THE WINNER OF FORTHCOMING Artes Mundi Prize will be an artist of color. A shortlist of six artists vying for the ninth edition of the biennial prize was announced Sept. 24. The artists are Firelei Báez (Dominican Republic), Dineo Seshee Bopape (South Africa), Meiro Koizumi (Japan), Beatriz Santiago Muñoz (Puerto Rico), Prabhakar Pachpute (India), Carrie Mae Weems (United States)

The winner will be named in January 2020 during a four-month exhibition from October 2020 to February 2021 at National Museum Cardiff. The prize includes 40,000 British Pounds (about $50,000).

 


Artes Mundi 9 Shortlist, Clockwise from top left, Firelei Báez, Photo by Lia Clay; Dineo Seshee Bopape, Photo by Maksym Biousov; Meiro Koizumi, Photo by Sergey Illin; Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Photo by the artist; Prabhakar Pachpute by Photo by Sachin Bonde; Carrie Mae Weems, Photo by Mickalene Thomas

 

Based in Cardiff, Wales in the UK, Artes Mundi is an “internationally focused arts organization that identifies, recognizes and supports contemporary visual artists who engage with the human condition, social reality and lived experience.” Nigel Prince was appointed director of Artes Mundi in May.

“We are delighted to announce the shortlist of artists selected for Artes Mundi 9 who individually produce such compelling and distinctive bodies of work,” Prince said in a statement. “In prompting us to critically reflect on what it means to exist in this world in all its complexity, their practices speak to and engage with some of the most urgent issues of our time.”

“In prompting us to critically reflect on what it means to exist in this world in all its complexity, their practices speak to and engage with some of the most urgent issues of our time.”  — Artes Mundi Director Nigel Priince

The selected artists represent a diversity of practices, working in a range of mediums, addressing a variety of subjects:

    Firelei Báez makes intricate works on paper and canvas as well as large scale sculpture. Through a convergence of interest in anthropology, science fiction, black female subjectivity and women’s work; her art explores the humor and fantasy involved in self-making within diasporic societies, which have an ability to live with cultural ambiguities and use them to build psychological and even metaphysical defenses against cultural invasions. She was shortlisted for the Future Generation Prize 2017. Born in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic, Baez and lives and works in New York. Source

    Dineo Seshee Bopape makes playful and experimental works. Weaving together a variety of media, from video and installation to drawing, painting and performance, her practice focuses on the performative aspects of culture. Bopape engages the viewer with the explicit questioning of political and social positionings of the self and other. Drawing from her own experiences, she explores themes of sex, gender, and race in her dense and chaotic installations of brightly colored objects. She often incorporates plastic bags in her work, referencing issues such as waste and consumerism. She was the main prize winner of Future Generation Art Prize 2017. Born in Polokwane, South Africa, Bopape now lives and works in Johannesburg. Source

    Meiro Koizumi works primarily in video and performance. His works investigate the boundaries between the private and the public, between authentic and staged emotions. They often present everyday situations transformed into sites of tension, involving conflicts between duty and desire. Born in Gunma, Japan, he lives in Yokohama, Japan. Source

    Beatriz Santiago Muñoz is a filmmaker and video artist. Capturing the ironies of post-colonial conditions in the Caribbean, her works create connections between experimental film, ethnography, and theater, alluding to material, local, and symbolic histories. She documents specific communities and public sites to generate her own bricolage―an alternative story about a popular Haitian market, a toxic tropical flower, or a newly discovered archeological site in Puerto Rico. Muñoz was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she continues to be based. Source

    Prabhakar Pachpute works in an array of media and materials including drawing, light, stop-motion animation, sound and sculptural forms. His use of charcoal has a direct connection to his subject matter and familial roots: coal mines and coal miners. Pachpute often creates immersive and dramatic environments in his site-specific works, using portraiture and landscape with surrealist tropes to tackle, with a critical eye, issues of mining labour and the effects of mining on the natural and human landscape. He was born in Sasti, Chandrapur, India and lives and works in Pune, India. Source

    Carrie Mae Weems investigates family relationships, cultural identity, sexism, class, political systems, and the consequences of power. Determined as ever to enter the picture—both literally and metaphorically—Weems has sustained an ongoing dialogue within contemporary discourse for over 30 years. During this time, she has developed a complex body of art employing photographs, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation, and video. Weems splits her time between Syracuse, N.Y., and Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Source

The shortlisted artists emerged from a pool of more than 500 nominations representing 60 countries. The selections were made by a three-person jury. The panel members were Cosmin Costinas, executive director and curator of Para Site in Hong Kong and artistic director of Kathmandu Triennale 2020; Elvira Dyangani-Ose, director of The Showroom gallery in London; and Rachel Kent, chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in Sydney.

In January, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand) was announced as the winner of Artes Mundi 8, with Otobong Nkanga (Nigeria/Belgium), among the shortlisted artists. Previous winners include British artist John Akomfrah (Artes Mundi 7) and American artist Theaster Gates (Artes Mundi 6). CT

 

BOOKSHELF
“Carrie Mae Weems: Kitchen Table Series” is a special volume dedicated to the artist’s celebrated body of work made in 1990. The book features for the first time all 20 photographs and 14 text panels from the series and includes essay contributions by scholar Sarah Lewis and curator Adrienne Edwards. “Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video” coincided with Weems’s traveling retrospective which concluded at the Guggenheim in 2014. The Studio Museum in Harlem published an exhibition guide to accompany Firelei Baez’s “Joy Out of Fire” exhibition. “Firelei Baez: Bloodline” was published to accompany the artist’s 2015 exhibition at the Pérez Art Museum Miami.

 


Reflecting on her longstanding practice, American artist Carrie Mae Weems talks about influence—acknowledging her predecessors and recognizing the capacity she now has to empower the next generation. | Video by Artsy

 


South African artist Dineo Seshee Bopape, who was the main prize winner of the Future Generation Prize 2017, discusses her practice and first exhibition in Eastern Europe at the Pinchuk Art Centre, in Kyiv, Ukraine. | Video by Pinchuk Art Centre

 


Dominican American artist Firelei Báez discusses “Joy Out of Fire,” her recent exhibition organized by the Studio Museum in Harlem that was on view at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The installation explored her longstanding interest in the representations of Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latina women in visual culture and history. | Video by Studio Museum in Harlem

 

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