On September, Tuesday 13TH the Konex Foundation awards were presented to the most outstanding personalities and institutions of the Visual Arts in Argentina for the decade 2011-2021. BIENALSUR was distinguished as a Visual Arts Institution, a new category promoted by the Grand Jury chaired by artist Luis Felipe Noé.

For more than four decades, the Konex Awards have been among the most respected distinctions in Argentina. Since 1980, they have annually acknowledged the most important personalities and institutions in all the areas that make up the country's cultural landscape. In 2022, through a jury of specialists chaired by artist Luis Felipe "Yuyo" Noé, Diplomas of Merit were awarded to the 100 most prominent representatives of 21 disciplines of the Visual Arts during the decade 2011-2021. The Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero, organiser of the BIENALSUR project, was one of the main figures in the award ceremony that took place on the night of September, Tuesday 13th at the Ciudad Cultural Konex, in the Abasto district of the city of Buenos Aires.

Every ten years, the Konex Foundation awards these diplomas to the most prominent personalities in a particular field of activity. In 2022, and for the fifth time in its history, the edition was dedicated to the Visual Arts. The award ceremony honoured the 100 most important institutions and figures of the last decade, an enormous undertaking conducted by the Grand Jury chaired by Luis Felipe Noé and Secretary General Matilde Marín.  The distinctions were awarded in traditional disciplines such as Painting and Sculpture and new ones, such as Public Space Design, and Fire Arts. Each category includes up to five candidates for the Platinum Konex, as well as the Diamond Konex - the highest award - at the closing ceremony of the Konex Awards 2022 to be held on Tuesday, November 8th.

Speaking about the award to BIENALSUR, the Rector of UNTREF and General Director of the Biennial, Aníbal Jozami, said that the University is proud to be among the first institutions to receive the award in the new category. BIENALSUR competes as a Visual Arts Institution with the Federico Jorge Klemm Foundation, the Forner-Bigatti Foundation and the Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes Rosa Galisteo de Rodríguez.

"BIENALSUR has become an artistic and historical reference of the right to access to the culture in the world at a time of complex changes," asserted Jozami, who also thanked the artists, curators, producers, partners and audiences for their support and contributions. He also pointed out that the Biennial, which was conceived in Argentina, "is unique in the world due to its characteristics and was one of the few cultural events that were not cancelled during the pandemic”. 

With biannual processes, BIENALSUR's first edition took place in 2017 with the participation of more than 400 creators in around 80 venues in 34 cities in 16 countries. In 2019, the map expanded to 112 venues in 47 cities in 21 countries and included proposals from more than 800 artists and curators. In 2021, the third edition took place in 120 venues in 48 cities in 24 countries, with a pandemic reality in mind, seeking to outline alternative strategies for continuity. In its three editions, a total of more than 1,800 artists from all over the world have participated, over 150 of whom are Argentine artists who have presented their work in different locations outside their country of origin. More than 140 curators have also taken part. All of them make up a large group of diverse creators who have contributed their views and perspectives to think about the challenges of contemporaneity. Additionally, as Jozami pointed out: "BIENALSUR has the support of 20 universities and other educational institutions in Argentina and the world".

The Konex 200 Diplomas of Merit for the category Art and Technology were awarded to artists and UNTREF professors Gabriela Golder, co-director of the Centre for Research and Development of Projects Linked to the Audiovisual Arts (CONTINENTE) and professor of the Degree in Electronic Arts, and Mariela Yeregui -founder of the Master's Degree in Technology and Aesthetics of the Electronic Arts.

The President of the Grand Jury, Luis Felipe Noé, praised the new categories and the balanced selection of the winners, who were chosen from among more than 1,200 nominees. "The artistic activity in our country is so diverse and wide ranging that this the disciplines of Arts of Fire, Artistic Collectives, Art in the Public Space, Design in the Public Space, Art and Technology, and Visual Arts Institutions have been added to the categories this year. The latter rewards the efforts of institutions and foundations that engage in broader work by bringing together artists and artworks. I would like to emphasize the spirit of mutual respect and cordiality that existed among the members of the jury, each one recognizing the opinion of the others while contributing to the debate and dialogue," he said.

In turn, Luis Ovsejevich, President of the Konex Foundation, underscored the richness of Visual Arts in Argentina and their reach to new audiences: "Just like any artistic expression influenced by Modernity, the Visual Arts have received the contribution of new trends which, without displacing traditional forms, have complemented them with expressions, spaces, methods, and media that have expanded their circulation and enjoyment by new audiences", he added.