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Exhibition projects for the A New Gaze 4 sponsorship prize for young contemporary art now announced

Media Release

Published on 29.04.2024 CEST

From plant artificial intelligence to a social experiment: there will be an exhibition to showcase winning projects from the fourth edition of Vontobel’s A New Gaze sponsorship prize.

Last year, Emidio Battipaglia (*1984, IT) and Augustin Lignier (*1995, FR) were selected by an international jury as the winners of Vontobel’s A New Gaze sponsorship prize for young contemporary art, an award endowed with CHF 20,000. Around 70 applicants from Europe were invited to submit a project on the topic of “Community.” The winning projects by the two artists, who have master’s degrees in photography from ECAL in Lausanne, will now be showcased at a public exhibition in Zurich that opens on Thursday, May 23, 2024. In an interactive installation, Battipaglia will use plants and AI to explore the connection between humans, nature, and technology, while Lignier will present a social experiment on non-verbal communication and community-building. In addition to the prize money and the exhibition, the winners are also rewarded with an artist’s publication.

Emidio Battipaglia, Synaptic Dialogues 2, 2024
Emidio Battipaglia, Synaptic Dialogues 2, 2024
Augustin Lignier, We are the Revolution (Nous sommes la Révolution), 2024 (r)
Augustin Lignier, We are the Revolution (Nous sommes la Révolution), 2024 (r)
Images made available to the press can be downloaded here.

A New Gaze 4 - Press photos

Press Kit

Published on 29.04.2024 CEST
ZIP document

The Italian artist Emidio Battipaglia is developing an interactive installation that involves plants and AI technology. This technology captures how the plants respond to their environment (e.g., changes in temperature, movements and sounds made by people), while projecting new and unexpected images into the space in real time. Synaptic Dialogues explores how humans, technology, and the environment interact to create a sustainable future. Battipaglia thereby highlights the transformative potential of interconnected relationships and emphasizes the need for us to all pull work together to make our world more sustainable. By creating novel communities, Battipaglia’s work contributes to fostering a collective sense of belonging and shared goals: This is of great significance in times of global challenges. Synaptic Dialogues invites us to reflect on these complex interrelationships and encourages us to think more broadly about community and responsibility. Emidio Battipaglia (*1984) is an interdisciplinary artist who studied photography at ECAL in Lausanne and at Edinburgh Napier University. He lives and works in Milan.

Wink Piece by Augustin Lignier is a social experiment on non-verbal communication and community-building. Drawing on the dynamic nature of digital interactions, he explores the parallels and differences between digital and physical behavior. The French artist took to the streets of Paris, where he winked at passersby and recorded how they reacted. This act turned into a performance, with people’s reactions ranging from returning the wink, to ignoring him or even refusing to be part of the artwork. He documents his findings from these interactions in a spatial installation. What was originally conceived as a playful exploration evolved into a profound social experiment that significantly changed the artist’s understanding of present-day society. By focusing on the subtle nuances of interpersonal communication, the project also sheds light on the complex relationships and dynamics within our modern age. Augustin Lignier (*1995) studied photography at ECAL in Lausanne and art at Beaux-Arts de Paris. He lives and works in Paris.  

Emidio Battipaglia: «Synaptic Dialogues»
Augustin Lignier: «Wink Piece»

A New Gaze 4: Art Vontobel Contemporary Photography Prize

Gotthardstrasse 43, 8022 Zürich


Opening: Tuesday, 23 May from 6 p.m.

Exhibtion: 24 May – 31 August 2024


Artist talk on June 7 in the presence of both artists, directed by Art Vontobel

Opening hours:

Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.


Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information about the exhibition, the artists and the Vontobel Art Prize.


For further information:  

Media contact A New Gaze

Manuela Schlumpf

Claudia Wintsch


Media Relations

Portrait of Isabel Reck, Media Relations

Isabel Reck

Media Relations Europe

Portrait of Urs Fehr, Media Relations

Urs Fehr

Media Relations Europe

About A New Gaze
Vontobel's A New Gaze sponsorship award is intended as a springboard for young talent in the field of contemporary photography, enabling an international artist to realize a project idea from conception to exhibition. Awarded every two years, each edition of A New Gaze focuses on a new geographic region and socially relevant issue to promote and communicate alternative viewpoints from around the world: "Security/Insecurity" (2017) and "Identity" (2019) were followed by "Responsibility in the Anthropocene" (2021) and "Community" (2023). The award, which complements the company's art collection at various levels, has an international focus and underscores both Art Vontobel's philanthropic approach and our intention to support the next generation.

We are an international investment management firm with Swiss roots, providing investment, advisory and solution capabilities to private and institutional clients. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, we are present across 28 locations world-wide. Vontobel Holding AG shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and majority owned by the founding family. The family’s close ties to the company guarantee entrepreneurial independence, and the resulting freedom creates an obligation to assume social responsibility. As of March 31, 2024, Vontobel held CHF 223.7 billion assets under management. With our investment-led approach that focuses exclusively on the buy-side of financial markets, we think and act purely from the client’s perspective – as an investor for investors.

This includes continually rethinking how to empower investors – something we have engaged in for over 100 years. Harnessing the power of technology allows us to deploy our investment expertise across multiple platforms and ecosystems, while aiming to offer an individualized and high-quality client experience. Our conviction that successful investing begins with the assumption of personal responsibility means we focus on empowering employees to unlock their potential, take ownership of their work, and bring opportunities to life. We continuously scrutinize our achievements as we strive to exceed the expectations of our clients.

Legal information
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