Silvia Martes receives art award from Van Abbe Museum

Silvia Martes, Van Abbe Museum
Photo credit: Ilse van Loon/Studio040

Visual artist Silvia Martes has won the Theodora Niemeijer Prize. The prize is awarded every two years by the Van Abbe Museum to a female artist.

Martes from Eindhoven won the prize thanks to her project proposal Public Solitude. In this project, the artist wants to investigate the conflict between isolation and exposure. The theme is inspired by the corona period.

The project involves building a film set and making a film. The set is a house that consists largely of glass elements. This makes it difficult for the residents to have privacy. After the house has been designed and built, actors will film in the house every four weeks. In doing so, the actors ignore the audience outside.

“It is a condition that theatre-maker Konstantin Stanislavski called ‘public solitude’: the ability to behave as you would in private, despite the fact that in reality you are being watched while doing so, or are ‘alone in public’ “, the Van Abbe Museum says.

Impressed by observations
The recordings will eventually be used to make a short film called Public Solitude. “For this particular project, this filmmaker, AV artist and set designer has used all her talents. The jury is impressed by her observations on forms of isolation and dealing with social media during the pandemic”, the jury says in its comments.

“The narrative is interesting and arouses curiosity about how the main character’s story will develop. It is almost a monument that we can reflect on in a year’s time”, the jury said.

Public Solitude can be seen in Het Oog in Van Abbe Museum from 9 April to 9 October 2022.


Translated by: Bob

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