Artes Mundi 8: The prestigious art prize is back in Cardiff

Following the success of Artes Mundi 7, awarded to John Akomfrah, Artes Mundi is pleased to announce the shortlist for the eighth edition of the UK’s leading biennial art prize, Artes Mundi 8.

The winner of the prestigious £40,000 Cardiff based Artes Mundi prize will be announced in January 2019 following a four-month exhibition of works by the shortlists artists. The shortlist was selected from over 450 nominations spanning 86 countries and includes five of world’s most celebrated contemporary artists, whose works explore what it means to be human. The selected artists are:

• ANNA BOGHIGUIAN (CANADA/EGYPT)
• BOUCHRA KHALILI (MOROCCO/FRANCE)
• OTOBONG NKANGA (NIGERIA)
• TREVOR PAGLEN (USA)
• APICHATPONG WEERASETHAKUL (THAILAND)

The Artes Mundi 8 shortlist will take part in a major exhibition which will run from 26th October 2018 to February 24th 2019 at National Museum Cardiff.

Anna Boghiguian’s work was first shown in Catherine David’s Contemporary Arab Representations, beginning in 2003 in Rotterdam. Attracting much attention and acclaim, her drawings also stirred political debate and controversy, especially in her native Egypt. Bouchra Khalili’s recent video work “The Mapping Journey Project” has been exhibited internationally including a solo exhibition at MoMA, New York in 2016. Each of her projects can be seen as a platform offered to members of political minority to elaborate, narrate, and share strategies and discourses of resistance.

Otobong Nkanga’s work “In Wetin You Go Do?” is part of the permanent collection at Tate Modern. Her work explores the social and topographical changes of her environment, observes their inherent complexities and understands how resources such as soil and earth, and their potential values, are subject to regional and cultural analysis. Trevor Paglen launched an artwork into distant orbit around Earth in collaboration with Creative Time and MIT in 2012. Paglen’s ongoing project investigates global state surveillance and the ethics of drone warfare. Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s video installations and feature films have won him widespread recognition and numerous festival prizes, including two prizes from the Cannes Film Festival. Themes reflected in his films include dreams, nature, sexuality, and Western perceptions of Thailand and Asia.

Artes Mundi 8 selectors, Nick Aikens, a curator at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Daniela Pérez, an independent curator based in Mexico City; and Alia Swastika, a Jakarta-based curator and writer, looked for artists who directly engage with everyday life through their practice and explore contemporary social issues across the globe.
Selector Nick Aikens said “Artistic practice, at its most compelling and enriching, allows us to see the world and our place within it from new perspectives. Each of the five shortlisted artists has consistently done this by pushing the varied media within which they work. I’m delighted we could put together a set of practices from very different contexts but one that shows the myriad, sophisticated ways artists are articulating and responding to some of the most pressing questions of our time.”

Karen MacKinnon, Artes Mundi’s Director and Curator, said “Artes Mundi’s unique focus on the human condition enables us to bring together artists from all over the world whose art can inspire and challenge the way we see and inhabit our world”.

“Through their diverse practices, they consider urgent themes, such as political minorities and strategies of resistance in the work of Bouchra Khalili, Trevor Paglen’s investigations of mass surveillance and data collection, explorations of landscape, nature, language, and displacement run through the work of Otobong Nkanga. The deeply personal and political studies of everyday life are captured in the work of Anna Boghiguian and the psychologically charged and dreamlike works of Apichatpong Weerasethakul whose films, explore sexuality, the unconscious and the natural world. The ebb and flow of their ideas, the different perspectives and terms of engagement, suggest we are in for an extraordinary Artes Mundi 8.”

For more information visit www.artesmundi.org