Nástio Mosquito, Orario di San Ludovico at La Biennale de Venezia, Venice

Presented by Ikon and Nuova Icona, the Oratorio di San Ludovico will be home to a new video and performance project by emerging artist Nástio Mosquito. Mosquito, recently awarded the Future Generation Art Prize, comes from a career rooted in the broadcast industry, having previously worked as a cameraman and director. Born in Angola, educated in Portugal, and currently located in Belgium, the artist has an excellent world view, which comes through fantastically in his exciting and irreverent installations.

Mosquito’s theatricality is instantly visible in his video and performance works. He takes a centre stage role in order to express the ideas that occur to him. Mosquito mocks the human folly witnessed and manifested in modern everyday life through his use of mimicry, creating a distance between these characterisations and Mosquito’s own identity. He uses this very distance to his advantage, being able to express himself simultaneously as transgressive and cynical, cool and vulgar. The epitome of this tendency is his character Nástia, who is a know-it-all engendered by the Cold War, and pops up with a Russian accent in several pieces of Mosquito’s work.

The pieces on display are varied in media and all portray this irreverent attitude toward human nature and its foibles. His Manifesto (2008) presents a circular projection suspended above the floor, built around the words “Hypocritical, Ironic, and Do Not Give a ****”. There is also a new video on display, made by Mosquito in collaboration with Spanish artist Vic Pereiró.

The distinctions between popular culture and fine art are boundaries which Mosquito seeks to discard in his work, instead focusing on his own self-awareness in the art world. This principle sits alongside that of African politics, especially those surrounding Angola and its long history of civil war. Having performed previously at music festivals and visual arts programmes, Mosquito’s awareness of the sexual politics and rampant consumerism in his homeland feeds into his lack of concern with the categorisation of cultural identity within contemporary art.

Nástio Mosquito, Orario di San Ludovico at La Biennale de Venezia, 3 May – 26 July. Performance: Tuesday 5 May, 7pm.

See more at www.labiennale.org.

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1. Nástio Mosquito, 3 Continents (2010) Video, 7:45’. Copyright Nástio Mosquito.