Many visitors have been touched by Mikhail Karikis’ video Children of Unquiet, which is currently on view in our basement. We are happy to invite you to an artist talk with Karikis on Thursday 21 June at 7:30pm. His immersive audio-visual installations and performances emerge from the artist’s long-standing investigation of the voice as a sculptural material and a socio-political agent. He often collaborates with communities and his works highlight alternative modes of human existence, solidarity and action.
In his film ‘Children of Unquiet’ (2014), Mikhail Karikis orchestrates a children’s ‘take over’ of an uninhabited workers’ village in Italy centering on the children’s aural and physical interventions. The work features forty-five children who are growing up around a deserted industrial village, abandoned by their parents after the complete automation of the local geothermal power plant where they all worked. The site is in the Devil’s Valley in Tuscany, known for inspiring the hellish descriptions of Dante’s Inferno and for being the place where the first sustainable energy power plant in the world was built. In Karikis’s video, youngsters between five and twelve years old seize the depopulated sites, transforming the vaporous wasteland into a self-organized school and a playground.
During the talk, we will also screen ‘Ain’t Got No Fear’ (2016), a project which the artist created with a group of teenagers who are growing up in the militarized post-industrial marshland of the Isle of Grain in Kent. In response to the isolation of their village and the lack of space for teenagers, in the last few years, kids have been organizing raves in a local wood, recently raided by the police. Using as their beat the persistent crushing noises of the demolition of a neighboring power plant, 11 to 13-year-old boys from Grain sing a rap song they wrote about their lives, recalling memories of being younger and imagining their old age and future.
About the artist
Mikhail Karikis is a Greek/British artist based in London and Lisbon. His work embraces moving image, sound and other media to create immersive audio-visual installations and performances which emerge from his long-standing investigation of the voice as a sculptural material and a socio-political agent. He often collaborates with communities and his works highlight alternative modes of human existence, solidarity and action. Karikis has performed internationally including at Royal Opera House Covent Garden, London, and Barbican Theatre, London. His sound works have been published world-wide by Bjork, DJ Spooky, UNICEF, MIT and on Sub Rosa records, and broadcast on most major European national radio stations including the BBC Radio 3, RAI3 and Radio France. He holds academic and research positions at the University of Brighton and Royal College of Art, London. Shortlisted for the 2016 Film London Jarman Award, UK, and the 2015 Daiwa Art Prize, UK-JP, Karikis exhibits widely in museums and international biennials including Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016, IN; British Art Show 8, UK (2015-2017); Steirischer Herbst, AT (2015); 5th Thessaloniki Biennale, GR (2015); 19th Biennale of Sydney, AU (2014); Mediacity Seoul/SeMA Biennale, Seoul, KR (2014); Videonale 14, Kunstmusuem Bonn, DE (2013); 2nd Aichi Triennale, Nagoya, JP (2013); Manifesta 9, Ghenk, BE (2012); Danish Pavilion 54th Venice Biennale, IT (2011). Solo exhibitions include The Chalk Factory, Aarhus 2017 European Capital of Culture, DK (2017); Love Is the Institution of Revolution, Casino Luxembourg Forum d’art Contemporain, LU (2017); Children of Unquiet, Carroll/Fletcher Gallery, London UK (2015-2016); The Endeavour, The Gallery at Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle UK (2015); Children of Unquiet, Villa Romana, Florence, IT (2014); SeaWomen, Arnolfini, Bristol, UK (2013).