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We are delighted to announce that the 2017 Festival Artist is Edward Hillel who shows his work Thinking Machine at MMX gallery and speaks at Urban Encounters at Tate Britain on the 11th September 2017.
I am an artist because it allows me to live the kind of life I want to live. I began photographing, writing, sketching, filming, and shaping stories to find my place and create my memory within the world. This need for equilibrium is counterweight to my own nomadic journey as an outsider looking in. Art gives me an opportunity to give back to society and that nourishes me.
My method is in fact my way of living and learning. Having worked as a community organizer naturally draws me into public space and discourse, to bring people together around a concept, an issue or a dream. I like to watch the process unfold, listen, read, conduct site-specific research, collect individual stories, note historic events, make sketches and write proposals. I stage situations using various direct and indirect, formal and informal processes – documentary photography, audio and video recording, collaging and manipulating archives, staging performative actions and situations – that are translated into my exhibitions, installations, publications, films and other projects.
Since the mid-80's my primary medium has been photography and photo-media. Over time, my production has evolved from black and white photographic portraits and narrative videos to creating hybrid "sites", images and installations employing photographs, videos and film, archives and found materials, projected sounds and reflective surfaces, works focusing on the individual's role in history and in time. These activities are always carried out within a framework of social engagement and collaboration, and have since evolved into a new medium and discipline called "Social Practice Art". I see my work as a form of Gesamtkunstwerk, a total engagement with the world I inhabit.