Mikhail Karikis

Mikhail Karikis


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Academic Biography

Mikhail Karikis’s work in moving image, performance and sound has been searching for strategies that undermine dominant frames of representation and amplify the voices of those who may be unheard, unseen and structurally neglected. Circumventing the relationship between who is visible and who is heard, Karikis employs listening as a form of activism to orient his practice towards the unseen or the dismissed. Through sustained collaborations with individuals and communities located outside the context of contemporary art and who may be pushed into economic and socio-geographic fringes, he mostly develops participatory projects that highlight alternative modes of human existence, solidarity and action, while nurturing critical attention, dignity and tenderness.


Over the past decade, Karikis’s projects have employed the human voice both as an agentive political tool and an expressive material, and have addressed themes ranging from labour-rights to protest and the trauma of communal unemployment; the gendered transmission of skills; old age, disability and care; the use of natural resources and the ecological consequences of post-industrialization. In recent years, he has been collaborating with teenagers and children to explore legacies they inherit from older generations, including narratives of techno-dystopias, ecological injustice and economic recession. His projects tune into the dynamics of collectivity, prompt a participatory and activist imaginary and rouse the potential for project participants and audiences to imagine possible, probable or desired futures of self-determination and potency.


Exhibited, reviewed and featured in specialist and mainstream media widely in the UK and worldwide, Karikis’s work has been shortlisted twice for Film London’s Jarman Award (2016 & 2019), as well as for the DAIWA Art Prize (2015) and Celeste Art Prize (2013). It has been presented in leading biennials including 54th Venice Biennale, (2011), IT; Manifesta 9, Ghenk, (2012); 19th Sydney Biennale, (2014); Kochi-Muziris Biennale, IN, (2016); 2nd Riga Biennale, LT, (2020); 5th Mardin Biennale, TR, (2022);  4th Saitama Triennale, JP (2023). Recent solo exhibitions were presented at Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2018-2019); MORI Art Museum, Tokyo, JP (2019); Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino, IT (2019); Turku Art Museum, FI (2018); Aarhus 2017 European Capital of Culture, DK (2017) and Casino Luxembourg Forum d’art Contemporain, LU (2017). Recent solo exhibitions include a major survey show of his work For Many Voices at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, UK (2019-2020); I Hear You, De la Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, UK (2019-2020); Children of Unquiet, Tate St Ives, UK (2019-2020). Karikis’s forthcoming solo exhibition Ferocious Love will be presented at Tate Liverpool, UK.


Mikhail Karikis studied at the University of London, and holds a BSc in Architecture from Bartlett School of Architecture, (UCL); an MA in Fine Art and a PhD from Slade School of Art (UCL). He has taught in leading universities and art schools internationally including Royal College of Art (UK), Goldsmiths College (UK), Univeristy of San Paulo (BR), Aarhus School of Architecture (DK), Ecole Cantonale d'art du Valais (CH), Nederlands Filmacademie (NL) and elsewhere. Karikis is Greek-British and lives in London and Lisbon.



Education/Academic qualification

PhD, The Acoustics of the Self, University College London

Award Date: 20 Feb 2006

Master, University College London

Award Date: 1 Oct 1999

Bachelor, University College London

Award Date: 1 Sept 1997


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  • In Focus: Mikhail Karikis, Children of Unquiet

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