b.1976 Port Elizabeth,South Africa
Lives and works in Finland
2016 MA Visual Culture and Contemporary Art, Aalto University
‘If I could find the spot where truth echoes…’ How/is it possible to decolonise the art space?
– Supervisor Prof Nora Sternfeld
‘The thesis sets out to address urgent and largely neglected or even silenced questions concerning the contemporary art field, its structures and normative practices, in Finland. The blind spot of deeply engrained coloniality within the Finnish academic, artistic, and other institutional fields requires acute focus and the thesis is an invaluable contribution to this emergent debate.’-Dr.Taru Elving (thesis evaluator)
‘Christopher Wessels in his free narrative way of writing comes across as having a very strong command and knowledge of what he is talking about. The references to bell hooks, Frantz Fanon, Henri Lefebvre and others shows a wide range of sources the writers tapped into and from.In the case of Wessels, he goes deep into the South African history, social and political landscape through a formidable writing method reminiscent of oral narration. […] This is one of the best master thesis I have read.’-Dr.Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (thesis evaluator)
2006 BA Motion Picture Medium, AFDA
2017 WhoreMoans An Uncivil Memoir of a Rough Ride by Tracey Rose Documenta 14 (editor)
2017 Madame B Museum Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova, Turku (cinematography)
2017 Emma & Edvard: Love in the Time of Loneliness an adaptation of Madame B, in the Munch Museum in Oslo(cinematography)
2016 Co-curator Artistic component In-Between Education Conference Helsinki (Collaborative performance by Dope St Jude, Angel-Ho and Koko Hubara)
2016 Curatorial team Checkpoint Helsinki Chimurenga Library and Pan African Space Station as part of the ‘Remembering Silences Season’ curated by Ahmed Al-Nawas
2015 Curatorial team of Third Space, Mänttä Summer art festival.
2014 Madame B Explorations in Emotional Capitalism, Sala U, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Sede Medellín, Colombia and Sala de Arte, Universidad EAFIT, Medellín, Colombia
2014 Guest Curator, Simultáneo_06: Invisible, La Tallera Cuernavac Mexico, Proyecto antipasto Guanajuato Mexico, Third Space Helsinki Finland.
2014 (x) Tracey Rose, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Madrid Spain.(cinematography, sound, editing, performance)
2013 Madame B Explorations in Emotional Capitalism, Mieke Bal and Michelle Williams-Gamaker, Museum Sztuki Łódź Poland. (cinematography)
2013 Madame B Emotions and Capitalism,Mieke Bal and Michelle Williams-Gamaker,Vaal galerii Talinn Estonia. (cinematography)
2013 Antidote 6 Taking time Galleria Augusta Suomenlinna Helsinki Finland 2013 Territorial Pissing Art House Otaniemi Espoo Finland
LATEST FILMS IN FICTION AND DOCUMENTARY AS DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY (otherwise specified)
2017 Aland , Dir Thomas Germaine(Feature film currently in post production) AIM, Cactus Productions, Åland.
2017 Rafiki , Dir. Wanuri Kahui ( feature film currently in post production ), Big World Cinema, Nairobi.
2016 Action Kommandant, the life of Ashley Kriel,Dir. Nadine Cloete
2015 Reasonable Doubt, Dir. Mieke Bal, Amsterdam( DOP and co- editor)
2015 Johannesburg Pavilion, Residency Venice 3 films 3 artists 2013 Ijspaard, Dir. Elan Gamaker, Amsterdam
2013 Madame B, Dir. Mieke Bal and Michelle Williams-Gamaker, Cinema Suitcase, Amsterdam
2009 – to date, DOP, director, editor My Hommies Trip, a docu-concert of Kesivan and the Lights, in production.
2009 Democracy – Back to human rights, two part documentary 48 min, Paw PawFilms
2008 World beneath our feet, two part 48 minutes documentary, Co- director with Alan Willcox, Blacktip Media
2008 Atlantis, Feature length, Director Laddi Bosch, Idol Pictures
2008 ‘and the letter the children sent to god said’, Director Khalo Mathabane,UNICEF
2008 New York/New Brighton (Port Elizabeth unit),Director Shelley Barry, Two Spinning Wheels.
2008 June- Sept , in house camera person at Uhuru productions.
2007 Life’s No Methaphor, Blaq Pearl, Music Video,(also Director, producer, co-editor).
2007 Dirt, 60min television film, Director Elan Gamaker, Big World Cinema
2007 The Shaman’s Apprentice, 48 min documentary,Director Cathy Winter,SABC3 2006 Visa/vie, Feature Film, Director Elan Gamaker, Big World Cinema
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
Residency at SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin in Autumn 2016.
Chamber of commons curatorial Residency Hannasaari Helsinki September 2015
Accepted abstract “Action research on racism – a Children’s library archive intervention” at the fourth biennial Contemporary Ethnography Across the Disciplines, Ethnographic Imaginings: Place, Space and Time, 15 – 18 November 2016 at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. (together with Katarina Jungar, Faith Mkwesha, Amina Maluka, Camilla Hellberg).
NOMINATIONS AND PRIZES
-The short film Ongeriewe, was Finalist in competition court-metrage at the 2006 Festival de Cannes. (Wessels co- scriptwriter and Director of Photography)
-The short film Ongeriewe won an award for best South African short film at the 2006 Durban International Film Festival.
-The Monash University best newcomer award 2006 to Christopher Wessels for “innovative cinematography” in Ongeriewe, Durban International Film Festival.
– ‘If I could find the spot where truth echoes…’ How/is it possible to decolonise the art space?- Together with Ahmed Al-Nawas, Unpublished Master Thesis at Aalto University (2016).
– “Applying your antiracist curatorial toolkit ” (working title), in “Curating as an Anti-Racist Practice”. To be published in the framework of the series curating, exhibition, theory and practice at the publishing house of the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Editors Natalie Bayer, Belinda Kazeem, Nora Sternfeld (Forthcoming 2017)
– Decolonial Aesthesis Dept of Art History @ University currently known as Rhodes (UNCKAR)2017.
-Master class at AFDA South African School of Motion Picture and live performance March 2015, 3rd year writing students focusing on my experimental film praxis
-Teaching television students at AFDA in 2015, 3rd year and 2nd year students.
-Shelly Barry workshop at the gender equity unit at University of the Western Cape, Master class on my practice as a film maker.
-‘Fictional Faculties’ a lecture performance at the opening of “Whose History is it anyway*” exhibition Curated by Minna Henrickson and Nora Sternfeld , Aalto Arthouse February 2016
DUTIES AS EXPERT
Member of the Jury at the Helsinki Africa film festival 2013 and 2014
2017 Treasurer and Board member of Centre for the Advancement of Art, Culture and Learning. (TKOKry)
2017 Founding Member of The Museum of Impossible Forms in Kontula Helsinki.
2014 Founding Member of Third Space Collective/Gallery Helsinki.
2013-2014 Board member of TOKYO (Aalto University School of Art and Design Student Association)