Ragnar Kjartansson shortlisted for Artes Mundi Prize
The shortlist for the sixth Artes Mundi Prize was announced today by Karen Mackinnon, Artes Mundi’s Director & Curator. It includes outstanding artists from eight countries including our very own Ragnar Kjartansson – The other shortlisted artists are Carlos Bunga (Portugal), Karen Mirza and Brad Butler (UK), Omer Fast (Israel), Theaster Gates (USA), Sanja Iveković (Croatia), Sharon Lockhart (USA), Renata Lucas (Brazil), and Renzo Martens (The Netherlands).
Karen MacKinnon said, “The selectors for Artes Mundi 6 have chosen an astonishing group of artists from an extensive, worldwide list of nominations. I very much look forward to working with them and to creating an exhibition next October that will give local and international audiences the opportunity to engage with some of today’s most exciting international artists. There will be artists from different cultures and generations, but all of them engage with the core of Artes Mundi’s vision: that art is transformational on a personal and cultural level. Looking at the amazing array of artistic practices we can begin to imagine an exhibition that will be challenging, playful, moving and, above all, emphasises the importance of art that challenges our perspective and enriches our lives.”
This years’ shortlist includes a diverse selection of international artists spanning different generations and cultures but sharing important global themes. These include investigations into the politics of institutional and urban space and social control in the works of Renata Lucas, Carlos Bunga and Theaster Gates. Sanja Iveković, Omer Fast and Renzo Martens continue this thread but more specifically address media representation and manipulation.
Many of the artists on our shortlist work in collaboration with individuals and communities. For example, Sharon Lockhart’s poetic films and photographs involve working closely with her subjects over a long period of time, whilst the work of Karen Mirza and Brad Butler questions what we mean by collaboration and participation in their practice which includes film, performance, curating and publishing. Ragnar Kjartansson’s work also involves collaboration, often with musicians through performance and installations through which he explores themes of friendship, human emotions, love and beauty. All these artists use a wide range of media, actions and strategies to comment on what it means to be human in contemporary society.
The shortlist was chosen by two invited selectors. Adam Budak, an independent curator currently based in Washington and Sabine Schaschl, Director and Curator of Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich, reviewed 800 nominations from 70 countries before finalising their choice. They particularly looked for artists whose work explores and comments on the human condition and lived experience.
Adam Budak said, “Artes Mundi offers a unique opportunity to acknowledge the artists who are engaged in a transformation of contemporary society by considering the urgent issues the world is concerned with and by using a language which speaks for both the individual on a subjective level and the community on a social platform. Focussed on site specificity and the topicality of interests, Artes Mundi’s artists bridge the gap between art and life, thus emphasising the role of art as an integral part of the human condition and humanity’s creative capital.”
A major exhibition of works by the shortlisted artists at Wales’s National Museum of Art, from 25 October 2014 to February 2015, will underline the scope of the Artes Mundi Prize. The 17-week exhibition will occupy almost 800 square metres of contemporary galleries and extend to Chapter, the Cardiff arts centre which first became involved with Artes Mundi in 2012, and to other sites in the city centre and across Wales.
As well as the Artes Mundi 6 Exhibition and Prize, an extended programme of exhibitions and events will also include collaboration between Artes Mundi and Mostyn, resulting in a major exhibition by Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin at Mostyn in Llandudno, North Wales, during 2014.
More information at www.artesmundi.org.