29 January 2016
15 May 2016
Nástio Mosquito is a multimedia artist whose practice cuts across the fields of performance and installation, confronting a variety of cultural stereotypes while featuring himself as a central character in order to problematize his own identity as well as that of his audience. Featuring himself in his own pieces, Mosquito uses identity to examine how “human folly” manifests itself in modern life.
Mosquito’s work is not easy to categorize. In METANOEO, his first solo exhibition in Spain, he employs popular language, music and news imagery to explore the tensions underlying politics, contemporary life, philosophy, curatorial practice and the global art market. The result is a funny, cool, cynical, profane and vulgar body of work that embraces cinema, music, theatrical performance, video and installation which is bound to leave no one indifferent.
In many ways Mosquito points us towards a future in which there are no longer any clear distinctions between art forms, or between popular culture and fine art, and indeed the very categorization of cultural identities will have become irrelevant. His self-awareness as an art-world agent sits alongside his concerns with African politics, especially those pertaining to Angola—as it deals with the legacy of a long and bloody civil war—sexual politics, rampant consumerism and other symptoms of globalization.
Rooted in the broadcast industry, where Mosquito worked as a director and cameraman, his practice is underwritten by extraordinary energy, intelligence and wit. Frequently appearing in concerts and music festivals, Mosquito has also performed within the context of visual arts programs and maintains a lively online presence.
Mosquito takes center stage in his work. He often takes on roles, through mimicry, in order to express ideas occurring to him, not so much as his own cherished beliefs but rather observations on the contradictions of human behavior, so patent in our modern life. The distance between his actual identity and these characteristics enables him to express himself variously as transgressive, cool, cynical, profane and vulgar. Through complex vignettes redolent of a long-standing tradition of recited poetry and musical improvisation, he offers us an alternative way of experiencing art and the tense realities of our globalized society.
A recurring character in his work is Nástia, Mosquito’s know-it-all alter ego with a fake Russian accent, a true monster engendered by the Cold War that epitomizes all those adjectives to perfection. Nástio appears in his work, offering a contradictory portrait of the artist and thereby suggesting a constant state of ambivalence. The artist describes this duality and his alternative identity as “a way to create space … to provoke you to see things in a different way”.