Artes Mundi winner Teresa Margolles
Mexican Artist, Teresa Margolles, has won the 2012 Artes Mundi prize – Wales’s biggest contemporary visual art accolade, exploring social themes from across the globe.
Margolles’ work focuses on the collective turmoil of the northern Mexican social experience, where drug-related organised crime has resulted in widespread violence.
Anonymous traces of past lives, burial and memory are drawn together in her practice. Since graduating with a diploma in forensic medicine in the late 1990’s, Margolles has examined the economy of death, whereby the morgue and dissecting room bear witness to social unrest.
For Margolles, sculptural installations and performance bring the physical reality of death to the fore. Activating the blind spots of our imagination, Margolles collapses the distinction between art and reality, as in her work for the Venice Biennale in 2009 where the floor of the exhibition space was mopped continuously with water from a morgue in Mexico. By means of artistic intervention, Margolles brings close attention to our relationship with death. This film, largely an interview with the artist, was made by Artes Mundi, when she was short-listed for the prize.
The Artes Mundi exhibition is on from 6th October 2012 to 13th January 2013, and features the work of the seven shortlisted artists from across Europe, Latin America, India and Scandinavia. You can find out more at the National Museum Cardiff’s website.
You can also watch this film which features all seven artists who were shortlisted for the Artes Mundi Prize: