Mari Bastashevski

Mari Bastashevski

Artist, Writer, Researcher

Mari is a visual artist, writer, and a researcher. Her installations combine texts, images, and documents to explore how secrecy within systems of state and corporate power contributes to the perpetuation of armed conflicts and conflicts of power between citizens and the authorities. Since 2010, she has been working on “State Business,” an interdisciplinary, investigative work that maps the expansion of the commercial cyber-surveillance industry, the rise of private military contractors in the Horn of Africa, and simultaneous transfers of weapons to opposing sides in regional armed conflicts. Her other ongoing series, “It’s Nothing Personal,” is a collection of PR material produced by global surveillance firms juxtaposed against the testimonies of those directly affected by their technologies. Her 2014 project “Empty With a Whiff of Blood and Fumes,” addresses the nexus of money, power, and organized crime in Ukraine. Between 2007 and 2010, she worked in the Russian North Caucasus on “File-126,” a work about the mass abduction of civilians under the guise of a counterterrorism campaign. Her works have been exhibited at Musée de l’Elysée, HKW Berlin, Art Souterrain, Noorderlicht, the Open Society Foundations, Polaris Gallery, and East Wing; and published by Prix Pictet, Time Magazine, The New York Times, Courrier International, Le Monde, IBTimes, and VICE amongst others. She was finalist of the first edition of the Prix Elysée, held a 2011 residency at the Cite des Arts, and was awarded a Magnum Emergency Grant in 2012. Bastashevski has contributed research for Privacy International, Small Arms Survey, and SIPRI. In 2016 she concluded her latest project: as an artist-in-residence aboard a commercial container ship. She is represented by Galerie Polaris in Paris, France and by the Stead Bureau in the Hague, Netherlands.

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