The video work 3 Continents (2010) shows Nástio Mosquito holding a speech, proclaiming that he bought Europe, USA and Africa. He explains that he bought Europe’s pride of a Europe that no longer belongs to Europeans. He also talks about Europe’s ignorance of contemporary consequence and ends with the comment that this time Bill Gates has no part in the purchase.
A primary motor in Nástio Mosquito’s work is the creation of characters – relaying their different perspectives in video works, public speeches and live performances.
In the video I am Naked (2005) the character rants desperately to the camera from a basement-like setting, appropriating the role of a mad preacher. ”Who here is” he yells, directly to the audience, demanding a power balance between himself and the viewer. He refuses to submit to the viewer’s gaze and denies the viewers right to judge him.
In 3 Continents, when the black man audaciously proclaims the purchase of Europe and the USA, it’s not primarily its property that is his interest, but the ideas that constitute European and American identity – the world view from which it understands itself and judges the world around them. In this way the work underlines the fact that, the right to define one’s own identity is something to be bought and therefore something an individual can lose ownership over.
Many of Mosquito’s works depart from a non-western perspective. He often deals with the specifically African and its imposed identity as a continent of poverty and illegal migration. In 3 Continents he concludes that he has bought Africa, but when trying to figure out what of Africa he has bought, the character gives up with a surrendering gesture: “Fuck Africa”, he says, as if there is nothing left worth buying or not already bought.
Nástio Mosquito is born in Angola in 1981. He has recorded several music albums in the name of Gatuno Eimigrante & Pai De Família. He recently opened a solo show in MOMA, New York and has previously exhibited at the Venice Biennial (2015), Fondazione Prada in Milan, ICA London and the Moscow Biennial for Contemporary Art.
The film installation is shown in connection with Amnesty International’s Human Rights Week, and the international project Question of Will.