University of Utah Art & Art History Professor Beth Krensky has been selected as a Finalist for the 16th Arte Laguna Prize. Of the 130 finalists from across the globe, she is one of only six Americans and one of five performance artists. Her performance piece, “Dispatch from Solitude #1: Walking the Unknown Path,” has been selected from among more than 10,000 artworks submitted during an international open call., and she will perform it during the Arte Laguna Prize Exhibition at the Arsenale Nord in Venice, Italy which opens March 11, 2023. The piece was originally commissioned in 2020 by Ogden Contemporary Arts as part of their “Social Distancing and Art” series.
While in Venice, Krensky will incorporate the original performance footage into a new piece specifically created for the Arte Laguna Prize opening. This new piece will consist of live performance, as well as projected video footage combining “Dispatch from Solitude #1” with a solo performance on Lazzaretto Nuovo, a small island in the Venice lagoon, that houses a plague hospital built in 1468. Dylan Totaro, the Utah-based videographer who documented the original performance, will accompany Krensky to Venice to record new footage for the Arte Laguna Prize opening.
The panel of jurors who selected the finalists is comprised of the following internationally-recognized critics, curators and museum directors: Kobi Ben-Meir (Israel – Chief Curator of Haifa Museum of Art); Louise Fedotov-Clements (United Kingdom – Artistic Director, QUAD & Director, FORMAT International Photography Festival); Pasquale Lettieri (Italy – Curator, critic, historian, academic and journalist); Alka Pande (India – Consultant Arts Advisor and Curator, Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre in New Delhi); Danilo Premoli (Italy – Architect, Designer); Alisa Prudnikova (Russia – founder, commissioner and artistic director of the Ural Industrial Biennial).
Krensky is a professor of Art Teaching at the University of Utah and is known for her conceptual art practice that is rooted in a socio-historical memory of place. She creates objects and performative gestures as a contemplative act. Much of the work is intended to be portable and cross boundaries as a metaphor for movement within and across the multiple layers of shared or contested existence over time.
Her art has been exhibited widely throughout the United States and internationally, including the Jerusalem Biennial. She has been recognized as an important artist working in the border zone between social issues and the sacred. The Yale Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University recently exhibited a twenty-year retrospective of her work, “Between Spirit and Matter.”
Support for this project has been generously provided by the University of Utah through the University Research Committee, the College of Fine Arts, and the Department of Art & Art History. This project was supported by the University Research Committee (URC) at the University of Utah. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the official views of the URC, the Vice President for Research Office, or the University of Utah.