As part of the next generation of talent, 12 shortlisted artists push the boundaries of innovation, questioning the value that we place on ourselves and the world around us.
Exploring the wider effects of over-consumption, media stimulation and emotional disconnection, the artworks presented in the 2018 edition of the Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition (18 May – 30 September, York Art Gallery) call into question new modes of communication, offering reflection upon the era of post-truth, where human autonomy can be reduced to calculable, predictable patterns of behaviour.
The shortlisted artists for 2018 include: David Birkin (USA); Electra Lyhne-Gold (UK); Fabio Lattanzi Antinori (UK); Jiayu Liu (UK); Jukhee Kwon (Italy); Kenji Ouellet (Germany); Laura Woodward (Australia); Lisa Chang Lee (UK); Noémi Varga (UK); Peter Davis (UK); Reginald Van de Velde (Belgium); Shauna Frischkorn (USA).
A key concept in this year’s shortlisted works is technology; Jiayu Liu’s Ocean Wave questions how far digital worlds are encroaching upon organic landscapes. Liu’s work invites audiences to reflect upon our role as human beings and our emotional responses to the planet. Following the same theme is Lisa Chang Lee’s responsive installation Laughter Project which exaggerates and copies audiences’ reactions to reflect upon the overwhelming desire to belong in today’s society.
Considering the notion of individuality, Shauna Frischkorn’s McWorkers series measures the accountability of fast-food behemoths on a global scale. Through deeply emotive portraits, Frischkorn calls into question the environmental and societal impacts of the corporations behind the uniforms. Further highlighting the notion of representation, David Birkin’s Profiles addresses the way that contemporary conflict is depicted. In collaboration with the NGO Iraq Body Count, the project includes photographic transparencies generated from identification numbers, questioning the values placed upon humanity.
Running concurrently with the opening of the exhibition is the Future Now Symposium (17-18 May, York St John University), a dynamic two-day event that provides an imaginative platform for attendees to consider the arts ecosystem within a broader social, political and professional context. Holding talent development at its core, this two-day event is a hive of innovation and idea generation.
Topics for 2018 include The Value of Design; Arts Journalism in the Digital Age; How To Get Ahead as an Emerging Artist; An Examination of Post-Truth; Risk Taking in Curation and Diversity in the Art World.
A range of delegates from the UK’s leading arts organisations are in attendance including Tate, V&A, Frieze, VICE, i-D, It’s Nice That, BALTIC, Open Eye Gallery, PHOTOFAIRS, Royal College of Art and Serpentine.
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1. Reginald Van de Velde, from the series Memento Mori.