Occurring every two years since 2004, Artes Mundi is committed to supporting contemporary visual artists from around the world whose work engages with social reality, lived experience and the human condition. The work included in Artes Mundi 5 explores subjects as varied as drug violence in Mexico, reality television, the condition of workers in India and the social and political nature of urban living environments. The 2012 nominated artists include: Miriam Backstrom, Tania Bruguera, Phil Collins, Sheela Gowda, Teresa Margolles, Darius Miksys and Apolonija Sustersic.
Artes Mundi 5 is delighted to present the work of seven groundbreaking contemporary artists of growing
international importance, at the National Museum of Art under the roof of National Museum Cardiff from 6
October 2012. The artists are nominated for the £40,000 Artes Mundi Prize, the largest cash prize awarded in
the UK and one of the most significant in the world for recognising international contemporary artists. The
Prize will be presented on 29 November 2012.
This must-see show provides a rare overview for UK audiences of the international art scene. Occurring every two years since 2004, Artes Mundi is committed to supporting contemporary visual artists from around the world whose work engages with social reality, lived experience and the human condition. Artes Mundi’s nominee artists are already well known in their home country or region with growing international careers. Each artist will exhibit at least one major work and some projects will be new for the exhibition or not previously exhibited in the UK. Artists have been nominated for their body of work over the past 5-8 years and tackle a diverse range of ideas relating to contemporary life. The work included in Artes Mundi 5 explores subjects as varied as drug violence in Mexico, reality television, the condition of workers in India and the social and political nature of urban living environments.
The 2012 nominated artists include: Miriam Bäckström (Sweden), Tania Bruguera (Cuba), Phil Collins (England), Sheela Gowda (India), Teresa Margolles (Mexico), Darius Mikšys (Lithuania) and Apolonija Šušteršič (Slovenia).
As an organisation, Artes Mundi celebrates its 10 anniversary this year and will be including several new features for the fifth edition of the prize. For Artes Mundi 5, all shortlisted artists will receive £4,000 each and one of the artists will be selected for a 12 week solo exhibition to be presented in 2014 in the build up to Artes Mundi 6 at the recently refurbished Mostyn Gallery in Llandudno, Wales. This year will also welcome the inclusion of a people’s choice poll for the prize, allowing the public to vote for their favourite artist and work in the exhibition. The results of the poll will be revealed at the close of the exhibition in January 2013. It will be the first time this international contemporary art exhibition will be shown in the new dedicated contemporary art spaces at the National Museum of Art, which opened in July 2011. Artes Mundi 5 will also be the first prize and exhibition under the leadership of Ben Borthwick, announced as Chief Executive and Artistic Director in 2010 after working for seven years at Tate Modern.
Swedish artist Miriam Bäckström first emerged as a conceptual photographer in the 1990s. Her ongoing practice explores the way stories are told, and processes of creating and recreating memory using photography, text, theatre and video. At the 51 Venice Biennale in 2005, she represented Sweden in collaboration with Carsten Höller. This resulted in the production of a sound installation entitled ‘Amplified Pavilion’ in which external sounds were transmitted inside the space of the empty pavilion in real time aiming to emphasise the experience of presence for the audience.
Through an interdisciplinary practice spanning installation, social intervention and performance, Cuban artist Tania Bruguera explores the role art can play in daily political life, shedding light on the individual’s conception of self as part of collective social memory. She is known to UK audiences for a seemingly spontaneous performance project in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall involving riot police on horses who employed crowd control techniques to move the audience around the space. In 2010, she began a five year project ‘Immigrant Movement International,’ based in Queen’s, NY, which seeks to redefine the immigrant as a global citizen and to stimulate artists to create works that actively engage with social, political, and scientific issues. Bruguera will be presenting work based on this project in a residency at Tate Modern from 30 July – 15 August 2012 and running workshops on 4-8 July 2012 as part of the Hayward Gallery’s ‘Wide Open School’. In his practice, which includes film, photography, installation and live events, Berlin-based British artist Phil Collins explores the nuances of social relations in a range of locations and global communities. He often subverts the conventions of video art and documentary to focus on the inherent contradictions of individual and collective systems of representation. For his contribution to the Turner Prize exhibition of 2006 he created a fully functioning studio in the galleries at Tate Britain to house his production company, ‘Shady Lane Productions.’ Within these studios workers produced ‘The Return of the Real,’ a documentary about people whose lives were ruined by their appearances on reality TV shows.
Indian artist Sheela Gowda’s practice focuses on the current social and cultural reality of India. Originally trained as a painter, Gowda has developed a sculptural practice that explores materials and traditions located within a network of production and distribution and framed in relation to India’s socio-political legacy. In her sculptural work ‘Behold,’ for the 2009 Venice Biennale, she explored the exploited economic and cultural role of local women through materials. Black ropes hanging down the gallery wall were constructed out of human hair that had been shaved off of the heads of women as part of a ritual offering at Tirupati’s temples in Southern India and tied to disused car bumpers.
Teresa Margolles’ work focuses on Northern Mexican social experience where drug-related crime has resulted in widespread violence and murder. Since graduating with a diploma in forensic medicine, Margolles has examined the economics of death and her sculptural interventions and performances often bring the physical reality and materiality of death to the fore. For the 2009 Venice Biennale, she created an artistic intervention in which the floor of the Mexican pavilion was mopped with water used to wash dead bodies in the morgue in Mexico.
For Lithuanian conceptual artist Darius Mikšys’ the process of curating and installing work, in other words exhibition-making, allows him to re-think the processes that are involved in making, displaying and engaging with art to present new narratives and concepts. For a long time the artist referred to his work as ‘just projects’ as opposed to art and much of his work is based on creating social networks and bringing people together to create performances and shared experiences. For his first solo exhibition – Lithuanian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011 - Mikšys invited all Lithuanian artists who had received European grants to submit a work for his project entitled ‘Behind the White Curtain’. Visitors to the pavilion were able to select the works they wished to see on display, enabling them to curate their own displays of Lithuanian art resulting in a continuously changing narrative of collective and individual Lithuanian identity. Mikšys will also be presenting workshops on 29-30 June 2012 as part of the Hayward Gallery’s ‘Wide Open School.’
Slovenian artist and architect Apolonija Šušteršič’s cross-disciplinary practice starts with a phenomenological study of space and expands its investigation to the social and political nature of living environments. For the ‘Moderna Exhibition’ at Moderna Museet in 2010 she presented a study she carried out in preparation to create a public art work for a housing estate Hustadt in Bochum, Germany. As part of her study, she developed workshops with members of the diverse local community, leading to the idea to produce a “Community Pavilion” which would form a natural meeting place, and included such elements as an outdoor kitchen, a local cinema and information centre.
Artes Mundi has worked with artists, galleries, art institutions, curators and the British Council to invite nominations as part of an open call. Artes Mundi 5 received more than 750 nominations. These were then reviewed by two independent selectors Sofia Hernandez Chong Cuy and Anders Kreuger to narrow the list down to the final seven artists. An international judging panel made up of five judges, to be announced in September 2012, will award the £40,000 prize on 29 November 2012 at an evening ceremony at National Museum Cardiff.
Ben Borthwick, Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Artes Mundi said:
“I am very excited by a number of new initiatives for the first Artes Mundi under my direction. These will include new artworks, commissioned for the exhibition, alongside important pieces that have not been widely seen before. Performance plays an important role in the practices of many of the shortlisted artists, and will be central to the exhibition in the new galleries at the National Museum of Art. These new directions will enrich the exhibition and the experience of audiences.”
Bank of America Merrill Lynch is principal sponsor of the Artes Mundi 5 Exhibition and Prize this year. As a company with employees and clients in more than 100 markets around the world, Bank of America Merrill Lynch is committed to a diverse programme of cultural support. Its art and culture platform is a key element of the company’s broader corporate responsibility strategy which seeks to develop substantive solutions for social and environmental challenges.
Rena De Sisto, Global Arts and Culture Executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch commented: “We wish to congratulate Artes Mundi for attracting a significant number of high calibre artists and for facilitating this exhibition against the backdrop of a tough economic year. Our involvement in the arts is designed to engage communities in creative ways in order to build mutual respect and understanding; to strengthen institutions that contribute to local economies; and to fulfil our responsibilities as a major corporation with global reach.”
Nicholas Thornton, Head of Modern and Contemporary Art, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales said:
"Amgueddfa Cymru is delighted to have been involved with Artes Mundi since its inception, working in partnership to bring this internationally important exhibition to Wales. The seven artists selected for Artes Mundi 5 and the themes explored in their work promises to deliver a very exciting exhibition for visitors to the Museum. Our partnership with Artes Mundi is instrumental in developing new audiences for contemporary art in Wales and helping to raise the international profile of National Museum Cardiff.”
About Artes Mundi: Artes Mundi is an international arts organisation based in Cardiff, Wales. Established in 2002, Artes Mundi is committed to supporting groundbreaking contemporary visual artists from around the world whose work engages with social reality and lived experience.
In 2010 the Artes Mundi 4 Prize was awarded to Yael Bartana who went on to represent Poland at the 2011 Venice Biennale (June-November 2011). The first Artes Mundi Prize was awarded in 2004 to Xu Bing, a Chinese born artist living in New York. In 2006 the Artes Mundi 2 Prize was awarded to the Finnish artist Eija- Liisa Ahtila, and in 2008 to the Indian artist NS Harsha.
Artes Mundi is publicly funded by the Arts Council of Wales and by Cardiff City Council. Other funders include The Colwinston Charitable Trust, The Derek Hill Foundation, The Myristica Trust and the Waterloo Foundation. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is principal sponsor of the Artes Mundi 5 Exhibition and Prize. About Ben Borthwick: Ben Borthwick was appointed Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Artes Mundi in 2010. He is a curator and writer who specialises in international contemporary art, with particular focus on sound and socially engaged practices. During seven years at Tate Modern (2003-10) he curated exhibitions including Gilbert & George, Latifa Echakhch, Rodchenko and Popova, The Irresistible Force and Rosa Barba, and worked closely with Bruce Nauman and Doris Salcedo on their Turbine Hall commissions for the Unilever Series. In 2010 he initiated Latitude Contemporary Art, a programme of commissions for the music and arts festival which he continues to co-curate. Prior to Tate, he worked on a number of public art projects with Artangel, Liverpool Biennial and Henry Moore Foundation. He writes regularly for exhibition catalogues and artist publications and was a regular contributor to The Wire music magazine from 1998 to 2008.
About Wales’ National Museum of Art: Wales’s National Museum of Art opened on 9 July 2011, showcasing the full range of the nation’s world-class art collection under one roof at National Museum Cardiff. For the first time, the National Museum’s mix of fine and applied art, from the historic to the contemporary, is shown in a single series of integrated galleries, giving a new visibility to art in Wales and to the art of Wales. The West Wing – six impressive new contemporary art galleries – is the biggest space of its kind in Wales. Previously, the Museum had only one gallery to display its range of modern and contemporary art, which is one of the UK’s most important collections. This development gives the Museum nearly 800 square metres more space to show the strength and range of art produced in Wales since the 1950s, and how this relates to the international scene.
About Bank of America Merrill Lynch and the Arts: Developing substantive solutions for social and environmental challenges is at the core of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s mission, and the arts and culture platform is a key component of the company’s integrated corporate responsibility strategy. Bank of America Merrill Lynch helps a broad spectrum of arts programmes thrive, encompassing sponsorships, community grants and loans to museums from the company’s own art collection. The Bank of America Merrill Lynch Art Conservation Project provides grants for the restoration of paintings, sculptures, archaeological or architectural pieces that are significant to the cultural heritage of a country or region or important to the history of art in order to preserve them for future generations.
Current and upcoming sponsorships also include, Americans in Florence: Sargent and the American Impressionists at the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence (March – July 2012), Jeff Koons: The Painter & The Sculptor at Schirn Kunsthalle and the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, Frankfurt (June – September 2012) and Roy Lichtenstein at Tate Modern, London, opening in February 2013. The company is Season Sponsor of the Old Vic Theatre in London, as well as Global Sponsor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which travelled to Russia and Italy this year.
Through the company’s Art in Our Communities programme, the Bank of America Collection has been converted into a unique community resource from which museums and non-profit galleries may borrow complete or customised exhibitions at no cost. This helps to secure vital revenue for those institutions that may lack sufficient resources to fully curate and manage exhibitions on their own, and also guarantees that the collection is shared with as wide an audience as possible. Since its launch in late 2008, more than 50 exhibitions have been loaned to museums around the world. Shows in 2012 include Conversations at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) in Dublin, Shared Space, part of PhotoEspaña 2012, at the Real Jardín Botánico in Madrid (June – July 2012), Andy Warhol: The Portfolios at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London (June – September 2012) travelling to the Museo del Novecento in Milan in October 2013, and Gaze: The Changing Face of Portrait Photography, at Istanbul Modern Museum (October 2012 - January 2013). Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/opportunity and follow us on Twitter at @BofA_Community. For more Bank of America news, visit the Bank of America newsroom.
Image: © Tania Brugera, Taitlin's Whispers #5 (2008)
For further information, interview requests and images, please contact:
Jenny McVean | Account Manager, Sutton PR
T +44 (0) 207 1833577
Lleucu Cooke | Communications Officer
Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales
T +44 (0)29 2057 3175
Or visit: www.artesmundi.org/press-room
Prize Awarded: 29 November 2012
National Museum Cardiff
Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP
10.00am - 5.00pm Tuesday-Sunday.
Galleries close at 4:45pm.
Open Most Bank Holiday Mondays.
Children under 11 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.