15 April 2021

Rodrigo Pinheiro and Gal Cipreste Marinelli Receive The PHmuseum 2021 Photography Grant Main Prize

15 April 2021 - Written by PhMuseum

The Brazilian duo received the prestigious recognition thanks to their work on issues related to non-binary identity. Learn more about their work and listen to the judges motivations.

GH, Gal and Hiroshima © Rodrigo Pinheiro and Gal Cipreste Marinelli

An independent jury comprised of Michael Famighetti (Editor of Aperture Magazine), Renée Mussai (Senior Curator and Head of Curatorial & Collections at Autograph, London), Trent Parke (Photographer and Member of Magnum Photos) and Julieta Escardó (Photographer, Editor and Educator) has assigned the £5,000 PHmuseum 2021 Photography Grant Main Prize to Brazilian duo Rodrigo Pinheiro and Gal Cipreste Marinelli for their project GH, Gal and Hiroshima in which they recall when one of them was assaulted during childhood on the streets of Rio De Janeiro due to his gender orientation.

Judge Renée Mussai explains the choice on behalf of the panel: “Rodrigo Pinheiro and Gal Cipreste Marinelli’s exceptional project GH, Gal and Hiroshima is distinguished by a sophisticated visual style and strong conceptual treatment of a pertinent socio-political subject matter that usually relies heavily on the representation – and figurative presence – of the body. Autobiographical in nature, the series’ subtle yet striking imagery visualises childhood memories of homophobic gender-based violence and the experience of hate crime through the symbolic arrangements of objects, sculptural still life compositions and abstract black and white photography. Drawing on a cinematic aesthetics and surrealist sensibilities, Pinheiro and Marinelli’s intriguing story telling foregrounds non-binary / genderqueer identities – members of Brazil’s LGTBQIA+ community – in this artful critique of normative structures and social injustices, composed with cleverly playful, yet serious, undertones… ‘GH, Gal and Hiroshima’ represents an evocative ode to the poetics of difference expressed through interrelated constellations of gestural signifiers – stones and heels, predominantly – wherein the body appears in ambiguous and fragmented modes, implied, yet powerfully present even in its absence."

GWO FANM © Naomieh Jovin

The £2,000 second prize was claimed by United States photographer Naomieh Jovin who presented the project GWO FANM, an intimate journey into identity and family heritage. The choice is again explained by Judge Renée Mussai on behalf of the panel: "Naomieh Jovin’s GWO FANM is a bold and courageous body of work that offers an intimate re-imagining of the family album through the prism of a distinctively matrilineal visual lens. A homage to the artist’s late mother, the series is marked by an experimental style that playfully engages differentgenres – from the vernacular to portraiture, documentary and collage – and a range of aesthetic techniques, combining found imagery, manipulated photographs, and archival documents in an inspired / imaginative montage that impresses with its raw, yet refined, visual choreographies. In these layered works, diasporic sentiments, ideas of home, and remnants of family histories are synthesised within the gaps and ruptures that often accompany migratory journeys, connecting the past with the present, Haiti and America… Corporeal and spiritual, Jovin’s autobiographical project reflects a black feminist visual language of embodiment, with notions of resilience, resistance and refusal at its core: a personal memoir where intergenerational traumas and lived experiencesare both implicit and explicit, and representation is staged on the artist’s own, exploratory, terms.”

La Lucha Continua (The Struggle Continues) © Daniel Mebarek

The third prize of £1,000 was awarded instead to Bolivian artist and photographer Daniel Mebarek for his work La Lucha Continua (The Struggle Continues) that starts as a response to the political crisis that started in Bolivia in 2019. Judge Michael Famighetti motivates the panel decision: "In his ongoing series, Daniel Mebarek uses the 2019 political crisis in Bolivia as a prompt to investigate his family’s past involvement in political activism and struggle in the country. To do this, he deftly deploys and juxtaposes two formal approaches: The cyanotype is used as the medium for found archival images and documents, where the form’s reliance on direct sunlight acts as a metaphor for excavating the past, while emphasizing the tactility of material history; and his restrained, yet powerful, contemporary images bring this history into close proximity in the present. Mebarek’s thoughtful mix of approaches offers a layered story of family, country, and ongoing political strife."

MADRE © Marisol Mendez

The New Generation Prize offering £2,000 plus a consultancy from our education program was assigned to Bolivian photographer Marisol Mendez for her project Madre that challenges the embedded machismo and celebrate the diversity and complexity of her country's culture through the portrayal of its women. Judge Julieta Escardó explains the reason of the judges choice: "Determined to question the stereotypes through which femininity is still conceived in Bolivia, Marisol Méndez, 29, displays in Madre a series of portraits through which she seeks, in her own words, to "celebrate the diversity and complexity of Bolivian culture by the different representations of women in different contexts''. One of its starting points is to reappropriate the deeply rooted Catholic imaginary and combine it with gestures of the Andean culture to deconstruct it in an immense universe of women who look firmly at the camera and thus return, not only the richness of the pluricultural but the power of the feminine in full reinvention. Marisol celebrates her own vision of women, and we, from this PH Museum Open Call, celebrate her audacity and commitment to her work and the current times.”

Further Genesis By Juan Brenner, Opulence By Dustin Thierry, Looking Out From Within - Reflection On Isolation By Julia Fullerton-batten, Moksha By Rohan Thapa, The Eternity Of Tomorrow By Cristóbal Olivares, and Inside Russia’s Surreal Battle Against The Pandemic By Nanna Heitmann were extensively considered by the judges and were eventually recognised with an Honorable Mention. Same for Surviving Bery: A Girlhood Trauma By Delovie Kwagala, Fathom By Cansu Yıldıran, Warawar Wawa (Son Of The Stars) By River Claure in the New Generation Prize category.

Weathering Time © Nancy Floyd

PhEST's team granted a solo show at the coming edition of the Italian festival to Weathering Time by Nancy Floyd. Giovanni Troilo (PhEST Artisti Director) and Arianna Rinaldo (PhEST Photography Curator) explain how they selected the work that will be exhibited in Monopoli, Italy this summer: “Weathering Time is an ongoing project by Nancy Floyd who has been photographing herself, full body frame, since 1982. Her personal archive includes more than 2,500 images taken every day for the past 41 years, and continuing. When she cannot take a picture, for a day, some weeks, or even a whole year, she leaves a black space (corresponding to a black contact of analog times). The human body is the most tangible and essential element of our physical self. The changes in the body, documented so coherently and constantly by the artist, record not only the passing of time, but also the subtle changes in attitude, moods, as well as the social context around it. As such, the value of Nancy Floyd’s project becomes grand: in its conceptual simplicity it holds a magnitude of meaning that goes beyond the diary or the document. It talks about life and death, about the here and now, the past, the present and the future, but most of all about the body, as a realistic and down-to-earth, universal symbol of our existence. In this age of touch-less relations and virtual conversations, Nancy Floyd’s series brings us back to a tactile and concrete experience of our selves as human beings, flesh and all.”

Las Dos Hebras (The Two Strands) © Juliana Gómez Quijano

The exhibition at Getxo Photo Festival, was awarded instead to Las Dos Hebras (The Two Strands) by Juliana Gómez Quijano. The festival Artistic Director Jon Uriarte comments the decision to bring the project to the Basque Country this summer: "Juliana Gómez Quijano's "Las Dos Hebras" (The Two Straws) explores the molecular and symbolic origins that she shares with her own twin sister. Following the path of philosophers, researchers and scientists such as Pythagoras, Darwin, Mendel and Rosalind Franklin she reflects on the answers that images of the DNA can offer to understand human nature. Combining archival, personal and scientific images of her and her twin using a rich yet consistent range of aesthetics, the series invites the viewer to consider what is the most basic and minuscule connection that brings different humans together. A question that strongly resonates with Getxophoto Image Festival's 2021 theme, in which we aim to explore current and diverse notions of sharing."

Slightly Altered © Synchrodogs

The Ukranian Duo Synchrodogs will exhibited their work Slightly Altered at PHmuseum Lab in Bologna, Italy this November just after PHmuseum Days, our platform first international photography festival. PHmuseum Curator Rocco Venezia explains the choice "With ‘Slightly Altered’ the Ukrainian artistic duo Synchrodogs aims to challenge the bond between the natural world and humans who inhabit it. This symbiosis is questioned by proposing a body of work that combines photography with performative and installation intuitions. This consistent aesthetic gesture results in a compelling visual panorama that hides a fragile and momentary presence - those acts and installations meant to exist only for a single moment - which allows us to reflect further on the environmental impact we produce and the inevitable alterations that this process holds on us."

Deanna Pizitelli © Koža, Women & Other Stories

Canadian Artist Deanna Pizzitelli will travel to Landskrona this fall to conduct a work on the Swedish town and surrounding areas thanks to the residency bursary offered by Landskrona Foto. Their Artisti Director Jenny Nordquist commented: "Deanna Pizitellie’s "Koža, Women & Other Stories" is a form of poetic expression created during her travels in the last six years. She documents the unfolding nature of her experience, disjointed and retold in a story of companionship and isolation. Her story becomes part archive, part travelogue, part fact and part fiction. Pizitellie’s way of combining archival images, portraits and darkroom experiments to explore subjects of connection, desire and uncertainty, makes her work intriguing. She celebrates the diversity of the photographic language by using analogue technologies and blending a variety of processes, papers, scales. Since Pizitellie’s work is motivated and formed by travel, I think the Landskrona Foto residency will become a great opportunity for her to develop this work further.

Moreover, Tracing "Yu Xiaomei" By Senjie Zhu, A Cloud Above Me By Alejandra Arévalo, Nos Veremos Pronto By María Del Mar Hernández Gil De Lamadrid, Tamasha By Abhishek Khedekar, To Move The Sun And Earth Away By Jošt Dolinšek, and Mapalakata By Robin Bernstein were all offered to work with a mentor from the PHmuseum Education program.

Our best congrats to all the applicants and prize recipients, we look forward to the 10th anniversary edition in 2022. Meanwhile, we are accepting submissions to select work for the PHmuseum Days 2021, our first international photography festival to be held in Bologna, Italy on 23-26 September. Learn more and apply at

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