Artists selected for the biennial exhibition are identified through an open call to nominate from anywhere in the world. Through their work, they express their relationship to our broad thematic of “The Human Condition” and lived experience in a variety of ways, from the poetic to the rhetorical; from the surreal to the satirical. Typically, artists we work with examine and provide critique surrounding such topical themes as socio-economic power structures and government, globalisation and consumerism, urbanisation, gender and representation, environmentalism and ecological change, but also reflect deeply personal issues of loss and anxieties about the future.
In order to establish the nature of the exhibition and shortlisted artists for the prize, we convene and work with a panel of internationally based curators who are chosen to review all nominations. In the past this panel would only deal with the part of the overall process and then a second panel of judges comprising other art world figures would be appointed to decide the award of the prize. For Artes Mundi 9 onward we changed this whereby a single group of individuals undertook the complete process as jurors.
The selection is rigorous, with the panel working with us to review hundreds of nominations before choosing the artists for the exhibition and hence nominated for the prize. On occasions, some of the selectors have been previous Artes Mundi judges, offering a valuable insight into the experience.