South African artist Mitch Stratten brings the skills and visual language of commercials, video and filmmaking to bear on his art, in a career that explores areas of film, music and sculpture. Based in London since 2007, Stratten is originally from the Johannesburg ghetto and grew up in the mining capital of South Africa. His boundary-blurring films, which seamlessly combine physical performance, large-scale mechanical engineering and computer technology, have won him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records and more than a dozen international awards.
In his commercial work he invented what is known as a “timesculpture” when creating a film of the same title for Toshiba, 2008 - for which he re-conceptualised the majority of production processes involved. The viewer is transported into a space where time and place truly appear relative: multiple performers enact various activities and movements at different moments. They move in time-loops that start, stop and reverse. They act within one space, while interacting with each other’s space - all visible from a encircling 360 degree camera viewpoint.
Stratten’s projects unify the experience of the physical and psychological by challenging and exposing concerns in our perceptions and beliefs. His film-making centres on triggering emotions in reaction to spontaneous activity, which is estranged from the viewer with highly technical features. The work is couched in Stratten’s visual language gained from the world of filmmaking and music production - a pace and false familiarity with open narrative structures - that allow the viewer to be truly convinced by alterations of time within one film.
Stratten released the well-received album Nodern with record-label Sub Rosa, 2008, and has produced and directed various short films and an award winning skateboard documentary. His work has accolades from the New York Times Year in Ideas, D&DA, Cannes, Clios Awards, AICE, Creative Awards, DGA, Creative Circle, Hugo Awards, GTC Awards, Midsummer Awards, VES, Boards Awards, Campaign, and VVC. Stratten’s work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Applied Arts, Frankfurt.
Mitch Stratten lives and works in London.