, Norman military strength, Romanesque sense of the sacred and Arab architectural technology and styles (ogival arches, muqarnas, wind towers, etc.): a sampling of forms and proto-engineering methods that were fundamental for the art of the whole of Europe over the next three or four centuries.

Categories of the prize
in the 2021 edition

the Mediterranean contemporary art prize application is open to all artists, regardless of age, gender, nationality, or any other qualification. Indeed, the main purpose of the prize is to build a plural and inclusive event.
There are four artistic categories:
sculpture and installation
photography and video art
graphics and illustration