Choosing the Final Eight; Final Eight Levent Ialikog. Lu Is Chief Curator of Istanbul Museum of Modern Art and Selector of Artes Mundi 4. His Coselector Is Viktor Misiano, a Russian Freelance Curator and Writer They Give Their Insight into the Difficult Task of Choosing the Final Eight Artists from Their Research and 500 Nominations from around the Globe
A strong and critical view - Levent Ialikog. lu As much as the transformation in global economy and politics has been powerful, contemporary art's response to this transformation has been just as sharp.
Today, contemporary art carries in itself many possibilities that arise within the big transformation. This process, in which a new kind of artist, one who travels extensively and lives in different cities of the world, has emerged, is happening during a period in which contemporary art has become more deeply involved in society's problems.
All the artists chosen for Artes Mundi this year have realised works of art pointing at new social relationships from a political viewpoint in a world that has lost its bearings. These are not innocent narratives: they search for symbols drawn from the subconscious and the ways in which culture internalises these symbols. These artists produce with an awareness of our lost status in the uncertain production and consumption of culture and also in the belief that they are working towards a new era. In a time when hopelessness and hope itself go hand in hand, they describe the pain created by constant change. The tension of uncertainties in political changes, insecurities in human relationships, the loss of belonging and disintegration of identity are related subjects that they choose to tackle. Some use oral history to transfer memories; some transform the tension in human relations with a poetic attitude. These artists not only offer a new look at the relationships of power, but also address the problem of loss of feelings and attachments in the new social and economic order.
Artes Mundi plays a strong, confident and powerful mission in this transformation. It believes in artists who comment on the global political transformation and exhibits their works without hesitation. This choice might seem to be focusing on the opposite of the big, glamorous popular scene, but I can say this confidently now: all who see this exhibition will be interested in the subjects dealt with by the chosen artists.
Artes Mundi is the home of the zeitgeist of today. It is both an honour and a pleasure for me to be a selector for this powerful, dynamic prize.
I choose. He/she chooses. They choose - Viktor Misiano Contemporary ideologists assure us that choice is the defining characteristic of our era. …