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40 Under 40 Africa

Nástio Mosquito

28 September 2020

Luanda, Lisbon and Ghent

Running through Nástio Mosquito’s live performances, videos, installations, poems and music is the artist’s fascination with the power – and slipperiness – of language. Mosquito makes ambiguous, often provocative, statements about human experience and global politics. He examines the idea of an ‘African identity’, as constructed by the Western colonial imagination, and the strain this places on individuals. Mosquito’s most recent project, No.One.Gives.A.Mosquito’s.Ass, focuses on the question of what holds people back from achieving their dreams. The work originated as a performance with five musicians at the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019; further versions, featuring additional components, have since been presented at venues including Hangar in Lisbon and Tate Modern in London. The evolution of the project across multiple stagings is typical of Mosquito’s approach. In 2014, he won the Future Generation Art Prize. This was followed by a solo show, his first, at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham and another at MoMA in New York. In 2017, he was shortlisted for the Artes Mundi prize.

No.One.Gives.A.Mosquito’s.Ass.About.Trabalho.De.Preto (2019), Nástio Mosquito. Performance at Hangar, Lisbon.

No.One.Gives.A.Mosquito’s.Ass.About.Trabalho.De.Preto (2019), Nástio Mosquito. Exhibition view at Hangar, Lisbon. Photo: © João Ferro Martins; courtesy Nástio Mosquito, Hangar and Tate

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