Gabriel Abrantes


Born in North Carolina, United States, in 1984. In 2006 he received his BA in Cinema and Visual Arts at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, in New York.  In 2005/2006 he studied at L’Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts, in Paris and in 2007 studied at Le Fresnoy Studio National des Arts Contemporains, Tourcoing, France. 

He often works in 16mm and his films deal with the friction in between idealism and desire, representing melodramas in global conflict zones: Liberdade is about impotence in Angola, Ornithes is an adaptation of Aristophanes’ Birds in Haiti, A History of Mutual Respect (with Daniel Scmidt) follows eugenics obssessed sex tourists in Brasilia, and Visionary Iraq (with Benjamin Crotty) is a camp studio set film about incestuous siblings volunteering for Operation Iraqi Freedom.


In 2010, he founded A Mutual Respect Productions, a film production company, with Natxo Checa and ZDB. They have made 7 short films and one feature film together, which have premiered at venues such as Venice Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, Toronto film festival, and been exhibited at MIT List Center for Visual Arts, Palais de Tokyo, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, and Centre Pompidou.  His films have won numerous prizes. Palácios de Pena won best narrative film at Ann Arbour film Festival and Chicago Underground Film Festival in 2012. Liberdade won the Film and Video Prize at the Locarno Film Festival 2011, and the Best Short Film Director Prize at Indie Lisboa 2011. A History of Mutual Respect won the Pardino d’Oro for Best Short film at Locarno Film Festival 2010, Best Portuguese Film at Indie Lisboa ’10, Best Experimental Short Film at Melbourne Film Festival.  Visionary Iraq won the New Talent Award at Indie Lisboa’09. He won the EDP Novos Artistas Prize in 2009 for his video-installation Too Many Daddies, Mommies and Babies.


Since 2002, he has regular solo exhibitions. List Projects: Gabriel Abrantes, List Center for Visual Arts, List Center, MIT, Boston 2013; Filmes de Gabriel Abrantes, ZDB, Lisbon, 2012; Histories of Mutual Respect, Centro Cultural Vila-Flor, Guimarães, 2010; ZAAL 5 Film Huis Den Haag, Den Hag, 2009.; Too Many Daddies, Mommies, and Babies, Lumiar Cité – Maumaus, Lisbon, 2009; Visionary Iraq, with Benjamin Crotty, Galeria 111, Oporto, 2008; 20-30 Experiments in Moral Relativism, Galeria 111, Lisbon  in 2008; Buttpocalipse, Galeria 111, Lisbon, 2007.


Gabriel Abrantes’ work has been shown in a number of collective exhibitions, namely in 2010: Dynasty at Palais de Tokyo and Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris France ; Reset at Fondation Ricard in Paris, France, curated by Christophe Kihm. His films have been shown in the Centre Pompidou, the Cinématèque Française, and the Centre Culturel Suisse in Paris, France.


In 2012 he taught cinema, at HEAD, Haute École d’ Art et de Design Genève / Geneva University Of Art And Design.


He currently lives and works in Lisbon and Paris.



Biography provided by the artist

Updated on 10 march 2016

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