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Santiago Mostyn 1981, USA

What does the word ‘miracle’ mean in our time? Miracle is associated with a religious experience, often with divine intervention; a transformation of that which had seemed completely hopeless into a factor triggering a wonderful outcome.

Santiago Mostyn’s light sculpture with the brightly shining word ‘Mirakel’ could almost be viewed as a contemporary omen. The sculpture is designed as a portal but could be passed by boat. Does the miracle occur? What can we trust – or hope – will happen? Does it depend on our own doings or is an external divine force making sure that the miracle could happen? The miracle could be about our own personal situation, the climate, or the many wars we pray will end in something good.

Mostyn’s work at this year’s OpenART is just as much a statement floating in the urban space as it is a question: are miracles possible, or do we create them ourselves by working together for change? Trusting in miracles is really the same as giving up the hope of actually being able to achieve something when we have reached the end of the road or a clear and inexorable limit; that is why we then rely on a miracle.

No answer is really provided – just a word that slowly releases different things inside us depending on our own life experiences.

Santiago Mostyn is from the United States but lives here in Sweden and is one of the hottest names of our time. His art is essentially conceptual and asks contemporary questions about things like identity, skin colour, borders and whiteness.

But he also asks questions from a historical perspective about the values and norms that over time embrace some and exclude others. He uses photography, installation, video, art actionism – in which he exposes himself and his body to trials in order to convey the difficult experiences of others (such as an escape over the Mediterranean Sea) – and a variety of other media to frame questions about ourselves in the here and now.