“At what point does one stop being an immigrant and become a full member of society? … I had to prepare and pass ‘Life in the UK Test’, it’s an assessment programme that has been introduced relatively recently and it’s actually the last stage that all foreign nationals have to go through before being let to become citizens. … And what particularly interested me in this test is that while it assesses our knowledge it also determines whether people should qualify for the life of British Citizens or not. And by introducing this tests it seems officials have found a summary guide of what citizenship really is even though there has never been one accepted definition among the general public.” Kristina Cranfeld TEDxWarwick 2014 The “Perfect” Citizen
Ort Gallery is delighted to present a solo exhibition by Kristina Cranfeld. Born in Uzbekistan (formerly USSR), she is a London based artist and filmmaker. Her work is a combination of speculative narratives, performances and social experiments, which investigate and challenge societal and political systems and their impact on human lives.
Largely concerned with transition and human identity, Kristina’s work is presented through films, installations and photographs. She continuously experiments with these mediums, finding unconventional techniques to tell and capture compelling visions.
Kristina has given talks at TEDx, UCLA and Liverpool Salon. Her works are exhibited internationally and published by Dezeen, WeMakeMoneyNotArt, Grafik, The Line Magazine and Blueprint amongst others. She is a winner of the ICA Best Experimental Film award 2016 and her films are screened at a number of international galleries and film festivals including The Roundhouse, Berwick Film Festival, Bristol and Istanbul Biennales, and with her Manufactured Britishness film being added to the Live Art Development Agency’s library collections. Kristina is also an independent curator and producer, bringing to life visions and themes she is passionate about.
The exhibition on display at Ort Gallery from 16 February to 8 April 2017 is entitled In this perfect British Landscape… The show comprises video works, costumes, flags and work on paper that deal with Kristina’s own experiences from migrating to the UK. Her work is poignant, witty and surreal and astutely queries identity and citizenship and what it might mean to become British.
“In my narrative there is a set protocol for every action for what to do and how to live in the UK. So Britishness become manufactured, it become scripted and measurable. And here we see immigrants as an exploitable material, a living currency, compelled to sustain national identity. By using this engaging and rather artistic language, I wanted to highlight government absurdist conventions, contrived for acquiring citizenship, where testing reaches beyond common sense, how far Britishness can be assessed. Today we have Life in the UK test, tomorrow we might have physical assessments, what will follow?” Kristina Cranfeld TEDxWarwick 2014 The “Perfect” Citizen