Artes Mundi 5 Conference – Social Contours: Art at the Borders

Date posted: November 16, 2012

Director of Orhan Pamuk’s The Museum of Innocence, Esra Aysun is amongst the speakers joining the seven Artes Mundi 5 shortlisted artists for a day-long conference Social Contours: Art at the Borders on Wednesday 28 November, National Museum Cardiff

The Conference takes place the day before the Artes Mundi 5 Prize, the UK’s largest arts prize, is announced. It forms part of the Artes Mundi 5 Exhibition programme, which presents the work of seven groundbreaking contemporary artists at the National Museum Cardiff, at Chapter and across the city until 13 January 2013.

The 2012 nominated artists are Miriam Bäckström, Tania Bruguera, Phil Collins , Sheela Gowda, Teresa Margolles, Darius Mikšys and Apolonija Šušteršič.

For UK audiences, this must-see show provides a rare overview of the international art scene. Occurring every two years, Artes Mundi is committed to supporting contemporary visual artists from around the world whose work engages with social reality, lived experience and the human condition.

In an increasingly globalised world where boundaries or borders are being configured, erased and redefined, artists can offer a vital and unexpected commentary on such events. Through art the values associated with subjectivity and identity, mass and high culture, remembering and forgetting, are often blurred and contested to become sites of resistance in pursuit of more expansive accounts of social and political life.

Social Contours: Art at the Borders is a one-day event in association with the European Centre for Photographic Research, University of Newport. It brings together the artists shortlisted for this years’ prize, the selectors and the curator of Artes Mundi 5 along with historians and critics to talk about their work. Alternative frames of reference are offered in three formal presentations from Dai Smith, Raymond Williams Chair of Cultural History, Swansea University; Alexis Nuselovici, Chair of Modern Cultural Studies, Cardiff University and Esra Aysun, Director of The Museum of Innocence, Istanbul.

Roundtable discussions will include artists Miriam Bäckström, Tania Bruguera, Phil Collins, Sheela Gowda, Teresa Margolles, Darius Mikšys and Apolonija Šušteršič in conversation with Artes Mundi 5 selectors Anders Kreuger (M HKA, Antwerp) and Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy (Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre and Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Caracas and New York) and Ben Borthwick (Artistic Director of Artes Mundi 5).

The day concludes with the world première of Miriam Bäckström’s play Motherfucker at Chapter, Cardiff.

On the morning of 29th November, there will be a follow-on event in the form of a plenary session, ‘The Morning After the Day Before’, at Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum, Wales from 10.30 to 11.30am with Heike Roms (Aberystwyth University), Nicholas Thornton (AC-NMW), Iwan Bala (University of Wales: Trinity St David) and Alfredo Cramerotti (Mostyn) in conversation with Russell Roberts (University of Wales, Newport).

The seven shortlisted artists are well known internationally. Each artist is exhibiting at least one major work and some projects are new for this exhibition or have not previously been shown in the UK. The work included in Artes Mundi 5 explores subjects as varied as drug violence in Mexico, reality television, the condition of workers in India and the social and political nature of urban living environments.


For more information contact:

Catriona Wright, Marketing and Communications Manager Artes Mundi
Email –
Telephone – 029 2055 5300

Notes to Editors
Tickets are priced £25 & £20 (Concessions) and are available from or telephone 029 2055 5300

Artes Mundi

Artes Mundi is an international arts organisation based in Cardiff, Wales. Established in 2002, Artes Mundi is committed to supporting groundbreaking contemporary visual artists from around the world whose work engages with social reality and lived experience.

In 2010 the Artes Mundi 4 Prize was awarded to Yael Bartana who went on to represent Poland at the 2011 Venice Biennale (June-November 2011). The first Artes Mundi Prize was awarded in 2004 to Xu Bing, a Chinese born artist living in New York. In 2006 the Artes Mundi 2 Prize was awarded to the Finnish artist Eija-Liisa Ahtila, and in 2008 to the Indian artist NS Harsha.

Artes Mundi is publicly funded by the Arts Council of Wales and by Cardiff City Council. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is principal sponsor of the Artes Mundi 5 Exhibition and Prize.


Established in 2000 as the Centre for Photographic Research and designated as European Centre for Photographic Research in 2008, eCPR provides a focus in Wales for high quality research in photography that builds on both its institutional heritage and internationally renowned scholarship. It aims to develop work that addresses both the cultural histories of photography and the contemporary issues and debates informing photographic and film-based art and documentary practices. eCPR builds on an initial pedagogical dynamic between art and documentary that grew out of the teaching of Keith Arnatt and David Hurn in the 1970s. This has evolved in order to have greater relevance to the shifting relationships and inter-dependencies between art and documentary.

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