Shortlist for Artes Mundi 7
The shortlist for Artes Mundi 7 brings together 6 international contemporary artists who directly engage with everyday life through their practice and who explore contemporary social issues across the globe.
Each artist brings their own unique perspective to work that explores what it means to be human in contemporary society. Whether introspective and deeply personal or engaged with broader social and cultural issues, each artist demonstrates the importance of art and culture in our everyday lives, challenging our preconceptions and opening up new ways of engaging with the world around us.
Futurefarmers is a group of art and farming practitioners founded in 1995 by California-based artist Amy Franceschini. A consistent line through Franceschini’s work reveals sustained questioning about how “nature” and “culture” are perceived. She uses various modes to uncover histories and currents related to this divide by challenging systems of exchange and tools used to “hunt” and “gather.” Her work manifests as temporary public art, museum exhibitions, publications, bus tours, public programs and most recently permanent public art. Her work has been exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Whitney Biennial in New York, New York Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Venice Architectural Biennale and she is the recipient of a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2006 Eureka Fellowship.
Bedwyr Williams uses multimedia, performance and text to explore the friction between ‘the deadly serious’ and ‘the banal’ aspects of modern life. Williams is known for satirizing the relationship between the artist and curator by creating absurd scenarios for them to appear in. More recently he has explored, through video, themes of dystopia and mankind’s significance in the universe. Williams is shortlisted for the Film London Jarman Award 2015 and represented Wales at the 55th Venice Biennale.
Video, in recent years, has become of particular interest after a decade working with spoken word performance. This new film work mixes media and involves collaboration using humour and bathos to explore issues and subjects including, our insignificance in the universe (The Starry Messenger, 2013) a hoarding dystopian future (ECHT, 2014) and buildings with odd angles (Hotel 70º, 2015).
Ghanian born John Akomfrah is a seminal figure in Black British Cinema and forerunner in digital cinematography. He has a body of work that is considered one of the most distinctive and innovative in contemporary Britain.
For 30 years the artist, director, writer and theorist has been highlighting the legacy of African diaspora in Europe by creating films that explore marginalised histories of European society.
Akomfrah was a founding member of the Black Audio Film Collective and he is well-known for films including The Nine Muses (2010), Speak Like a Child (1998) and The Stuart Hall Project (2013). In 2008 Akonfrah was awarded an OBE for his services to the British film industry.
Lamia Joreige is a Lebanese artist and filmmaker who uses archival documents to reflect on the relationship between ‘individual’ and ‘collective’ memory. Her work explores the trauma of the Lebanese wars with emphasis on her home city, Beruit. In 2011, Joreige’s work Objects of War, a series of video testimonials on The Lebanese Civil War, was the first major piece of Lebanese art to be acquired by Tate Modern.
Award winning French-Algerian artist Neïl Beloufa’s uses video and multimedia to explore and parody social interaction through subjects as diverse as extra-terrestrials, nationalism and terrorism.
Beloufa’s sculptures, assemblages, videos and installations use displaced, condensed or fictional images. These works exist in a world that parallels our own and delights in it, where the indicental surfaces as the subject, and where these subjects are as likely to meet as two submarines or two satellites. His moving image works look at social interaction and conversation. Set in often mundane or ambiguous settings his characters play out scripted events that reveal subtle consequences and intimate gestures.
Nástio Mosquito is a multimedia, performance and spoken word artist who often places himself centre stage in his work, using mimicry to explore global and African politics. He often assumes roles,through mimicry, in order to express ideas occurring to him, not so much as his own cherished beliefs but rather observations on human folly manifested in modern life. The distance between his actual identity and such characterisations enables him to express himself variously as being transgressive, cool, cynical, profane and vulgar.He is particularly well known for works that refer to the Angolan Civil War, as well as sexual politics, consumerism and other symptoms of globalization.