Artist's Film International 2016. Art and Technology

Inês Grosso

Occupying the distinctive space of the Boiler Hall of the power station and to signal MAAT’s entry into the Artists’ Film International network, this exhibition results from a careful curatorial process to choose nine works from a total of sixteen. The works, by Eva & Franco Mattes, Igor Bošnjak, Igor Jesus, Karin Sander, Mateusz Sadowski, Rachel Maclean, Rohini Devasher, The Institute for New Feeling and Tor Jørgen van Eijk, focus on the complex relationship between art and technology — the theme of this year’s edition of Artists' Film International. In these works the artists use technology as a vast field for experimentation, and also as the starting point for a critical-epistemological reflection about the progress made in this field and its relationship with contemporary art.

The viewer is confronted with a plurality of problems, local realities and languages that are related to the exhibition’s theme; experiences that question and explore the humanisation of technology by art and the close relationship between art and life from the perspectives of science and technology. It is precisely at the intersection between art, science and technology that we find the dialectic between the old and new, past and present, and continuity and rupture. It is no coincidence that the place chosen for this exhibition is the Boiler Hall. The visitor is invited to walk through the space and discover the works, installed between industrial machinery from the 1940s and 1950s, in the context of a museum route dedicated to electricity production.

Launched in 2008 by the Whitechapel Gallery in London, the Artists’ Film International programme is a global partnership involving approximately 16 institutions. Every year, each member chooses a work by a prominent artist from their country, and then shares it with the other partners. The combined works are exhibited in all the participating countries, bringing together artists whose practices are deeply rooted in their individual contexts.