Gabriel Abrantes

Gabriel Abrantes (North Carolina, USA, 1984) lives and works in New York and Lisbon.


He has regularly shown his work at museums such as Salzburger Kunstverein (Salzburg), MAAT (Lisbon), Tate Britain (London), Tate Modern (London), the Palais de Tokyo (Paris), the MIT List Visual Arts Center (Boston), Museu Serralves (Oporto) and Kunst-Werke (Berlin), ICA (London), Lincoln Center (NY), Caixa Forum (Madrid), CAM – Gulbenkian (Lisbon), amongst others.


His films premiered in competition at the Venice Biennale, the Berlinale and Locarno International Film Festival, where he won the Golden Bear for “A History of Mutual Respect” (2010). Most recently, he was shortlisted for the Berlinale Shorts competition with “The Artifical Humours” (2016), which was commissioned for the São Paulo Biennale exhibition “Live Uncertainty” (2016), and participated in the 16th Lyon Biennale, with “A Brief History of Princess X” and “Les Extraordinaires Mésaventures de la Jeune Fille de Pierre” (2022). In 2018, his film “Diamantino” (2018), which he co-directed with Daniel Schmidt, won the Grand Prize at the Semaine de la Critique in Cannes. In 2014 he was a commissioned artist of the Biennal d’Image Mouvement - Centre d’art Contemporain de Genève (Switzerland). He received the EDP Young Artists Award in 2009, the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival in 2010, and the EFA Award at the Berlin Film Festival in 2014 and 2016.


Gabriel Abrantes explores cinematographic language in his films and videos – he writes, directs, produces and occasionally acts in them. The films confront historical, social and political themes through an investigation of post-colonial, gender and identity questions. His work layers improbable readings, twisting traditional narratives while flirting with absurdity, folklore, humor, and politics. Building on the appropriation of Hollywood genres, such as the melodrama, romantic comedies, the war film, adventure movies, etc., and stirring it with a familiar archive of symbolic references, popular culture and contemporary anxieties, Abrantes challenges the way these visual narratives have shaped a common take on History while eroding the frontiers of this conceptual repertoire.