Celeste Network Competition “Taboo”

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Theme: Taboo

Breaking a taboo is less of an issue today than in the past. The speed with which societies are changing, requires constant questioning of what is considered acceptable. Taboo-breaking and taboo-creating is one of the inevitable results of our hyper-active times. Globalisation catapults attitudes into every corner of the globe, and forces indigenous populations, groups or persons to respond, often in totally unprepared cultural contexts, to confront or accept new associations once unimaginable or forbidden. These conflict with traditional or deeply entrenched ways of thinking, which historically have often been held fast by taboos. In this context, artists are in the most enviable position. They are free in the widest sense, able to dissent and ask questions, and in their practice create new worlds which transgress the old. By exploring such issues as death, marriage, sexuality, money, racism, freedom, religion, gender, war, violence, politics, or behavioral traits such as guilt, shame, love, exploitation, forgiveness, artists can turn taboo-related themes on their heads, in subtle or explicit ways which are dissimilating but illuminating or shocking but liberating. Works submitted to ‘Taboo’ should take into consideration prevailing taboos, wherever they are experienced, geographically or culturally, and give a sense of how and why transitions to new forms of consideration and acceptance are given to what was once a taboo. Works or projects can be in any media, from performance to documentation, to installation, photography, video and painting. Works will be selected for their ability to spark thoughtful investigation on the taboo in question, as well as revealing how aesthetics can advance understanding on the subject being treated. Taboo: A practice which is prohibited by social or religious custom. Forbidding a certain association with a practice, a thing, a place or a person. Often associated with physical exposure and violence.


  • 3,000 € for the Best Project
  • 2,000 € for the Best Single Work
  • Final exhibition and awards in two gallery spaces in Florence, Italy, 15-30 March 2016.

By 10 January 2016, 3 finalist projects and 10 single works selected by the directors of Galleria Poggiali & Forconi, Florence, Italy, will be announced online.

Image requirements: JPG or PNG formats from applicants’ personal accounts in Celeste Network; at least 2,500 pixels on the longest side.

Online submission of digital photographs via the website.


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