Two graduates from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts receive the Poul Erik Bech Foundation’s Art Awards 2021

Isabella Solar Villaseca and Maria Dubia, who are graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts this summer, each receive one of the Poul Erik Bech Foundation’s two art awards 2021 in recognition of their graduation works.

The awards constitute study travel grants, one to the amount of DKK 50,000 and one of DKK 20,000, and are given to artists or groups of artists on the basis of their contribution to the annual degree show at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Every year, the Poul Erik Bech Foundation appoints a professional jury – this year consisting of artist Kirsten Astrup, director of Aarhus Kunsthal Iben Mosbæk and gallery owner Martin Asbæk.
Isabella Solar Villaseca receives the award for her graduation work Tiqui Tiqui Ti went North
Tiqui Tiqui Ti went North is a video installation where we meet, ‘through a combination of archival material and recent footage (…) the states of the past and the present, as well as interpretations of Chilean folklore and dance. Tiqui Tiqui Ti went North opens up questions about how traditions generally travel with groups living in exile, and more specifically about the Chilean-Swedish community of which Solar Villaseca is herself is a part,’ states the curator group behind this year's graduation exhibition, Vermilion Sands, about Villaseca’s work .
Jury member Iben Mosbæk describes the motivation for choosing Isabella Solar Villaseca’s work as follows:
‘In Villaseca's work, the Chilean dance Cueca forms a focal point that embraces stories of tragedy and joy, murder, resistance and community. Tiqui Tiqui Ti went North dances us across history, across borders and cultures, accompanied by song and music. It serves as an unsentimental tribute to the sheer joy of dance, to community and to non-violent protests that unite a nation and a culture in sorrow and joy across time and place’.
For Isabella Solar Villaseca, receiving the grant is a ‘hopeful and bright incentive for future post-academy life. It is such an honour to be among the recipients of this grant. I have been working on this project for the last two years, it has been a real roller coaster ride, and the award is such a great recognition for me’.
Jury member Martin Asbæk supplements his take on the work:
Tiqui Tiqui Ti went North” (see fue pal norte) is a visual study of the national dance of Chile. The work was selected because it unites and explores the past and present of this dance in a compelling video that makes me reflect on how traditions can accommodate a common language, creating and affirming identity’.
Isabella Solar Villaseca receives a study travel grant of DKK 50,000 for her graduation work
Marina Dubia receives the award for her graduation work the margins of my limit, 2021
In the performance the margins of my limit, Dubia and a group of participating performers 'work directly with different areas of Kunsthal Charlottenborg. They ask what a body can do, opening up a conversation between their bodies and the body of the art gallery, the institution, the academy. They taste it, kiss it, leave traces. They intimately explore this thing that contains so many works of art, practices, programmes of education. They vibrate up against the white walls with their many coats of paint and plaster, their embedded historical trauma. They examine these porous membranes and ask what might pass through them in both directions?’ write Vermillion Sands about Marina Dubia’s graduation work.
Jury member Kirsten Astrup describes the motivation for choosing Dubia’s work:
‘Working in collaboration with a number of performers and research partners, Maria Dubia has created a site-specific work that points to the walls of the institution; the visible boundaries that divide what and who are – in this context – allowed to be seen and heard. With gently rocking, gently pushing movements and wet, blue deposits, Dubia massages, addresses and problematises the building’s architectural constructions and traditions’.
For Marina Dubia, the award is a confirmation that she has moved in the right direction with her graduation work:
‘I cannot express how much I have learned and grown with this project. And plus, it is more than personal achievement: it legitimises the work and commitment of a crowd of performing artists who lived and experimented together over the better part of a year. It creates this amazing confidence to know that the trick worked, we were able to engage, connect and resonate through rather heavy walls, shift the context for a couple of hours, propose some kinds of alternatives to how we relate to each other and our surroundings. Thank you Kunsthal Charlottenborg for housing this logistically challenging project. And thank you to the jury for sharing in our sensibilities!'
Marina Dubia receives a study travel grant of DKK 20,000 for her graduation work

AFGANG 2021 was shown at Kunsthal Charlottenborg from 21 April - 23 May 2021. The exhibition is the annually recurring Degree Show presenting graduates from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ School of Fine Arts.
AFGANG 2021 was curated by Vermilion Sands, consisting of Malene Dam, Kevin Malcolm and Nikolaj Stobbe.
This year’s 28 graduates from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts are:
Alma Ulrikke Bille Stræde, Andita Shabanaj, Anna Rettl, Birk Horst, Emilie Tarp Østensgård, Franziska Hoppe, Isabella Solar Villaseca, Javier Alvarez Sagredo, Jesper Christoffersen, Josephine Kamoun Johansson, Kajsa Karlsson, Klara Lilja, Lasse Bruun, Laura Elaine Guiseppi, Laurits Malthe Gulløv, Johan Malik Andersen, Marina Dubia, Mary Ann Cvahte, Mathieu J. H. Hansen, Nanna Katrine Hansen, Oliver Bak, Pauline Fransson, Peter Højbjerg, Sophie Filtenborg, Sufie Elmgreen (Star Suaning), Svend Sømod, Tomas Joshua Leth, Yujin Jung.
For more pictures from AFGANG 2021, visit: