Artes Mundi 7 questionnaire: Nástio Mosquito

As one of the shortlisted artists for the Artes Mundi 7 prize, the Angolan artist answers our brief questionnaire

By ArtReview

Nástio Mosquito, Transitory Suppository at Artes Mundi 2016. (c) Polly Thomas Nástio Mosquito, Transitory Suppository at Artes Mundi 2016. (c) Polly Thomas Nástio Mosquito, Transitory Suppository at Artes Mundi 2016. (c) Polly Thomas Nástio Mosquito, Transitory Suppository at Artes Mundi 2016. (c) Polly Thomas Nástio Mosquito, Transitory Suppository at Artes Mundi 2016. (c) Polly Thomas

Nástio Mosquito is a multimedia, performance and spoken word artist who often places himself centre stage in his work, using mimicry to explore global and African politics. For Artes Mundi 7, Mosquito presents the first installment of 'The Transitory Suppository’, turning on a fictional scenario in which a despotic leader of a country called Botrovia proposes what he sees as fast and practical solutions to world problems...

ARTREVIEW: As one of six shortlisted artists for Artes Mundi 7, you're showing at Cardiff's Chapter, alongside Lamia Joreige and Bedwyr Williams. Could you tell us a bit more about your project and what form it takes?

NÁSTIO MOSQUITO: There are such things as good bad badly goody good people. Just look in the mirror... One laughs about someone shitting their own pants, but if we take a moment to consider faeces brutalising their way out of any given ass hole, making its temporary presence felt all around one’s bottom; and, not wanting to be left out of it, gravity invites the putrid leftovers, of what once was a delicious meal shared with loved ones, to meet your socks... If one considers that cycle of tragic inevitable possibility, one can develop alternative positions on the journey of good and bad inside a human being...

AR: Artes Mundi aims to support ‘contemporary visual artists who engage with the human condition, social reality and lived experience’. How do you feel your work relates to that definition?

NM: Not sure... Do you think it does?

AR: Making work which reflects society as it is today can involve some of its most difficult aspects. What role do you think art should or could play in better highlighting or understanding these issues?

NM: None whatsoever... Or maybe an absolute role. Art is about what artists care about therefore its role is as infinite as human capacity for empathy with existing or invented realities... Art is weightless... Humans are not. Humans must, whatever it is they care about, position themselves. Art that reflects society sounds somehow redundant, no? Society will always be in the artist’s articulation by presence or absence, it’s inevitable... No matter what the individual definition one has of art I’m sure it’s always beyond the reflection... Art is the interior of all things social or not, visible or invisible, present or future... Maybe... I don’t know.

AR: What has the experience been like to be in a group exhibition such as Artes Mundi? Do you feel particular connections with the other artist’s practices? And what do you think could emerge from this experience?

NM: Unfortunately it was quite an intense time for all of us, artists and respective teams, I did not get a solid opportunity to exchange profound vibes with all, but the entire experience has been very rewarding. The people from Artes Mundi and Chapter have been absolutely great for and to my ego. They treated me extremely well... I’m honestly hoping that I have a chance to expand on some of the conversations I’ve had with different people of the Artes Mundi universe... I got the desire to see all of us continue to do what we cannot but do; out of passion.

AR: Artes Mundi is the largest art prize in the UK, offering £40,000 to the winner. Should you win, how do you plan on using the prize money? Do you have a particular project that you would like to use it to realise?

NM: I intend to buy five children back from child prostitution, and deliver them back to a more comfortable regime. Not sure about where it would make more sense to deposit their self-esteem. What do you think?

ArtReview is media partner to Artes Mundi 7. The winner will be awarded on 26 January at a ceremony in Cardiff. The prize exhibition runs at at National Museum Cardiff and Chapter, Cardiff, through 26 February