City Lives: Contemporary Art in a Changing World


City Lives: Contemporary Art in a Changing World 

Gallery 5, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

Continues until 2nd March 2014

Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives presents City Lives, the second in the Global to Local trilogy of exhibitions showcasing new international art acquired in partnership with Arnolfini.

Image shows: Meshac Gaba, Brazilian Bank

Half the world’s population lives in a city and it is estimated that by 2050 this will rise to more three quarters. The virtual ‘global village’ anticipated by Marshall McLuhan has become a physical reality as the reach of the city spreads to even the most remote areas. In City Lives artists from around the world chart the changing landscape, consumer culture, disaffection, subcultures and high hopes in a range of media including photography, video, sculpture and installation.

The exhibition brings together new acquisitions purchased in partnership with Arnolfini through Bristol’s £1million award from national charity the Art Fund, under their Art Fund International scheme. For the first time visitors to Bristol will be able to see photography by Iranian artist, Shirin Aliabadi, and video by Israeli artist Omer Fast, as well as new installations from African artist Meschac Gaba and Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari.

In addition, the show will feature new photography by British artist Sarah Dobai, acquired with support from the Friends of Bristol Art Gallery through the Contemporary Art Society acquisition scheme and a new commission from Bristol-based Anouk Mercier supported by private patron Simon Baker. City Lives also includes images of Bristol by Magnum photographer Martin Parr and the docks by British landscape photographer Jem Southam. City Lives presents artists’ visions of life in the city, from our dreams to our anxieties, our past and possible futures.

Julie Finch, Head of Bristol, Museums, Galleries and Archives, said: “We are delighted to be able to showcase highlights from our outstanding contemporary art collections. This has been made possible thanks to the support of a number of external funders including The Art Fund, The Contemporary Art Society and donor Simon Baker. Their generous support reflects a series of strong partnerships that Bristol Museums have developed with trusts, foundations and individuals over the past few years, which enables us to purchase and display the very best contemporary art for all our visitors to discover and enjoy.”

Visitors will be given the opportunity to meet featured artists from the exhibition with two special ‘In-conversation’ events developed by Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives:

15 February 2014, 3pm

In-Conversation with Sarah Dobai

British artist Sarah Dobai discusses her work with Steven Bode, Director of Film and Video Umbrella


22 February 2014, 3pm

In Conversation with Anouk Mercier

Bristol based artist Anouk Mercier talks to Gallerist Jack Gibbon about her new commission and career.


These events take place in the gallery and are free – however please book a place with curator, Julia Carver,

The exhibition is supported with a grant from the Henry Moore Foundation.

For further information about this and the other exhibitions on show please visit the website:

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