Josefin Arnell

Josefin Arnell’s primary medium is film, but she often diverges into physical disciplines including drawing, performance and installation art. Her work straddles the boundary between documentary and fiction, with protagonists finding their way in a contemporary world with impossible demands. Josefin often uses personages without acting experience in her films, capturing the rawness of unattainable desire, perfectionism and control.

For the Prix de Rome 2023, Josefin Arnell is working with visitors and staff at the Amsterdam community centre De Witte Boei to create a film in which fantasy and fiction pierce through everyday life. In the context of housing shortages and welfare cuts, Arnell questions what it means to be a ‘good’ citizen. The artist uses storytelling to fire the visitor’s imagination and highlight the reality of life in the neighbourhood.

The jury

The jury praises Josefin Arnell’s artistic voice, which is both bold and distinct, within the contemporary visual arts and is enthusiastic about the mixture of references to high and popular culture in her oeuvre. With her expressive installations and films, Arnell creates a space where people feel invited and involved. She explores the boundaries between the purely personal and idiosyncratic and a collective, communal experience.