Newer posts are loading.
You are at the newest post.
Click here to check if anything new just came in.

June 28 2011

Italian Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2011

The curator of the Italian pavilion of the 2011 edition of the Venice Biennale Vittorio Sgarbi invited 200 intellectuals to select their favorite artists to show their work at the 54th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. To some, the show titled L’Arte non è Cosa Nostra (Art is Not the Cosa Nostra) looks like the Mafia has spent a lot of money to get their artist friends into the exhibition, but on the other hand it’s been said that Sgarbi considers the contemporary art scene as Mafia and that he wants to give the real artists a chance. Be that as it may, in this video we have a look at the exhibition and see how Vittorio Sgarbi is giving the Italian minister of culture Giancarlo Galan a guided tour.

L’Arte non è Cosa Nostra (Art is Not the Cosa Nostra) / Italian Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2011. Performance by curator Vittorio Sgarbi and Italian minister of culture, June 4, 2011.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.


June 24 2011

Dominik Lang. Pavilion of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, Venice Biennale 2011

Domink Lang represents Czech and Slovak Repulic at the 54th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, in Venice, Italy. The exhibition titled “The Sleeping City” brings together the works of two artists of different historical backgrounds, generations, and sculptural approaches, but at the same time a close family relationship: Dominik Lang and his father, Jiri Lang (1927–1996).

Dominik Lang’s “The Sleeping City” is kind of a tribute to his father by showing his father’s sculptures in this exhibition in the Giardini. But Dominik Lang is not just showing the sculptures of his father, but has been working with them by transforming and re-forming them and placing them in a specific architectonic setting.

Domink Lang: The Sleeping City. Pavilion of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic at the 54th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia.

Press release and photo set after the jump.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

Press release english:

Dominik Lang’s (*1980) exhibition project The Sleeping City links two different sculptural approaches with various historical contexts against the background of an intimate family relationship. The presentation connects the works of two authors linked by a personal association, father and son, and thus creates a basis for developing a fictitious inter- generation dialogue. One of the project’s starting points is the fact that the works of Dominik Lang’s father, Jiří Lang (1927–1996), were “short-circuited“ by the absurdity of the times, i.e. of the forced uniformity of the 1950s society in the Soviet Block, and have remained – in spite of the initial laudatory epithets: „a good start“, „promising“ – deposited in the author’s studio, „incarcerated“ in its own times.

The stifling atmosphere of a studio crowded with „sleeping“ statues, the social insulation, resignation, and apathy, but also one particular 1960 relief, called „The Sleeping City“: these are the sources for the title of D. Lang’s multi-layered project. In his site-specific installation, he puts forth a hypo- thetical model of a never-realized exhibition: he handles the works of the generationally antecedent artist as a material for formative activity, torn out of its historical context, as phantoms of times gone, inset within new scenes and constellations. In doing this he stages an uncompromising image of the „impossibility“ enforced by the given circumstances. Another reason why the presentation is defined as a „model of an exhibition“ is that the author reverses and shatters in it the very format of an exhibition. D. Lang purposefully bor- rows standard exhibiting procedures and patterns in order to demonstrate their dysfunctionality and pushes this incom- mensurability to the very limit, towards a „violation“ of the exhibited works. Together with the impossibility of breaking out of the shackles of historical circumstances, D. Lang uncovers and lets us feel another impossibility – that of han- dling a material which is both historical and purely personal in an authentic and coherent manner. The resulting exhibi- tion is a spatial biography, a visualisation of the relationship between the two artists as well as a portrait of the specific situation of the Czechs both before the fall of Communism and afterwards; and by its manner of fulfilling these func- tions it refers to the limits of a balanced, non-tendentious attitude towards one’s own personal and social past.

The architectonic setting of the pavilion, works of art, documents and characteristic objects of the times, personal items as well as pieces of the habitat and the work-space as his father’s immediate surroundings, documentary photo- graphs and exhibition patterns and principles taken both from the past and the present: these are the elements intui- tively inset within a complex collage of relationships that permeate and criss-cross various historical and ideological contexts. In his artistic work thus far, D. Lang has typically presented himself in the double role of author/architect, a role that includes manipulating already-finished material and composing new wholes out of it. In the Sleeping City project, D. Lang pushes this basic pattern towards greater complexity, a larger scope as well as a radical strengthening of personal and emotional engagement. D. Lang’s working method has thus become more effective but also more risky, as the material is no longer some object or the interior of an artistic institution, as it was before, but rather the work of another artist, and moreover one that is intimately known to him. By means of assorted objects, artistic works and assembled documents, D. Lang allows us to both enter the past and to uncover the volatile intimacy of moments opening „beyond time“. As the author says: „The Sleeping City is a visualised meditation on the manner of how we create our own personal history by taking over and yet modifying the established ways of perceiving and assessing the past. The project opens up an autonomous space for raising the question of all that can turn into a cause of fail- ures, incomprehension, and dreams never come true.

It makes us wonder how profoundly a given social and political situation can influence and determine an individual’s life and affect his or her work that then survives in a sort of vacuum, an airless space in between the past to which it is bound by the time of its creation and the present that has not yet found a place for it.“

The exhibition is held in cooperation of the Ministry of Cul- ture of the Czech Republic, the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic and the Slovak National Gallery.

Press release:

Výstavní projekt Spící město Dominika Langa /*1980/ spo- juje dva sochařské přístupy a odlišné dobové kontexty na půdorysu úzkého rodinného vztahu. Prezentace propojující dílo dvou umělců spjatých osobní vazbou /otec-syn/ vytváří bázi pro rozvinutí fiktivního mezigeneračního dialogu. Jedním z východisek projektu je skutečnost, že tvorba Jiřího Langa /1927–1996/, autorova otce, zkratovaná absurd- ností žité přítomnosti /normalizované společnosti padesá- tých let/, věnčená počátečním „slibné“ a „nadějné“, zůstala dodnes bez odezvy deponovaná v ateliéru umělce. Dusivá atmosféra ateliéru přeplněného „spícími” sochami, spole- čenská izolovanost, rezignace a apatie, ale i konkrétní reliéf z roku 1960 pojmenovaný “Spící město” daly název Langovu mnohovrstevnatému projektu. Svou site-specific instalací Lang vytváří hypotetický model nerealizované výstavy, na níž zachází s dílem generačně staršího umělce jako s tvárným materiálem vytrženým z historického kontextu; jako s fantomy zašlých časů, které zasazuje do nových scén a uskupení. Důmyslně inscenuje nesmlouvavý obraz okol- nostmi vynucené „nemožnosti”. Hypotézy, snaha postihnout výchozí představy, inspirace, sny a záměry se stávají základem pro komponování výstavního celku i nakládání s použitým materiálem.

Autor definuje svou prezentaci jako “model výstavy” také proto, že v ní převrací a znejisťuje samotný výstavní formát. Cíleně si vypůjčuje standardní výstavnické postupy a formy, aby ukázal jejich disfunkčnost, a tuto nesouměřitelnost dovádí až po krajní mez, jíž je “znásilnění” vystavených děl. Současně s nemožností sebeprosazení díla v sevření dobo- vých poměrů nám odkrývá a dává pocítit další nemožnost: nemožnost autentického a koherentního nakládání s histo- rickou a současně ryze osobní látkou. Upozorňuje na úskalí práce s nezpracovaným a ve své době „uvězněným” dílem. Výstavní půdorys se pro něj stává jakousi mřížkou, do níž dosazuje a situuje díla, dobové dokumenty, osobní předměty i výstavní prvky a fragmenty architektury, aby tak vytvořil nové vazby a konfigurace, “aktualizoval obsah textu” a tak dodatečně odkryl možnosti nahlížení na již uzavřené otcovo dílo. Výstava je prostorovým životopisem, vizualizovaným vztahem obou tvůrců, právě tak jako portrétem specifické české situace před pádem komunismu a po něm; způsobem, jakým naplňuje tyto funkce, zároveň poukazuje na nemož- nost vyváženého, nezaujatého postoje k vlastní minulosti, osobní i společenské.

Architektura pavilonu, umělecká díla, dobové reálie, osobní předměty a části obytného a pracovního prostoru z otcova nejbližšího okolí, dokumentární fotografie, formy a výstavní principy převzaté z minulosti, ale i současnosti jsou elementy intuitivně vsazené do spletité koláže vazeb prolínajících se napříč historickými a ideologickými kontexty. Dominik Lang vede fiktivní dialog odehrávající se v mnoha rovinách.

V dosavadní tvorbě Lang typicky vystupuje v dvojroli autor/ architekt, k níž patří manipulace s již hotovým materiálem a jeho skládání do nových celků. Ve výstavě Spící město toto základní schéma posouvá směrem k větší komplex- nosti, k rozšíření záběru, ale i k radikálnímu posílení osob- ně-emotivní zainteresovanosti. Langova pracovní metoda je nyní působivější, ale i riskantnější, protože materiálem není užitý předmět či interiér umělecké instituce, jak tomu bylo doposud, ale dílo jiného umělce, které důvěrně zná.

Dominik Lang nám prostřednictvím vybraných objektů, děl a nashromážděných dokumentů dovoluje vstoupit do minu- losti, ale i odhalit těkavou blízkost okamžiků zejících „mimo čas“. Autorovými slovy: „Projekt Spící město pro česko- slovenský pavilon je vizualizovanou reflexí toho, jak utvá- říme vlastní historii, jak přejímáme a současně měníme zažité způsoby vnímání a hodnocení minulosti. Vytváří svébytný prostor pro nastolení otázky, co všechno může být příčinou nezdarů, nepochopení a neuskutečněných snů. Jak hluboce může daná společenská a politická situace ovlivnit a určit život jednotlivce a poznamenat jeho dílo, které pak přežívá v jakémsi vakuu, ve vzduchoprázdném prostoru mezi minu- lostí, s níž je svázáno dobou svého vzniku, a současností, v níž pro ně ještě nebylo nalezeno místo.”


June 22 2011

Jennifer Allora, Guillermo Calzadilla: Gloria. US Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2011

Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla represent the United States of America at the Venice Biennale 2011. Their exhibition titled “Gloria” features a military tank turned upside down with a treadmill on top, an organ with fully functioning ATM machine, and business class airline seats.

The works on display are “Algorithm”, “Armed Freedom Lying on a Sunbed”, “Body in Flight (American)”, Body in Flight (Delta), “Half Mast/Full Mast”, and “Track and Field”. The exhibition has been organized by the Indianapolis Museum of Art and is presented by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.

Allora & Calzadilla: Gloria. 54th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia 2011. Preview, June 2/3/4, 2011.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.


June 20 2011

Andrew Perchuk talks about the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time Initiative

The exhibition Venice in Venice – a collateral event to the 54th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia 2011 – gives a taste of a unique project that takes place in Southern California from October 2011. The project will bring together more than sixty cultural institutions throughout Southern California and is titled “Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A., 1945-1980“. It aims to tell the story of the rise of the Los Angeles art scene and its impact on the art world. It’s the largest ever collaboration undertaken by cultural institutions in the region. It was initiated by the Getty Foundation through grants totaling nearly USD 10 million. Pacific Standard Time involves institutions of every size and character and covers artistic developments such as L.A. Pop Art, post-minimalism, and modernist architecture and design.

In developing this initiative, the Getty Foundation has worked from the beginning in partnership with the Getty Research Institute (GRI). The Pacific Standard Time research project has been active since 2002, with plans to continue through 2013. Ultimately, the research team will produce a major exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum, two books, journal articles, digitized primary sources, film screenings, a performance art festival, and a major international symposium.

In this conversation with Sabine Trieloff, Andrew Perchuk (Deputy Director, The Getty Research Institute) talks about how the initiative began as an archival project, which artists will be shown, and the scope of the project.

Interview with Andrew Perchuk, the Getty Research Institute’s Deputy Director at the opening of Venice in Venice. Glow & Reflection – Venice California Art From 1960 to the Present. Venice / Italy, June 1, 2011.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

Related Articles:


June 19 2011

Venice in Venice. Glow & Reflection – Venice California Art From 1960 to the Present

One of the many collaborative events taking place during the 54th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia in Venice, Italy is an exhibition that focuses on a group of artists from the 1960s in Venice, California. The curators, Tim Nye and Jacqueline Miro, chose artists such as Peter Alexander, Larry Bell, Vija Celmins, Bruce Conner, Robert Graham, Craig Kauffman, Ed Moses, Ed Ruscha, and James Turell for the show in the Palazzo Contarini Dagli Scrigni. In this conversation with Sabine Trieloff, Tim Nye and Jacqueline Miro talk about the concept of the show.

The exhibition – the full title is “Venice in Venice. Glow & Reflection – Venice California Art From 1960 to the Present” – has been mounted by Foundation 20 21 in celebration of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980, a collaboration of more than sixty cultural institutions across Southern California coming together for six months in October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene.

Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. Initiated through $10 million in grants from the Getty Foundation, Pacific Standard Time involves cultural institutions of every size and character across Southern California, from Greater Los Angeles to San Diego and Santa Barbara to Palm Springs. An interview with Andrew Perchuk, Deputy Director of the Getty Research Institute is coming soon.

Venice in Venice. Glow & Reflection – Venice California Art From 1960 to the Present. Walkthrough and interview, Venice / Italy, June 1, 2011.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.


June 17 2011

Adrián Villar Rojas: The Murderer of your Heritage / Argentine Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2011

Adrián Villar Rojas is representing Argentina at the 54th Internationa Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia in Venice, Italy. Adrián Villar Rojas has developed a site-specific installation for the Argentine pavilion that consists of a series of monumental clay sculptures and is titled “El asesino de tu herencia” (“The Murderer of your Heritage”). Adrián Villar Rojas is known for his usage of clay, cement, wood and sackcloth for his works.

Adrián Villar Rojas (born in Rosario in 1980) studied Fine Arts at the University of Rosario, Argentina. His work has been exhibited at international venues such as Serpentine Gallery (London), CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts (San Francisco), Galería Kurimanzutto (Mexico, DF), Akademie der Künste (Berlin), Galería Ruth Benzacar (Buenos Aires), Museo de Arte Moderno de San Pablo (Brazil), X Bienal de Cuenca (Ecuador), II Bienal del Fin del Mundo (Ushuaia) and II Trienal Poligráfica de San Juan (Puerto Rico), among others. During 2011, he will also exhibit at Galería Luisa Strina (Sao Paulo), Jardin des Tuileries (Paris) and 12th Istanbul Biennial.

Commissioner of the Argentine Participation in the 54th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale die Venezia 2011 is Magdalena Faillace, the curator is Rodrigo Alonso.

Adrián Villar Rojas: The Murderer of your Heritage / Argentine Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2011. Preview, June 1, 2011.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

Press release (in Spanish):

El 16 de diciembre de 2010 quedó formalizada la invitación de Adrián Villar Rojas para representar a la Argentina en la 54° Bienal Internacional de Arte de Venecia. La misma fue cursada por Rodrigo Alonso, destacado curador y especialista en arte contemporáneo, quien tiene a su cargo la curaduría del envío por recomendación de la Dirección General de Asuntos Culturales del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Comercio Internacional y Culto de la República Argentina.

El espacio asignado se sitúa en la Artiglierie, dentro de los Arsenales, lugar reservado tradicionalmente para la producción más contemporánea. Allí, el artista presenta una instalación site-specific de esculturas monumentales que sigue la línea de sus trabajos más recientes.

En palabras del curador, “Adrián Villar Rojas es un joven y talentoso artista que ha venido recibiendo una importante atención crítica en los últimos años. Con él representando a la Argentina en la Bienal de Venecia, profundizamos nuestro compromiso con la producción emergente, insuflamos energía y vitalidad al nuevo espacio, y apostamos al futuro, creando una plataforma que permita establecer un diálogo continuado con la escena artística internacional.”

“Su obra posee un tinte marcadamente personal. Reúne la experimentación formal con la construcción de una narrativa que le permite reflexionar sobre el arte, sus modos de aparición, su sentido y su significación en el final de los tiempos y del mundo. Sus últimas piezas parten de un relato que desde un futuro hipotético reflexiona sobre el presente, desplegando cierta dimensión política de la fantasía. Desde una mirada situada en ese fin del mundo –el nuestro– nos propone repensar el lugar de la creación artística como un refugio de la existencia, la pasión y la sensibilidad.”

“Al mismo tiempo, Villar Rojas entiende su producción como una alternativa a la imagen tradicional del arte latinoamericano, ligada a la simplicidad y las prácticas ready-made. Por tal motivo, emprende proyectos ambiciosos, complejos, que buscan dialogar con la obra de sus pares internacionales al mismo nivel de potencialidad y riesgo.”

La presentación va acompañada por la publicación de dos libros, uno dedicado a los proyectos monumentales de Adrián Villar Rojas, editado por Kültur Büro (Bélgica), y el catálogo oficial de la representación argentina en la 54° Bienal Internacional de Venecia, editado por la Cancillería Argentina (Buenos Aires).

Press release (English):

After two months of working in-situ with a team of builders, engineers and sculptors, Adrian Villar Rojas presents The Murderer of Your Heritage, his last installation specially created for the 54th Venice Biennial. The piece is placed in a privileged space at the Artiglierie, in the very heart of the Arsenale, just in front of the premises that will be occupied by the permanent Argentinian Pavilion from next year on, after the agreement signed between the Argentine government and the authorities of the Biennale.

This site-specific installation of monumental sculptures is based on the theories of multiverses, which state that many different universes could coexist; thus, the large clay figures displayed over the whole space of the Artiglierie could be seen as simultaneous apparitions of these alternative worlds in ours, calling the attention to the other paths that humankind could have taken during its evolutionary history. Pushing this concept even further, the artist will develop a similar massive piece to be placed at the Jardin de Tuileries, Paris, during 2011, with the cooperation of SAM ART Projects and the Musée du Louvre.

During the opening, Adrian Villar Rojas’ work has been awarded with the 9th Benesse Prize addressed to a “promising artist trying to break new artistic ground with an experimental and pioneering spirit”, by a jury composed by Hervé Chandès (General Director, Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain), Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (Artistic Director, Documenta 13), Lu Jie (Director and Curator, Long March Project), and Fram Kitagawa (General Director, Setouchi International Art Festival).

In the words of the curator Rodrigo Alonso, “Adrián Villar Rojas is a talented young artist who has been receiving important critical attention during the last years. With him representing Argentina at Venice Biennial we deepen our compromise with the emergent production, insufflate energy and vitality to the new venue, and bet on the future by creating a platform to establish an ongoing dialogue with the international art scene.”

“His work possesses a distinct personal tone. It combines formal experimentation with the construction of a narrative, which allows him to reflect on art, its forms of appearance, and its meanings, as if it were the end of times and the end of the world. His last pieces derive from a story, which speculates on the present from a hypothetical future, unfolding a political dimension of fantasy. Focused on that end of the world—ours—he suggests that we rethink the place of art creation as a shelter for existence, passion and sensibility.”

“At the same time, Villar Rojas sees his work as an alternative to the traditional Latin American art production, linked to simplicity and ready-made. For this reason, he embarks on ambitious and complex projects, which intend to hold a dialogue with the works of his international peers at the same level of potentiality and risk.”

Adrián Villar Rojas (Rosario, 1980) studied Fine Arts at the University of Rosario, Argentina. His work has been exhibited at international venues such as Serpentine Gallery (London), CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts (San Francisco), Galería Kurimanzutto (Mexico, DF), Akademie der Künste (Berlin), Galería Ruth Benzacar (Buenos Aires), Museo de Arte Moderno de San Pablo (Brazil), X Bienal de Cuenca (Ecuador), II Bienal del Fin del Mundo (Ushuaia) and II Trienal Poligráfica de San Juan (Puerto Rico), among others. During 2011, he has also been appointed for 12th Istanbul Biennial.


June 13 2011

Christian Boltanski: Chance / French Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2011

The French Pavilion at the 54th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, curated by Jean-Hubert Martin, presents a new installation by French artist Christian Boltanski. The installation, titled “Chance“, deals with the themes that are characteristic for Boltanski’s work: chance, luck and misfortune.

In the main room Christian Boltanski installed a large scaffold with a oversize film strip that shows the faces of babies shortly after their birth. The film strip runs at high speed until it randomly stops and picks one of these babies, displayed on an lcd screen. In each of the two side rooms, a large digital clock counts up the world’s population.

Christian Boltanski: Chance / French Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2011. Preview, June 2, 2011.

Photo set and press release after the jump.

See also: Christian Boltanski: Personnes / Monumenta 2010 at Grand Palais Paris / Interview and Christian Boltanski. La vie possible / Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

Press Release:

The theme of the French Pavilion

At the recent Monumenta exhibition called Personnes, an exhibition that was later installed and exposed at The Park Avenue Armory in New York and the Hangar Bicocca in Milan, Christian Boltanski demonstrated his ability to deal with universal themes, while at the same time ensuring that everyone is free to interpret his work in their own way. The artist has again chosen “Chance” as his theme for Venice. In a mobile and unstable environment, this theme is developed in a more playful and interactive way by allowing the public to play and to win with the artist.

Resolutely independent of particular movements and schools of thought, Christian Boltanski deals with existential questions on a spectacular level, merging fact and fiction, in an artform that he himself refers to as classical, not in terms of its form but in terms of the themes it deals with, such as “Chance, Godʼs Law and Death”. Reflecting on the passage of time, Chance is one of the links in the chain of memory, in what can be referred to as “little” or “individual” memory, that which defines the fragile uniqueness of each person, and which form part of the immense collective work The Archives of the Heart (Les Archives du Cœur). Since 2005, Christian Boltanski has been collecting recordings of heartbeats from all over the world, in order to attempt the impossible: to collect “the heartbeat of everyone in the world”. A truly universal project, the recordings will be preserved on the Japanese island of Teshima on the Seto Inland Sea, thanks to the support of a sponsor and is open to the public. In this spirit of allegorical and utopian works, Christian Boltanski “sold his life” (i.e. a continuous video recording of his work and activities in his studio) to a collector in Tasmania. This lifetime annuity was granted in an attempt to create yet another permanent installation, in what the artist refers to as “his deal with the devil”.

The work presented at Venice is optimistic in its reflection on chance and destiny; the chance of birth against the chance of death. Is everything pre-determined? Who controls destiny? Has our path already been decided? Is God present or absent? At the entrance to the pavilion, the visitor is invited to sit on one of the wooden chairs. A voice whispers to him. Each chair “speaks” in a different language uttering the words “Is this the last time?” Is this a message of hope? Or a troubling announcement?… The interior of the pavilion is criss-crossed by a moving walkway, that travels at great speed and upon which hundreds of photos of childrenʼs faces have been printed. The walkway stops randomly and one of the childrenʼs faces is lit up and an alarm sounds. Chance has picked out one child. The process begins all over again, until the walkway stops again and the alarm signals Chanceʼs next choice.

In each of the two side rooms, a clock with luminous numbers counts up the worldʼs population. The panel on the left records, in real-time, the number of births and the panel on the right, the number of deaths. Every evening at midnight, they provide the figures of the day. The number of births is always higher than the number of deaths! Every day witnesses the victory of life over death. In the third room, there is a large mural work consisting of a huge video screen on which various images of different segments of human faces are projected. By pressing on a button, the visitor can pause the images. The faces are made up of three random sections creating strange even monstrous faces, the fruit of a wild imagination. If the visitor is lucky, the three sections of the face match and he wins the image shown.
Throughout the duration of the Biennale, a version of this work will be available on www.boltanski-chance.com. Lucky winners will receive a surprise sent personally by the artist.Christian Boltanski
Born in Paris in 1944, Christian Boltanski practices painting until the end of the 1960s. The artist plays with autobiographical codes and recreates objects and situations from his childhood. From 1970 to 1973, he creates Reference Display Cases (Vitrines de references) by subverting museographic codes: made or found objects are exhibited as evidence of a banal life of which only some traces, at times even absurd ones, remain. In 1972, The Album of Family D. (Lʼalbum de la famille D.) is presented at Documenta in Kassel and launches the artistʼs international career. After Comic Sketches (Saynètes comiques / 1974), where the artist reveals himself in scenes from his childhood in a clown-like manner, he returns to a distant and impersonal viewpoint in Model Images (Images modèles) which he creates according to the guidelines of “accepted” or “classical” photography. He is one of the principal founders of “art photography” and his work on “average taste” anticipates developments in post-conceptual art. From 1984 with series such as Shadows (Ombres), Monuments (Monuments), Reliquaries (Reliquaires) and Reserves (Réserves), his work takes on a darker tone. The materials from his early works are re-used in dramatic installations that are haunted by the idea of death. The questioning of existence becomes a prominent theme in his work, as illustrated by the work presented at Documenta 8 in Kassel in 1987. In 1988, clothing becomes a key material in the artistʼs work; a ghostly mark of the individual. Cataloguing and filing, and later an obsession with lists, characterize the artistʼs work from the 1990s, reminding us that within a group or a mass, the individual is what is important. From 1990 to 2000, Christian Boltanski becomes interested in performance, which extends and enriches his fine art work. At the same time, his exhibitions become more narrative and staged, creating a global work based around a single theme: Time, Memory, the Human Being, Death… He now favours projects with a humanistic content that fall within the register of the fable.

In this spirit of allegorical and utopian works, Christian Boltanski has been collecting recordings of heartbeats from all around the world since 2005 as part of his project destined for the Japanese island of Teshima, entitled The Archives of the Heart (Les Archives du cœur). In Tasmania, another permanent utopian installation was recently created: the artist sold his life in an annuity to a collector (video recording of his work and activities in his studio). In 2010, the unique visual and sound installation Monumenta / Personnes was created especially for the Grand Palais in Paris. In this work, the artist continues his reflection on the limits of humanity and the importance of memory, on destiny and the inevitability of death. Personnes was later installed at The Park Avenue Armory in New York and in the Hangar Bicocca in Milan.

Jean-Hubert Martin

Jean-Martin Hubert has played a key role in some of the worldʼs most important museums. He has worked as director of the Bern Kunsthalle, the Centre Pompidou National Modern Art Museum and The National Museum of African and Oceanic Arts. He was the director of the Museum Kunst Palast in Dusseldorf before deciding to devote himself to the conception and curatorship of exhibitions. From the famous Magicians of the Earth (Magiciens de la terre) in 1989 which played an important role in altering perceptions of 20th century art to the successful Against Exclusion (Contre lʼexclusion) as part of the 2009 Moscow Biennale, Jean- Hubert Martin has continued to occupy a key position in the international art scene. He has regularly exhibited Christian Boltanski in his exhibitions, for example, in The Magicians of the Earth and the more recent Breaking News (Ultime Notizie) in Milan in 2004.

Les Opérateurs du Pavillon français

LʼInstitut français assure le commissariat général du Pavillon français de la Biennale de Venise en co-production avec le Centre national des arts plastiques (CNAP) et en collaboration avec la Direction générale de la création artistique (ministère de la Culture et de la Communication) et avec le mécénat exclusif de Citroën. Ce projet fait lʼobjet dʼune Commande publique du ministère de la Culture et de la Communication et, à ce titre lʼœuvre présentée rejoindra les collections du Centre national des arts plastiques.

L’Institut français est lʼagence du ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes pour lʼaction culturelle extérieure de la France. LʼInstitut français œuvre en faveur des arts visuels et de l’architecture, tant en direction des artistes et créateurs vivant et travaillant en France que sur le continent africain et dans la région caribéenne. Il est lʼopérateur du Pavillon français de la Biennale de Venise et coproducteur de certaines grandes Biennales, notamment en Afrique. Il accompagne des étapes internationales dʼexpositions dans le cadre de la diffusion des collections publiques ou dans celui de la programmation des musées ou partenaires étrangers, il soutient la présence dʼartistes français dans les foires internationales et favorise le repérage des scènes artistiques par les professionnels étrangers. www.institutfrancais.com

Le Centre national des arts plastiques (CNAP) est lʼun des principaux opérateurs de la politique du ministère de la Culture et de la Communication dans le domaine des arts visuels. Acteur culturel et économique, il encourage la scène artistique dans toute sa diversité et accompagne les artistes ainsi que les professionnels par plusieurs dispositifs dʼaides et dʼallocations. Il acquiert, pour le compte de lʼEtat, des œuvres dʼart inscrites sur les inventaires du fonds national dʼart contemporain, donc il assure la garde, la gestion et la diffusion en France et à lʼétranger. Il met en œuvre la commande publique nationale et favorise lʼaccès de tous les publics à lʼart contemporain. www.cnap.fr
La Direction générale de la création artistique (ministère de la Culture et de la Communication) définit, coordonne et évalue la politique de lʼÉtat relative aux arts du spectacle vivant et aux arts plastiques et détermine les conditions de sa mise en œuvre. Elle soutient la création artistique dans tous ses domaines dʼexpression, favorise la diffusion des œuvres et lʼaccès du plus grand nombre aux productions artistiques. Parmi ses missions, elle a reçu celle de coordonner des manifestations dʼampleur nationale et internationale vouées à la valorisation de la scène artistique française. Cʼest dans ce cadre que sʼinscrit, aux côtés de grandes manifestations nationales comme MONUMENTA et LA TRIENNALE, le soutien quʼelle apporte à la mise en œuvre du Pavillon français.

Mécène exclusif du Pavillon français à la Biennale de Venise, CITROËN occupe une place à part dans la création automobile. Née en 1919 au pied de la Tour Eiffel, la marque n’a jamais dévié de son héritage : l’audace et le sens de l’innovation. Elle a marqué l’histoire avec des modèles surprenants: la Traction Avant, la 2CV, la DS. Des modèles devenus mythiques, créés par un sculpteur, Flaminio Bertoni. Avec la DS, à laquelle Roland Barthes a consacré un passage de son essai Mythologies, CITROËN a reçu en 1957 le prix d’honneur à la Triennale de Milan. Un mythe qu’elle fait aujourd’hui revivre avec le lancement de sa ligne distinctive DS. Nourrie par l’expression artistique, sous toutes ses formes, CITROËN est une source d’inspiration pour les créateurs : la Traction avant, traction après (1990) d’Arman, la DS (1993) de Gabriel Orozco, ou les Compressions de Citroën réalisées par César pour la Biennale de Venise 1995. En avril 2011, le designer Ora-ïto présentera à Milan ses projets artistiques, inspirés eux aussi par l’héritage CITROËN. Symbolisée par la signature CRÉATIVE TECHNOLOGIE, l’ambition de CITROËN est bien de repousser les limites de l’expérience automobile.


June 10 2011

Mike Nelson: I, Impostor. British Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2011

Mike Nelson’s work “I, Impostor” is probably one of the most complex and costly presentations at the 54th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia in Venice, Italy. The new work of the British installation artist Mike Nelson is a large-scale sculptural installation that leads the visitor through a dark labyrinth-like structure. Mike Nelson has already exhibited in Venice, his work “The Deliverance and the Patience” was shown as part of the collateral program at the 49th edition of the Venice Biennale in 2001.

For his exhibition at the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2011, Mike Nelson refers to the work “Magazin: Büyük Valide Han” that he created for the 8th International Istanbul Biennial in 2003. Nelson has relocated and re-worked this earlier installation for Venice, thus creating a link between the two cities Istanbul and Venice, both former great mercantile centers of the east-west/west-east axes.

Since 1938 the British Council has been responsible for the British Pavilion in Venice. Commissioner for the British Pavilion 2011 is Andrea Rose, the Curator is Richard Riley.

Mike Nelson: I, Impostor. British Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2011. Preview, June 3, 2011.

Photo set and press release after the jump.

See also: Mike Nelson: Psychic Vaccum / Old Essex Market, Lower East Side, NYC / Remix.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

Press Release:

MIKE NELSON TO MAKE HISTORY AT THE BRITISH PAVILION FOR 2011 VENICE BIENNALE

Mike Nelson is the first installation artist to be invited to conceive and create a new work in the British Pavilion for the 54th Venice Biennale. Nelson will be working in Venice for a period of three months and the completed work will be launched during the official Biennale press days on 1st , 2nd and 3rd June, and open to the public for the duration of the exhibition from 4th June – 27th November 2011.

“The attention to detail, historical accuracy and physical nature of Mike Nelson’s sculptural practice guarantee that his new installation for the British Pavilion will be one of the most challenging solo presentations ever mounted in over 70 years of exhibitions organised by the British Council in Venice.” Richard Riley, Curator of the British Pavilion, 2011

As the UK’s leading cultural relations organisation, the British Council has been responsible for the presentation of the exhibition at the British Pavilion for the Venice Biennale of Art since 1938. During this period the Pavilion has hosted exhibitions by many of the most significant artists of the day, providing successive generations with one of the most important platforms for the showcasing of contemporary art to an international audience.

Born in Loughborough in 1967, Mike Nelson has already received considerable international acclaim for his meticulous installations and his work has been presented in major group and solo exhibitions throughout the world. These include: The Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2001); 49th Venice Biennale (2001); 13th Sydney Biennale (2002); CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco (2002); 8th International Istanbul Biennial (2003); Modern Art Oxford (2004); 26th São Paulo Bienal (2004); Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen (2008); Creative Time, New York (2008); Tate Triennial (2009); and 3rd Singapore Biennial (2011).

A recipient of a Paul Hamlyn Award in 2001, Nelson has twice been short-listed for the Turner Prize. One of his large-scale installations, The Coral Reef, originally conceived for Matt’s Gallery, London in 2000, was acquired by Tate in 2008 and is currently on show as part of the Collection Displays at Tate Britain, London.

Mike Nelson lives and works in London. He is represented in the UK by Matt’s Gallery, London, and internationally by Galleria Franco Noero, Turin, and 303 Gallery, New York.

The UK’s presentation at the Venice Biennale is selected by a panel of arts experts drawn from across the UK. The members of this panel change for every edition of the Biennale. For the 2011 Venice Biennale, the Selection Committee consisted of: Rachel Campbell-Johnson, Art Critic, The Times ; Christoph Grunenberg, Director Tate Liverpool ; Nav Haq, Curator, Arnolfini, Bristol ; Keith Hartley, Senior Curator, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh ; Hugh Mulholland, Director, The Third Space Gallery, Belfast ; Karen McKinnon, Curator, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea ; Richard Riley, Head of Exhibitions, Visual Arts, British Council ; Ralph Rugoff, Director, Hayward Gallery, London ; Godfrey Worsdale, Director, BALTIC, Gateshead; Chair: Andrea Rose, Director of Visual Arts, British Council.


June 08 2011

Raja and Shadia Alem: The Black Arch / Pavilion of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Venice Biennale 2011

For its debut participation at La Biennale di Venezia, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia chose the artists Raja and Shadia Alem. Raja Alem is a writer, Shadia Alem is a visual artist. For the exhibition, titled The Black Arch and curated by Mona Khazindar and Robin Start, the sisters worked closely together. The result is an installation that visually plays very much with darkness and light. It is about two visions of the world and about two cities, Mecca and Venice.

As the press release states: “The work is a stage, set to project the artists’ collective memory of Black – the monumental absence of colour – and physical representation of Black, referring to their past. The narrative is fueled by the inspirational tales told by their aunts and grandmothers, and are anchored in Mecca, where the sisters grew up in the 1970s. The experience with the physical presence of Black is striking for the artists asRaja explains, “I grew up aware of the physical presence of Black all around, the black silhouettes of Saudi women, the black cloth of the Al ka’ba and the black stone which supposedly is said to have enhanced our knowledge.”As a counter point, the second part of the installation is a mirror image, reflecting the present. These are the aesthetic parameters of the work.”

Raja and Shadia Alem: The Black Arch / Pavilion of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Venice Biennale 2011. Preview, June 1, 2011.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.


June 06 2011

Christoph Schlingensief. German Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2011

The Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion for Best National Participation was given to Germany this year for Christoph Schliengensief’s multi-disciplinary practice “that is intense, committed, and possesses a strong personal vision.” The jury also praised the curatorial work of Susanne Gaensheimer. The Jury of the 54th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia was comprised of Hassan Khan (President, Egypt), Carol Yinghua Lu (China), Letizia Ragaglia (Italy), Christine Macel (France) and John Waters (USA).

The exhibition has been curated by Susanne Gaensheimer and focuses on existing theatrical productions and films by Christoph Schlingensief, who died of lung cancer in late August 2010. Since his death, Susanne Gaensheimer and Aino Laberenz (Schlingensief’s wife and closest collaborator for many years) have decided to not exhibit Christoph Schlingensief’s sketches and proposals for the German Pavilion, but rather to show existing works. In collaboration with a circle of Schlingensief’s closest collaborators and confidants including Carl Hegemann, Thomas Goerge, Voxi Bärenklau, Heta Multanen, and Frieder Schlaich, and drawing on extensive conversations with Chris Dercon, Alexander Kluge, and Matthias Lilienthal, a concept for the German Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale was developed.

In the main hall of the German Pavilion the stage of the Fluxus oratorio A Church of Fear vs. the Alien Within is presented. This work was conceived for the 2008 Ruhrtriennal and brings together Christoph Schlingensief’s own personal experiences and the universal and existential themes of life, suffering, and death.

Christoph Schlingensief. German Pavilion, Giardini, La Biennale di Venezia 2011. Walk-through, June 2/3, 2011.

Press release and photo set after the jump.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

Press release (May 17, 2011):

“…ultimately, what counts is that I feel safe knowing that there is a social thrust to my work” (Christoph Schlingensief)
Dr. Susanne Gaensheimer, Commissioner of Pavilion of Germany of the 54th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia in 2011 and Director of MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt/Main, has announced that the work of Christoph Schlingensief will be presented in Venice despite his untimely death.
“When inviting Christoph Schlingensief in May of this year I explained that my basic idea was to approach an artist of my generation, who has worked for a significant time (which in the case of Christoph Schlingensief was almost 30 years) and in a significant way, someone who not only witnessed the artistic, social and political issues of the two decades of post-reunification Germany, but also took an active role in defining them. Christoph Schlingensief was one of the most important artists in this country, one who never shied away from voicing his opinion and maintaining his position, wholeheartedly, even towards himself, with the utmost clarity and directness, such as is necessary if you want to comment on conditions effectively. Christoph Schlingensief‟s tragic death has in no way affected my conviction that the decision to invite him was the right one,” Dr. Susanne Gaensheimer concludes.
From the early 1980s onwards, Christoph Schlingensief explored a variety of different media in his work. He made films, was involved in political action, theater, art projects, and opera. Even though he originally decidedly left behind the legacy of what was known as Neuer Deutscher Film (new German film), on many levels we can compare his work to that of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In particularly, this is true as regards team work, an approach that, though common in the world of film and theater, still tends to be the exception in the visual arts, and yet influenced his work for decades. The fact that Schlingensief immersed himself in such a variety of different media and genres makes it impossible to pigeonhole him. Indeed, a key aspect of his work consists of transgressing and dissolving genre- specific boundary lines and the alleged clarity of form and content. Schlingensief‟s oeuvre is extremely complex and it is in the nature of his work that it finds itself in a permanent state of self-exploration and change. Schlingensief used language as the fundamental starting point for his work, across the board.
As there are no translations, subtitles or English versions of his work, the Pavilion of Germany will not only to present Schlingensief‟s work, but will also make it accessible to an international audience.
Christoph Schlingensief had a multitude of ideas and thoughts during the intense collaborative effort committed to his project for the Pavilion of Germany, and some of those ideas were already very detailed. Nonetheless, Susanne Gaensheimer had decided not to use them: “It is impossible to realize a Christoph Schlingensief project without Christoph Schlingensief. Almost a year before the Biennial was due to open a number of questions were of course not yet answered, and anyone who ever experienced Schlingensief‟s way of working will tell you that up until opening day there would have been countless changes. No one will ever be able to replace him, and without him it will be impossible to see his ideas through to the end. That said, we will document his plans and ideas using a variety of different media.”
The pavilion itself will feature works and projects by Christoph Schlingensief that were central to his oeuvre and fundamentally influenced the shape his ideas for the 2011 Pavilion of Germany took. During the next month of this year a website will go online publishing this process. The ideas that Christoph Schlingensief developed for the pavilion will be published in a book to coincide with the preview of the Biennial on June 1st, 2011.
“My decision to invite Christoph Schlingensief to Venice was ultimately also influenced by his Africa project, namely the opera village in Ouagadougou,” Susanne Gaensheimer commented in June 2010. “What becomes clear here is that Schlingensief is not only representative of art in Germany, but that he puts his concerns in a global context. Planning the opera house in Africa and cooperating with the local partners there – first and foremost Francis Kéré, the architect of the opera village who received the Aga-Khan Prize – and, importantly, by using the project for self-reflection and dealing with his own failure in his current play Via Intolleranza II, Schlingensief succeeds in giving his analysis of „being German‟ and the issues associated there with a transnational dimension: „Why are we always so interested in helping the African continent if we can‟t even help ourselves?‟ he asks. The opera village will take center stage in our work on next year‟s Pavilion of Germany,” Gaensheimer commented today.
In early May 2010, Christoph Schlingensief himself commented on his invitation in the following words: “I have worked in many different fields, as a director in film, theater and opera, producer, solo entertainer, human being, also as a sick human being and Christian, and equally so as a politician and performer, and I have always taken an interest in those artists who felt almost compelled to practice their art, and in so doing did not necessarily separate their compulsion from that of having or wanting to live. A kind of schizophrenia has always been typical of my work and my life. If I limited myself to one thing only I would simply get bored, my mind would be starved of inspiration. Between music and image, people and language, the healthy and the infirm, the funny and the sad I always need to be given the chance to state the opposite too. To my mind, everything in the world is ambiguous. The task of using the Pavilion of Germany, which very much looks like a representative building, not for the purpose of representation but for art, simply fits the bill – a heavy burden, yet art makes light what would otherwise be heavy. And yet perhaps it is precisely what makes it so positive. I, for my part, love those cracks and opposites, and over the coming months I intend to seek out the most productive opposites for Venice, the Pavilion of Germany, and Burkina Faso.”
The exhibition in the Pavilion of Germany has been commissioned by the Federal Foreign Ministry and is realized in cooperation with Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa/ Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations).
The Publishing house Kiepenheuer & Witsch, who published in 2009 So schön wie hier kanns im Himmel gar nicht sein! Tagebuch einer Krebserkrankung by Christoph Schlingensief, will bring out the publication for the German Pavilion 2011. The book is a collection of raughly 40 contributions by authors such as Diedrich Diederichsen to Charlotte Roche, Jonathan Meese and Alexander Kluge, Carl Hegemann and Boris Groys.The english edition will be released at the Publishing house Sternberg-Press.


June 04 2011

La Biennale di Venezia 2011: ILLUMInazioni / Padiglione Centrale, Giardini

On the second day of the Venice Biennale Preview, we had a look at the Central Pavilion in the Giardini. ILLUMInazioni – ILLUMInations is the title of the Biennale di Venezia 2011, the 54th International Art Exhibition in Venice, Italy. This time, the curator of the international exhibition is Bice Curiger. She has chosen 83 artists. Click here for the ILLUMInations exhibition in the Corderie / Artiglierie, Arsenale.

La Biennale di Venezia 2011: ILLUMInazioni – ILLUMInations / Central Pavilion, Giardini. Preview, June 2, 2011.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

Related Articles:


June 03 2011

Ayse Erkmen: Plan B. Venice Biennale 2011

Ayse Erkmen is representing Turkey at the 54th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia 2011. For the presentation in the Artiglierie, Arsenale, Ayse Erkmen conceived a highly esthetical water purification system. The Pavilion of Turkey was curated by Fulya Erdemci. In this interview, Ayse Erkmen talks about the basic idea behind the work and why the installation is called “Plan B“.

Ayse Erkmen: Plan B. Venice Biennale 2011. Venice / Italy, June 1, 2011. Interview by Sabine Trieloff.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

From the press release:

Ayşe Erkmen’s sculptural installation ‘Plan B’ draws on the ineluctable and complex relationship Venice has with water. Her project transforms a room inside the Arsenale into a complex water purification unit where machines perform as sculptures, encompassing the audience inside of the filtration process which eventually provides clean, drinkable water back to the canal.

Each component of the filtration unit has been separated out, humorously disseminating the machinery throughout the room then reconnecting the elements with extended pipes. Erkmen choreographs the elegant industrial forms to draw attention to the process of transformation, at the end of which, the purified water is returned to the canal: a futile, yet courageous gesture against the overwhelming scale of the canal and the ocean.

Formally, Erkmen’s practice often comments on minimalism’s relationship between the industrial form and the body. Here the installation generates a visceral experience for viewers who are embodied within the mechanism of transformation.

‘Plan B’ abstractly conveys systems and processes that we are part of daily: blood circulating through the body, Capital flowing through borders, the mechanisms of authority, the supply of natural resources. While proffering a poetic reference to the potentiality of change, the work is simultaneously a subtle, humorous critique of the euphoria for unsustainable short-lived solutions within the complex systems and structures that surround us.

‘Plan B’ refers to the back up plan when the hypothetical ‘Plan A’ fails. This expression becomes a common feature of conversation in the build up to the Venice Biennale with the myriad of planning and production issues it presents, and the competitive temperament that its scale and style provokes.


June 02 2011

La Biennale di Venezia 2011: ILLUMInazioni / Arsenale

ILLUMInazioni – ILLUMInations is the title of the Biennale di Venezia 2011, the 54th International Art Exhibition in Venice, Italy. This time, the curator of the international exhibition is Bice Curiger. She has chosen 83 artists. In this video we have a look at the artists presented in the Arsenale, among them Yto Barrada, Monica Bonvicini, Song Dong, Urs Fischer, Nicholas Hlobo, Christian Marclay, Roman Ondak, Monika Sosnowska, and others.

More videos coming soon.

La Biennale di Venezia 2011: ILLUMInazioni – ILLUMInations / Arsenale. Preview, June 1, 2011.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

From the press release:

The 54th International Art Exhibition, with the title of ILLUMInazioni – ILLUMInations, directed by Bice Curiger and organized by La Biennale di Venezia under the presidency of Paolo Baratta, will be accessible to the public from Saturday June 4th to November 27th 2011 in the Giardini and the Arsenale. The preview will be taking place on June 1st, 2nd and 3rd, 2011. The award ceremony will take place June 4th.

Bice Curiger is an art historian, critic and curator of international exhibitions. Her curatorial activity at Kunsthaus Zurich parallels her important work in the publishing sector. In 1984, she cofounded the prestigious art magazine “Parkett”, of which she is editor-in-chief. She has been publishing director of London Tate Gallery’s magazine “Tate etc” since 2004.

The exhibition ILLUMInazioni – ILLUMInations will be laid out in the Central Pavilion in the Giardini and in the Arsenale, forming a single itinerary, featuring 83 artists from all over the world, including 32 young artists born after 1975, as well as 32 women artists. The director asked four participating artists to create “parapavilions”, architectural and sculptural structures erected in the Giardini and the Arsenale to house the works of other artists.

As usual, the Exhibition will be paralleled by 89 National Participations, a record for the Art Biennale (they were 77 in 2009), housed in the historical Pavilions in the Giardini, in the Arsenale, as well as in other locations around the city. The Padiglione Italia in the Arsenale, organized by the Ministry for the Cultural Heritage and Activities together with PaBAAC – General Direction for landscape, fine arts, architecture and contemporary art, will be curated by Vittorio Sgarbi. The countries that will be participating for the first time will be Andorra, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Haiti. Other countries will be participating after a long period of absence: India (1982), Congo (1968), Iraq (1990), Zimbabwe (1990), South Africa (1995), Costa Rica (1993, afterwards with IILA), Cuba (1995, afterwards with IILA). There will be 37 Collateral Events arranged by international organizations and institutions, that will set up their exhibitions and initiatives in various locations around the city on the occasion of the Biennale.

“La Biennale di Venezia is one of the world’s most important forums for the dissemination and illumination of current developments in international art – Bice Curiger stated. The title of the 54th International Art Exhibition, ILLUMInations, literally draws attention to the importance of such endeavours in a globalized world. As the biggest and oldest Biennale, la Biennale di Venezia has always been buoyed by an international spirit, and even more so now in an age in which artists themselves have become multifaceted, discerning migrants and cultural tourists”.

“ILLUMInations emphasizes the intuitive insight and the illumination of thought that is fostered by an encounter with art and its ability to sharpen the tools of perception – the director underlined. While the last Biennale ‘Making Worlds’ highlighted constructive creativity, ILLUMInations will focus on the ¢light’ of the illuminating experience, on the epiphanies that come with intercommunicative, intellectual comprehension. The Age of Enlightenment also resonates in ILLUMInations, testifying to the enduring vibrancy of its legacy”.

“The Biennale is like a wind machine – Paolo Baratta reveals. Every two years, it shakes the forest, unveils hidden truths, gives new strength and light to new sprouts, showing older trunks and persisting branches from a different perspective (this year trunks are really old considering the intention expressed by the curator to open with Tintoretto). The Biennale is a great pilgrimage, where in the works of artists and in the work of curators the voices of the world meet, to talk about their own and our future. Art here is meant as a continuous evolution”.

“In an age in which art has long since ceased the emphasis on the provocation of anti-art – president Baratta adds – we seek the ways of the dialogue between the artist’s work and our vision and our spirit, we want to understand and feel the ‘beyond’ that art generously offers and whispers to us, we wish ¢illumination’ as visitors, as art lovers, as individuals and as members of the human community”.


September 17 2010

Junya Ishigami: Architecture as Air: Study for Château la Coste / Architecture Biennale Venice 2010

The Golden Lion for the Best Project of the 12th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 2010 with the title “People Meet in Architecture” was given to Junya Ishigami and Associates for their installation “Architecture as Air: Study for Château la Coste”. The jury acknowledged the “unique and uncompromising vision of its author… The work pushes the limits of materiality, visibility, tectonics, thinness, and ultimately of architecture itself.”

Most of the visitors that entered the exhibition space in the Arsenale were wondering where the installation was, because at first sight they didn’t see anything – except a team who looked like performing a pantomime. A closer look revealed that they were working on an installation composed of extremely thin carbon fiber rods and spider web thin filaments. The reason why the installation was even more invisible than intended was because the installation collapsed during the press preview of the Biennale. Designboom has shots of the partly collapsed installation, our video shows how delicate the work on the installation is.

Junya Ishigami: Architecture as Air: Study for Château la Coste. 12th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Biennale Preview, Venice / Italy, August 27, 2010.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

Share/Bookmark


September 14 2010

Cloudscapes by Transsolar and Tetsuo Kondo Architects / Architecture Biennale Venice 2010

In one of the largest halls of the Architecture Biennale’s Arsenale exhibition space, Transsolar and Tetsuo Kondo Architects created an artificial 800sqm cloud. A spiraling cantilevered ramp allows the visitors of the installation to experience the ethereal cloudscape from below, within, and above.

The cloud is created through climate engineering. Creating the cloud is based on a stabile temperature and humidity stratification in the space in 3 layers: below the cloud 18 – 24°C, 60% humidity, in the cloud 26 – 32°C at 100% humidity and above the cloud with 32 – 38°C at around 50%.

Cloudscapes by Transsolar and Tetsuo Kondo Architects. 12th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Venice / Italy. Preview, August 27/28, 2010.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

Share/Bookmark


September 10 2010

Philip Beesley: Hylozoic Ground. Canadian Pavilion at Architecture Biennale Venice 2010 / Interview

The Canadian Pavilion at the 12th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia in Venice, Italy, presents Philip Beesley’s Hylozoic Ground, an immersive, interactive environment made of lightweight digitally-fabricated component fitted with meshed microprocessors and sensors.

VernissageTV met with Philip Beesley on one of the preview days of the Biennale. In this interview, the artist and architect explains the word hylozoism and talks about the beginnings of his work on this topic, the concept of the exhibition at the Canadian Pavilion, the poetical and practical side of his work, and the next steps in the evolution of this system. The above video is an excerpt of the interview. The full-length version of the video that also contains an interview with Rob Gorbet is available after the jump.

Hylozoic Ground at the Canadian Pavilion in the Venice Biennale’s Giardini is a project designed by Philip Beesley, Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Waterloo, with engineering director Rob Gorbet, experimental chemist Rachel Armstrong, and many collaborators.

The Hylozoic Ground environment can be described as a suspended geotextile that gradually accumulates hybrid soil from ingredients drawn from its surroundings. Akin to the functions of a living system, embedded machine intelligence allows human interaction to trigger breathing, caressing, and swallowing motions and hybrid metabolic exchanges. These empathic motions ripple out from hives of kinetic valves and pores in peristaltic waves, creating a diffuse pumping that pulls air, moisture and stray organic matter through the filtering Hylozoic membranes. ‘Living’ chemical exchanges are conceived as the first stages of self-renewing functions that might take root within this architecture. (Excerpt from the press release).

Philip Beesley: Hylozoic Ground. Canadian Pavilion at Architecture Biennale Venice 2010 / Interview. 12th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Venice / Italy. Preview, August 27/28, 2010.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

Full-length episode, interviews with Philip Beesley and Rob Gorbet:

Related Articles:

Share/Bookmark


September 07 2010

The Now Interviews at the Architecture Biennale Venice 2010: Interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist / Part 2/2

For the 12th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, Director and 2010 Pritzker Prize winner Kazuyo Sejima invited Hans Ulrich Obrist to realize the Now Interviews, six days of live public interviews. The Now Interviews will be on view from August 29 – November 21, 2010. 

From August 22 through 27, Obrist developed what he calls “a portrait of an exhibition” encouraging viewers to consider the diverse practices of all the participants in this year’s Biennale, which Sejima has united within the theme “people meet in architecture.” Located in the Arsenale designed by SANAA, the exhibition of the Now Interviews are installed on a series of monitors for the duration of the Biennale. In addition, the 2006 Serpentine Gallery 24-Hour Interview Marathon archive will be shown in its entirety. The Now Interviews are curated by Karen Marta.

In the second part of VernissageTV’s interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist, the curator and director of the Serpentine Gallery talks about the main idea of the project in Venice, the exhibition layout and new insights he took from his stay in Venice.

The Now Interviews at the Architecture Biennale Venice 2010: Interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist, part 2/2. Venice, Italy, August 27, 2010.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

Related Articles:

Share/Bookmark


September 06 2010

The Now Interviews at the Architecture Biennale Venice 2010: Interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist / Part 1/2

Within the framework of the 12th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, art curator, critic and art historian Hans Ulrich Obrist conducted live public interviews with every Biennale participant. The six-day live marathon took place in the Arsenale from August 22 through 27. Hans Ulrich Obrist interviewed artists and architects such as Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA), Golden Lion winner Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry.

In a short break after his interview with Wim Wenders, VernissageTV had the chance to meet up with Hans Ulrich Obrist and ask him how his interview series started and evolved and the Now Interviews project in Venice. In the second part of this episode that will be published tomorrow, Hans Ulrich Obrist talks about the main idea of the project in Venice, the exhibition layout and new insights he took from his stay in Venice.

Hans Ulrich Obrist is Co-director, Exhibitions & Programmes and Director of International Projects with the Serpentine Gallery in London. He was born in Zürich, Switzerland, in 1968. Obrist first gained art world attention in 1991, when he mounted an exhibition in the kitchen of his apartment entitled “The Kitchen Show”, featuring work by artists such as Christian Boltanski and Peter Fischli & David Weiss. According to the art publication Art Review, he is the most powerful figure in the art world (Art Review Power 100 list 2009).

The interviews are shown on a series of monitors at the Arsenale. They are on view at the Architecture Biennale in Venice until November 21. The installation has been designed by SANAA. The Now Interviews is the inaugural project organized by the Institute of the 21st Century. Led by Bettina Korek, the institute is dedicated to promoting experimental modes of collaboration and patronage for the arts. Officially launching in January 2011, the Institute’s first objective is to preserve and increase public access to Hans Ulrich Obrist’s ongoing project and archive online.

The Now Interviews at the Architecture Biennale Venice 2010: Interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist, part 1/2. Venice, Italy, August 27, 2010.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

Share/Bookmark


September 03 2010

BorderLINE Architecture / Hungarian Pavilion, Architecture Biennale Venice 2010 / Interview with Curator Andor Wesselény-Garay

The Hungarian contribution to the 12th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice presents an extensive installation composed of video projections, ninety kilometers of rope, twenty thousand pencils and hundreds of drawings.

The concept of the exhibition in the Hungarian pavilion titled “BorderLINE Architecture” has been created by the designers and architects Andor Wesselény-Garay and Marcel Ferencz. It focuses on the line instead of the house as the origin of the architectural idea. On the first of the preview days of the Biennale VernissageTV met with Andor Wesselény-Garay. In this video he talks about the inspiration that led to the concept and the basic idea behind the presentation and why he’s convinced that “people meet in drawing”.

BorderLINE Architecture / Hungarian Pavilion, 12th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 2010. Interview with Curator Andor Wesselény-Garay. August 26, 2010. Photos after the jump.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

Related Articles:

Share/Bookmark


September 01 2010

Natural Architecture. Pavilion of the Czech and Slovak Republic / Architecture Biennale Venice 2010

“Architecture is undergoing a crisis. Our buildings no longer satisfy people. It is necessary to start to create differently: in place of design and aesthetics to take inspiration from the deeper laws of nature.” This quote by architect Martin Rajniš illustrates the basic concept of the Pavilion of the Czech and Slovak Republic at the 12th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia in Venice / Italy.

Martin Rajniš is one of the authors of the Pavilion of the Czech and Slovak Republic together with Jana Tichá and Irena Fialová. He is a professor of architecture at Prague’s Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design and the Technical University of Liverec. In 1986 he founded D.A. Studio, the first private architect’s office in Czechoslovakia. In 2005 he founded e-MRAK office, which focuses on smaller sustainable projects.

On the first of the preview days of the Biennale, we spoke with one of Martin Rajniš’ students, Ondrej Senfeld, who gave us some insight into the concept of the presentation in the pavilion of the Czech and Slovak Republic in the Giardini.

Natural Architecture. Pavilion of the Czech and Slovak Republic / Architecture Biennale Venice 2010. Interview with Ondrej Senfeld. 12th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Venice / Italy. Preview, August 26, 2010.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

Related Articles:

Share/Bookmark


Older posts are this way If this message doesn't go away, click anywhere on the page to continue loading posts.
Could not load more posts
Maybe Soup is currently being updated? I'll try again automatically in a few seconds...
Just a second, loading more posts...
You've reached the end.

Don't be the product, buy the product!

Schweinderl