Another Leader: Act #II
© Nástio Mosquito
© Nástio Mosquito
© Rik Vannevel
© Nástio Mosquito
Another Leader: Act #II is a multimedia installation mixing humour, satire and social commentary. The central element of the installation is a film shown on an old television in a simple cafe interior. In the film, Mosquito takes on the role of A.L. Moore; an exaggerated character who embodies the antithesis of political correctness. We see him rehearsing a speech for his presidential campaign. In a razor-sharp and humorous way, the work gives illuminating insights into power dynamics and exercise of power, challenging traditional notions of leadership and authority. These are typical themes in Mosquito’s works: through a multimedia practice that bridges performance, music, video, installation, sound, and poetry, he explores current topics such as identity and social relations, as well as the complicated history and effects of colonialism, particularly in his homeland Angola.
The oeuvre of Nástio Mosquito is diverse. He works with multimedia, installations, performance, music and the spoken word. Mosquito is interested in people’s fictions, mythologies, and stories of history. Mosquito is often highly present in his own works, although never as himself. Through his artistic career, he has developed a set of fictional characters that show up in various works. He usually personifies roles that do not reflect his own cherished beliefs but are rather sharp observations about “human follies” occurring in today’s society. A.L. Moore is one such character, whose life plays out in a series consisting of films and installations in the fictional country Botrovia. In the world of Botrovia, stereotypical contradictions such as nature and culture, mind and body, animals, and people, public and private are scrutinized. With this universe, Mosquito explores the underlying mechanisms of a nation state, which is here personified by a public leader. The artist questions the actual intentions, motivations, and convictions of those in power as well as the role of the media, branding and the influence of commercial business and marketing strategies on the political system.
Other elements of Botrovia include its own coat of arms, propaganda posters and a national flag. Each of these elements carry an amalgam of layers of meaning and overflow with ambiguity. The embroidered, and therefore extremely fragile, coat of arms refers to landmines and also contains an image of Mount Everest and a mosquito. The national heroine of Botrovia, on the other hand, is Grisélidis Réal, a Swiss prostitute, writer, activist, and artist who, among other things, founded an association to give support to prostitutes in the 1970s. Mosquito’s message is always ambiguous and revealing, often shocking and constantly layered. Rather than providing answers, the works initiate questions that encourage dialogue, conversation, and reflection. Through the world of Botrovia, Mosquito invites the audience to question their own positions, actions, and beliefs:
“My challenge was to use the dynamics of politics and the dynamics of business to see if I can find life within that. Because I believe that one of the struggles that we have now, as citizens or organized societies, is to find the life within all these political and corporate decisions that we are both participants and victims of.”
Biography of A.L. Moore
A.L. Moore is a 42-year-old human, going for president of Botrovia. He went to the army and saw a few things … at least this is what he says. Proof regarding both his military and academic credentials has been highly questioned by his peers. What we know for sure, is that his father was a carpenter and a strong disciplinarian. His mother helped the family’s income selling fish at a local market. He has 8 siblings … he is very protective of them. He is a reasonably successful businessman. He started selling car speakers in Angola … some say not all the goods he was selling in the corridor between Namibia and Angola were legal … His big financial break came when he bought 16 full containers of fake leather wallets produced in China. The numbers are not confirmed but he has stated that all his freedom comes, literally, from his relationship to everyone’s wallets. He has investments in Hollywood cinema business, in oil drilling, and reportedly a few brothels in Brazil. His public life was always linked to his interested and support to cultural events and products. He supports many different non-profit institutions in different African and Asian nations mostly connected to the fight and investigation of cancer ... He claims his interest in politics is peripheral, what he really cares about is ending the malignancy that keeps mediocrity as a personal defense mechanism to an entire generation at his native nation, Botrovia.
The character, charismatically interpreted by the artist himself, was created in 2016 and has since then evolved throughout various performances, videos, and installations.
ChatGPT and Tuva Mossin Curate “Whispers in the Vault”: Presenting Another Leader - Act II by Nástio Mosquito
The exhibition is a unique opportunity to meet an important international artist mid-career. At the same time, in an extended sense, the exhibition is intended as an experiment in machine learning, and more specifically the chatbot ChatGPT. It’s ability to answer questions, translate languages, create art, and write texts and code has led to a heated debate in Norway and internationally. Many worry that the tool poses a problem to the education system because it can be used to cheat. The scope and quality of what the bot produces makes several professional groups feel threatened, including translators and journalists. Some also believe the artistic profession to be challenged by the new technology. So, what about the curator? A profession that requires both specialist knowledge, industry know-how and the ability to think creatively.
Can the language model ChatGPT substitute the curator? Based on this question, Kunsthall 3,14 decided to carry out an experiment: to curate an exhibition with ChatGPT as the only aid.
The order was as follows: find something to exhibit in the gallery space "the vault” that fits thematically with Søren Thilo Funder's project Oceanic Horror or How to Survive the Night in the Haunted Mansion of Absolute Capitalism presented in the large exhibition hall. The chatbot has been involved in the smallest steps in the process – from coming up with an artist to exhibit, to work selection, to writing e-mails, planning exhibition design, choosing titles, etc. A transcription of the sometimes effective, sometimes absurd chat log is available in the exhibition for the audience to make up their own opinion of ChatGPT’s abilities.
Nástio Mosquito is a multimedia artist and elucidator known for his performances, videos, music, and poetry that show an intense commitment to the open-ended potential of language. Easily misread as a kind of world weariness, it is the extraordinary expression of an urgent desire to engage with reality at all levels. A rising star on the international art scene, Mosquito has held solo exhibitions at prestigious institutions such as MoMA (2016), Fondazione Prada (2016) and Aros (2021), in addition to having presented projects at international biennials, including the 58th Venice Biennale (2019). Mosquito's work defies all attempts of categorization: using different media and characters, often in combination, he articulates tensions within geopolitics, political memory, body politics, power dynamics, and philosophy, not to mention the contemporary art market and art itself. The exhibition Chat GPT and Tuva Mossin Curate “Whispers in the Vault”: Presenting Another Leader - Act II by Nástio Mosquito will be the first ever presentation of Mosquito in Bergen, and the first time Another Leader: Act II will be shown in the Nordic region.
Listening session 22. April at Østre
The day after opening, on Saturday 22 April, Kunsthall 3,14 organizes a performative listening session at Østre where we break bread and listen to an excerpt of an ongoing sound project together with Nástio Mosquito.
Curators: ChatGPT & Tuva Mossin