Nástio Mosquito

Venezia - 02/05/2015 : 26/07/2015

Nástio Mosquito alla 56. Biennale di Venezia.


Comunicato stampa

Ikon and Nuova Icona are pleased to present a new video and performance project by Nástio Mosquito at the 56th Biennale di Venezia, in the Oratorio di San Ludovico, Dorsoduro.

Born in 1981 in Angola, largely educated in Portugal, and now currently living in Belgium, Nástio Mosquito is emerging to be one of the most exciting artists of his generation and was recently awarded the Future Generation Art Prize. Rooted in the broadcast industry, where he worked previously as director and cameraman, his practice embraces video and music, performance and installation

Theatrically, Mosquito takes centre stage in his work. 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. “Nástia”, a know-it-all with a Russian accent – a monster engendered by the Cold War – epitomises this tendency, and often makes an appearance.

Right: Nástio Mosquito, Nástia’s Manifesto, 2008, video, 410’ © Nástio Mosquito, Courtesy the artist
Left: Nástio Mosquito, Demo Da Cracía, 2013, video 918', Courtesy Nástio Mosquito ©
Nástia’s Manifesto (2008), a circular projection suspended just above the floor, is based on the keywords “Hypocritical, Ironic and Do Not Give a Fuck”. In Demo de Cracía (2013), the artist emerges in a studio to shoot a music video for his single. In front of a large green screen, he dances and performs before breaking into a speech on Angola and identity. The exhibition also includes a new video work created by Nastivicious - a collaboration between Nástio Mosquito and Spanish artist Vic Pereiró.

In a variety of ways Mosquito is an artist pointing us towards a future in which clear distinctions made between art forms, between popular culture and fine art, and the categorisation of cultural identities will have become either redundant or irrelevant. His self-awareness as someone in the art world sits alongside his concerns with African politics, especially those pertaining to Angola – as it deals with the legacy of a long and bloody civil war – sexual politics, rampant consumerism and other symptoms of globalisation.

Mosquito has performed at music festivals within the context of visual arts programmes – Biennale of Bordeaux (2009), Tate Modern (2012), Berardo Collection (2013) – whilst having a lively online presence, including an app, and a recently released album, Se Eu Fosse Angolano. Ikon presented DAILY LOVEMAKING, Nástio Mosquito’s first solo museum show from February – April 2015 in Birmingham. Previous group exhibitions include: 9 Artists at Walker Art Center (2013); Politics of Representation, Tate Modern (2012); and the 29th São Paulo Biennial (2010).

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication, with texts by Jonathan Watkins and Gaby Ngcobo.

2. Ikon is an internationally acclaimed art gallery in Birmingham. It works to encourage public engagement with contemporary art through exhibiting new work in a context of debate and participation. The gallery programme features artists from around the world. A variety of media is represented, including sound, film, mixed media, photography, painting, sculpture and installation. Ikon’s off-site programme develops dynamic relationships between art, artists and audiences outside the gallery. Projects vary enormously in scale, duration and location, challenging expectations of where art can be seen and by whom. Ikon is open Tuesday – Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays, 11am - 6pm. Admission is free. Ikon Gallery is supported using public funding from Arts Council England and Birmingham City Council. www.ikon-gallery.org

3. Nuova Icona is a non-profit cultural organisation dedicated to the support and promotion of contemporary visual arts. Under the direction of Vittorio Urbani, Nuova Icona helps artists to develop and realise a diverse range of projects often through collaboration. Founded in Venice in 1993, the organisation has mounted over 200 exhibitions including multiple national pavilions at the Venice Biennale. www.nuovaicona.org