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Multimedia artist Nástio Mosquito brought The Age I Don’t Remember, a one-off site-specific performance, to the ICA, London, on 6 November 2015. Commissioned by EMDASH, a philanthropic foundation that enables cutting-edge projects from contemporary artists, the performance celebrates the relaunch of the EMDASH Award. Having brought together new video and music work to create an immersive performance of song, spoken word, movement and visual projections, The Age I Don’t Remember was the artist’s first solo project in London.
Considered one of the most exciting artists of his generation, Nástio’s practice traverses video and music, performance and installation, with an intense commitment to the open-ended potential of language. Easily misread as a kind of world-weariness, his work is the extraordinary expression of an urgent desire to engage with reality at all levels; it is as funny as it is confrontational, as candid as it is ironic, satirical and cool. The Age I Don’t Remember positioned the audience within Nástio’s constructed dreamscape, surrounded by musicians, video screens – displaying text works and film pieces – and the mercurial artist himself. Utilising a mix of new and contemporary media, Nástio explored the perceptive realms of dream and reality, asking the audience to test and question the boundaries between the two.
Through his work, Mosquito guesses towards a future in which clear distinctions of perception and ‘self’ are either redundant or irrelevant. Interrogating definitions of art, race, politics or – as here – dreams and reality, Nástio incites the viewer to confront the limitations of language and to consider its power within the contemporary landscape, whilst urging them to validate and achieve their own, individual dreams. The artist explained:
“I want people to have a healthy relationship with their dreams and establish a clarity between dream and illusion. We all want to achieve things, to materialise our ideas; I’m not alone in wanting to make some aspect of dreams a reality. Sometimes functionality is detached from spirituality and dreams, and I don’t think this disconnection is a healthy thing.”
Andrea Dibelius, founder of EMDASH Foundation commented:
“EMDASH foundation is all about enabling artists to think big and realise ambitious ideas and new directions in their work. We are thrilled to be working with Nástio Mosquito – a truly innovative and deeply thoughtful artist of our age. His commitment to engaging people through language, music, video and whole environments – in ways so uniquely his own – is very exciting and we’re honoured to bring this new work to London at the ICA.”
Nástio Mosquito had been recently nominated for Artes Mundi 2016 and received the Future Generation Art Prize for 2015. He has previously exhibited and performed internationally, most recently at 56th Venice Biennale: All The Worlds Futures (2015) and with his first solo museum show at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2015). He has also performed as part of group and solo exhibitions at PinchukArtCentre, Ukraine (2014), Walker Art Centre, US (2013), Tate Modern (2012) and at the 9th Gwangju Biennial, Korea (2012).
This project was curated by Wedel Art.