The Aesthetica Art Prize was established 13 years ago. The award has supported a vast number of practitioners who have progressed in their careers, gaining funding, residencies and commissions. Finalists have since been featured in both group and solo exhibitions at The Photographers’ Gallery, V&A, MOMA PS1, Barbican and the National Portrait Gallery, amongst others. This year’s shortlist reflects upon the global situation – actions, behaviours and developments that are changing society. This year’s Emerging Prize recipient is Chris Yuan. His practice looks into the messy web of human construction, nature and mythology.
The artist experiments with video, fiction, sound, design and performance to query political policy and social connections. Counterfictions uses Donald Trump as a starting point, as he builds a fictional wall in the public imagination. The film questions what happens when the world leans towards populism and conservatism. The sound architecture piece constructs alternative realities of ecological collapse after the construction of Trump’s border wall proposal. Layers of sound are combined with shadowy shots of arid landscapes. Facts and statistics from scientists, journalists and the President are referenced. The piece reaches a crescendo as a biologist tracks a genetically mutated species along the US Mexico border.
The Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition is on view at York Art Gallery until 5 July. Find out more here.
Images: Chris Yuan, Counterfictions, video, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.