Artes Mundi 9







The UKs largest international contemporary art prize Artes Mundi will return for its ninth edition and accompanying five-month-long exhibition from 13 February 2021 to 6 June 2021 in three venues across Cardiff: National Museum Cardiff, Chapter and g39. In contrast to previous years, the winner of the Artes Mundi 9 Prize will be announced prior to the exhibition, on Thursday 11 February, the same day as the press preview. 

The Artes Mundi 9 shortlist was selected from over 700 nominations submitted by 90 countries and includes: Firelei Báez (Dominican Republic), Dineo Seshee Bopape (South Africa), Meiro Koizumi (Japan), Beatriz Santiago Muñoz (Puerto Rico), Prabhakar Pachpute (India) and Carrie Mae Weems (USA).  Previous winners of the £40,000 prize money include: Theaster Gates (2015), John Akomfrah (2017) and Apichatpong Weerasethakul (2019).  

Although the shortlist was first confirmed in September 2019at a time when few could predict what the world was accelerating towardsit is no coincidence that the artists all examine, address and question some of the most significant issues we are currently facing. Presentations of new and recent work centre on the devastating impact of histories of colonialism, environmental change, intergenerational trauma and healing, the aftermath and legacies of conflict, and ongoing concerns of representation and privilege. 

Dominican Republic-born and New York-based artist Firelei Báez explores Diasporic narratives, celebrates black female subjectivity and imagines new possibilities for the future through dynamic, fantastical and intricate paintings. Through a new immersive installation, South African artist Dineo Seshee Bopape materially and conceptually engages with place, history and the consequences of the trans-Atlantic slave-trade through objects, ritual and song, presenting art as embodying the potential for acknowledgement and reconciliation. 

Japanese artist Meiro Koizumis haunting video triptych Angels of Testimony tackles the legacy of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), dismantling cultural taboos and initiating healing by acknowledging shameful histories. Puerto Rican artist Beatriz Santiago Muñozs five film and video works poetically interweave to create a layered installation of non-linear narratives considering the histories and continuing presence of various colonisers on Puerto Rico, its landscape, people and culture. 

Prabhakar Pachputewhose family worked in the coal mines of central India for three generationsdraws on shared cultural heritage with the Welsh mining community to create an installation of paintings, banners and objects that harness the iconography of protest and collective action. Work by American artist Carrie Mae Weems, celebrated for her powerful engagement with Black and female representation, encompasses cultural identity, racism, class, political systems and the consequences of power. A new photographic installation reflects on the late civil rights activist John Robert Lewis within the context of the present, while a selection of large-scale pieces from her recent public art campaign interrogates the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on communities of colour while offering messages of hope. 


Nigel Prince, Director of Artes Mundi said: “Artes Mundi is a platform for diverse perspectives and voices that seeks to stimulate meaningful dialogue. As we live through and engage with global changes of significant impact, more than ever the work of all six artists speaks to and resonates with, the ideas and issues we need to address individually and collectively within our societies, concerning equity, representation, trauma and privilege. 

The shortlist was selected by a jury made up ofCosminCostinas, Executive Director and Curator of Para Site, Hong Kong and Artistic Director of KathmanduTriennale2020;ElviraDyangani-Ose,Director of The Showroom gallery in London; andRachel Kent,Chief Curator at Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia.   

Theycommented: “Encompassing painting and drawing, object making, film and video, the artists’ practices sit within the museum context and beyond; some transform public space and others exist as ephemeral iterations. Working against the notion of a centre, they reflect diverse global narratives in both exciting and thoughtful ways. These artists’ works reflect powerfully on the changing forces that shape our world – encompassing themes of identity and narration, social structures and collective memory, and industry and ecological crisis. 



Firelei Báez (b. 1981, Dominican Republic; lives and works in New York) has had solo exhibitions in 2019 at the Mennello Museum of Art, Orlando, FL; Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; and the Modern Window at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Her major 2015 solo exhibition Bloodlines was organized by the Pérez Art Museum Miami, FL and travelled to the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA. In 2017 she was shortlisted for Pinchuk Art Foundations Future Generation Art Prize, exhibited at the 57th Venice Biennale and in 2019 she was awarded the Soros Arts Fellowship. 

Dineo Seshee Bopape (SOUTH AFRICA) 

Dineo Seshee Bopape (b. 1981, lives and works in Johannesburg) has had recent solo exhibitions at Hayward Gallery Project Space, London; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Witte de With, Rotterdam; and Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany. Her work has been shown internationally at some of the most prestigious biennales, including the Venice Biennale this year, the 10th Berlin Biennale in 2018 and 12th Biennale de Lyon in 2013. She was the winner of 2008 MTN New Contemporaries Award and more recently she won both Sharjah Biennial Prize and Future Generation Art Prize 2017. 

Meiro Koizumi (JAPAN)  

Meiro Koizumi (born 1976, lives and works in Yokohama, Japan) has exhibited in major institutions such as MoMA, New York; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo and Tate Modern, London as well as major group exhibitions at Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Liverpool BiennialShanghai MOCA and the Sharjah Biennale amongst many others. More recently he was included in the prestigious Mercedes Benz Art Scope residency program in 2018. 

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz (PUERTO RICO) 

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz (born 1972; lives and works in San Juan, Puerto Rico). In 2017 she participated in the Whitney Biennial and her work has been presented at Tate Modern, London; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Pérez Art Museum Miami; and El Museo Barrio, New York. She was awarded the Herb Alpert in the Arts (2019), the Creative Capital Visual Art Award (2015) and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2017). 

Prabhakar Pachpute (INDIA)  

Prabhakar Pachpute (born 1986, lives and works in Pune, India) has exhibited extensively with recent solo shows at Clark House Initiative, Mumbai (2012); Experimenter, Kolkata (2013&2017); National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai (2016); AsiloVia Porpora, Milan (2018); and Glasgow School of Art (2019). He has also participated in group exhibitions at Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2013); Kadist Art Foundation, Paris (2013); MACBA, Barcelona (2015) and was part of the 31st São Paulo Biennial (2014); 5th Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial (2014); 14th Istanbul Biennial (2015); 8th Asia Pacific Triennial, Brisbane (2015); and Dhaka Art Summit (2018); 2nd Yinchuan Biennale (2018) and the 4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2018). 

Carrie Mae Weems (USA) 

Carrie Mae Weems (born 1953, lives and works in Syracuse, New York) is formerly a dance student of Anna Halprin with artists John Cage and Robert Morris and a union organiser in the working-class movement in 1970s California. Awarded a MacArthur Genius’ grant in 2013, Weems has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at major national and international museums including the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Frist Center for Visual Art. More recently in a New York Times review of her retrospective which travelled across the US before its final iteration at the Solomon Guggenheim Museum in New York, Holland Cotter wrote, Ms. Weems is what she has always been, a superb image maker and a moral force, focused and irrepressible. 

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