Breathtaking augmented reality art installation on view in Venice – 1028

The AR installation is location specific; installed at thirteen different viewing spots throughout Venice.

Spark+ Art announces “Ascension,” a breathtaking augmented reality art installation by Richard Humann premieres during the 2017 Venice Biennale in Venice, Italy, in conjunction with the European Cultural Centre and the GAA Foundation.

Richard Humann creates an alternate universe within our own universe in his location-based augmented reality (AR) multimedia installation, “Ascension.” The work consists of twelve imaginary constellations suspended in the sky over the magical city of Venice, and can be viewed using an augmented reality app, Membit, on a smart phone or tablet.
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Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts collateral exhibition at the Venice Biennale – 1024

The show Man as Bird explores the interaction between discoveries in optics and art – fields that are intrinsically connected with an ambition to understand the world and to determine man’s place in it

The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts opened the exhibition Man as Bird. Images of Journeys organized as part of the Collateral Events of the 57th International Art Exhibition.

The show Man as Bird explores the interaction between discoveries in optics and art – fields that are intrinsically connected with an ambition to understand the world and to determine man’s place in it. Throughout history, people have tried to push the limits of the visible and find new angles of view by carrying out expeditions to distant places or improving the very means of seeing. This historical journey can be compared to the inner transformation which humans experience throughout life.
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Brigitte Kowanz and Erwin Wurm exhibit at the Austrian pavilion in Venice – 1025

Erwin Wurm, Just about Virtues and Vices in General, 2016 – 2017. Performative One Minute Sculpture. Beitrag Österreich-Pavillon / Contribution Austrian Pavillon. Mixed Media, Caravan, Furniture Pieces. H 245 x B 205 x L 592 cm | H 96 1/2 x B 80 2/3 x L 233 in. Unique. Photo: Eva Würdinger. Copyright: Bildrecht, Vienna 2017.

Christa Steinle, Commissioner of the Austrian Pavilion in 2017, is presenting Brigitte Kowanz and Erwin Wurm, two artistic positions who focus on examining and refining the concept of sculpture in the international art discourse.

With their oeuvres, Brigitte Kowanz and Erwin Wurm – who have both received the Grand Austrian State Prize for their extraordinary work – operate at the intersection between sculpture and architecture. Both react to changes in our perception and experience of space brought about over the past two hundred years by machines, media and new materials.

“Although the most famous phase of Wurm’s work is known as performative sculpture and Brigitte Kowanz’s works as light installations, thus causing them to appear to be worlds apart in terms of designation, they nevertheless work in the same sphere, i.e. on the expansion of the arts ushered in by the rejection of the image. Through the aid of her light installations, Brigitte Kowanz has immaterially redefined space and architecture. With his famous house paraphrases, from ‘House Attack’ (2006) to ‘Narrow House’ (2010), Erwin Wurm has transformed architecture into sculpture, consistently evolving the performative turn of sculpture with his ‘One Minute Sculptures’. Kowanz’s light objects and light spaces with their inherent writing and signs constitute an autonomous achievement for art. With their innovative and independent contributions, Kowanz and Wurm form part of an international movement within the spectrum of an extended concept of sculpture and space”, as Christa Steinle comments on her aesthetic concept for the Austrian pavilion.
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Fondazione Prada presents “The Boat is Leaking. The Captain Lied” – 1026


View of the exhibition “The boat is Leaking. The Captain Lied.” Fondazione Prada, Venice 13 May 2017 – 26 November 2017 Photo Delfino Sisto Legnani and Marco Cappelletti Courtesy Fondazione Prada.

From 13 May to 26 November 2017, Fondazione Prada presents in its Venetian venue “The Boat is Leaking. The Captain Lied.”, a transmedia exhibition project, the result of an ongoing, in-depth exchange between writer and filmmaker Alexander Kluge, artist Thomas Demand, stage and costume designer Anna Viebrock and curator Udo Kittelmann.

The exhibition unfolds on three storeys of the 18th century palazzo – the ground floor and the two main ones – and includes photographic and film works by Demand and Kluge, spatial settings by Anna Viebrock as well as loans from private and public collections.

The long process which led to the realization of this project is not only the result of discussions and exchanges between the authors involved in it, but also the outcome of a misunderstanding. The sharing of a reproduction of a painting by Angelo Morbelli Giorni… ultimi! (1883), generated in the three artists and in the curator different interpretations of its subject, which depicts a group of elderly destitute men within the Pio Albergo Trivulzio in Milan. More specifically, the portrayed individuals had been mistaken for retired sailors spending their old age at the hostel. This suggestion not only caused the marine metaphor in the exhibition title, inspired by Leonard Cohen’s song Everybody Knows (1988), but also the choice to devote a monographic room to Morbelli, hosting seven of his works.
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K11 Art Foundation at the Venice Biennale: Liang Yuanwei, Behind the Curtain – 1027

Installation image, Liang Yuanwei Behind the Curtain, exhibition produced by K11 Art Foundation in Venice, 2017. Photo Ugo Carmeni Courtesy the K11 Art Foundation.

The K11 Art Foundation is presenting Behind the Curtain, a new exhibition of work by Liang Yuanwei, one of China’s influential names in contemporary art. The show runs simultaneously with the 57th Biennale di Venezia and is curated by Loï c Le Gall, Assistant Curator at Centre Pompidou. Liang Yuanwei represented China in the 54th Biennale di Venezia in 2011

The title of the exhibition, Behind the Curtain, alludes to the operatic traditions of both China and Europe, a stage curtain often being a work of art in its own right but also revealing a reality behind it. Behind the Curtain is an homage to Venice and the Teatro La Fenice, as well as the carnival during which participants wander masked throughout the city. For the artist, the curtain also serves as a paradigm, a representation of the world, a way of looking at things. In the Peking opera where the decor is immutable, a table and two chairs are reconfigured to represent multiple scenes. This same pattern can be understood in the context of traditional Chinese painting: while the subjects remain, the techniques change. The exhibition title, Behind the Curtain also references the exhibition’s revelation of Liang Yuanwei’s intimate artistic practice.
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United States pavilion opens with Mark Bradford’s “Tomorrow Is Another Day” – 1023

Installation view Mark Bradford: Tomorrow Is Another Day La Biennale di Venezia, US Pavilion, Venice, Italy, 2017. Photo: Joshua White. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Tomorrow Is Another Day, featuring new work by Mark Bradford, is presented by the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University and The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA), in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, at La Biennale di Venezia 57th International Art Exhibition. Co-curated by Christopher Bedford, BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director and Commissioner for the project, and Katy Siegel, BMA Senior Programming and Research Curator, Tomorrow Is Another Day is Bradford’s reflection on his personal and artistic journey, as well as the history of crisis in modern America—both of which culminate in his historic commission for the U.S. Pavilion.

Tomorrow Is Another Day reflects Bradford’s belief in art’s alchemical power to transform, his continuing experiments with material abstraction, and his commitment to marginalized populations. For the five galleries of the U.S. Pavilion, as well as its exterior, Bradford has developed a multilayered narrative that intertwines personal experience and social history, seeing today’s world as if it were the ancient past and raising individual stories to the level of myth, a perspective that reveals the gravity of the present moment. Tomorrow Is Another Day features paintings and sculpture that bring back materials used earlier in the artist’s career, as well as some new discoveries, and includes an existing video work that gains new relevance in the current political climate.

“We are thrilled to present Tomorrow Is Another Day on this international stage,” said Bedford, BMA director and former director of the Rose Art Museum. “The exhibition and Process Collettivo social cooperative project embody the distinct combination of formal and social interests that define Mark Bradford, and which make him a truly timely representative for the United States in 2017. As much as these projects represent Bradford and the conditions that influence him, they also exemplify his pluralistic and inclusive vision of the world—a vision that redefines what it means to be both an artist and a citizen.”

In conjunction with the U.S. Pavilion exhibition, Bradford has embarked on a six-year collaboration with Venice nonprofit social cooperative Rio Terà dei Pensieri, which provides employment opportunities to men and women incarcerated in Venice who create artisanal goods and other products and supports their re-integration into society. Titled Process Collettivo, the Rio Terà dei Pensieri/Bradford collaboration aims to launch a sustainable longterm program that brings awareness to both the penal system and the success of the social cooperative model. A storefront, located in the heart of Venice, will be the initial manifestation of the collaboration, and is open to the public in conjunction with the La Biennale di Venezia. Continue reading “United States pavilion opens with Mark Bradford’s “Tomorrow Is Another Day” – 1023″

Andorran Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia features works by Eve Ariza – 1022

Murmuri is a reflection on universal language.

The artist selected to represent the Principality of Andorra is Eve Ariza. Born in France in 1973, she perfected her mastery of ceramics in Limoges (France). Through ceramics and activist events, Ariza’s works are a constant meditation on the evolution of human communication.

Her installation, Murmuri, is a reflection on universal language, an in-depth study of changes in material and the origins of form and sound. She works on reproducing the bowl as a container of truth and a sensory experience through its natural resonance. She purposely tears its base to reveal a mouth-like shape, thus transforming its essence and dismissing its conventional use.

The project carries on the artist’s battle against “bla”, the concept of overconsumption and overfeeding on images and sounds as tangibly the sole foundation of today’s society. The installation becomes a sensory experience as each bowl reveals its own natural resonance. Liberated from the burden of any explicit narrative content, the work primarily provokes an intense physical dialogue with the viewer.

The Andorran Pavilion at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia is located next to the Santa Maria Della Pietà Institute, a former convent, orphanage and music academy. The church was built in the 18th century by Giorgio Massari and was not only used as a place of worship but also as a concert hall. The Italian Baroque composer, Antonio Vivaldi, worked there as the choir director, writing many cantata and teaching at the seminary.

The church is situated in the Castello neighbourhood in front of the Grand Canal and the Riva degli Schiavoni, a five-minute walk from Piazza San Marco. The Pavilion has two separate entrances. The main one opens from the side of the church on to Della Pietà street and the second one can be reached from inside the church itself.

The site has held many pavilions before, such as the New Zealand Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia in 2013. The Zimbabwe Pavilion was also located in the church’s outbuildings in 2011.

Source : Artdaily

ÇIN by Cevdet Erek on view in the Pavilion of Turkey at the 57th International Art Exhibition – 1021

ÇIN (2017), Cevdet Erek, Pavilion of Turkey at the 575h Venice Biennale, installation view. Photo: RMphotostudio.

ÇIN, a new work by Cevdet Erek, is now on view in the Pavilion of Turkey at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), the Pavilion of Turkey is located at Sale d’Armi, Arsenale, one of the main exhibition venues of La Biennale di Venezia. The installation can be seen until 26 November 2017.

A site-specific installation, ÇIN uses architecture and sound to explore poetic and political imaginings. Its title has been imagined as a sound signal that foretells the work. An onomatopoeic word in Turkish, ÇIN imitates a specific percussive sound, similar to the ding in English, and is also a root from which two words are derived: reverberation (the prolongation of a sound after it occurs, defined by characteristics of the space it is in) and tinnitus (ringing in the ears due to acoustical trauma or other reasons).
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Two trolls turned artists take control of the Icelandic Pavilion in Venice – 1020

Installation view of ‘Out of Controll in Venice’, 2017, Icelandic Pavilion at Biennale Arte 2017. © and courtesy Egill Sæbjörnsson and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik. Photography Ivo Corda.

The Icelandic Art Center is pleased to unveil the Icelandic Pavilion for the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia (13 May – 26 November 2017): Out of Controll in Venice is where we finally meet Ūgh and Bõögâr, the two trolls turned artists, whose story we have been following since they took control of the Icelandic Pavilion from artist Egill Sæbjörnsson earlier this year. The pavilion is curated by Stefanie Böttcher, Director of Kunsthalle Mainz.

Ūgh and Bõögâr are two Icelandic trolls whom Egill Sæbjörnsson encountered back in 2008 already – a chance meeting that led to them immersing themselves in the artist’s life and vice versa. Out of Controll in Venice arises from their shared story: bringing together a café in Giudecca, handcrafted coffee cups, a LP, a book, a clothing line, a perfume, a digital experience and much more, we gain insight into their world as we visit the Pavilion. And not just that – we have a direct encounter with the two ferocious, man-eating creatures we have heard so much about, yet whose existence we may have doubted.

Upon entering the Pavilion, the visitor is confronted with a sign saying café. A closer look at this seemingly familiar walk-in café, reveals the two giant heads of Ūgh and Bõögâr, facing each other in the centre of the space. The trolls’ long hair, falling down 7 metres, has the effect of a curtain, enticing the visitor to explore what’s beyond this physical and psychological barrier. Coffee in hand, they climb up a set of stairs and take a seat at a table on one of the three floors inside the troll’s head, peaking through holes that reveal the troll on the opposite side of the space.

The living café in Giudecca exists for more than simply rest and relaxation. Activated by layered projections of light, animations and sounds, Ūgh and Bõögâr are talking to each other about their lives, thoughts and experiences. From time to time they make strange noises and perform a beastly performance. Their interaction reveals to us who they are, at the same time as they assuage their insatiable hunger for humans and for knowledge about our way of life. Continue reading “Two trolls turned artists take control of the Icelandic Pavilion in Venice – 1020”

Dirk Braeckman opens his solo exhibition in the Belgian Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale – 1019

Installation view Belgian Pavilion, 57th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, 2017. © Dirk Braeckman.

Dirk Braeckman’s photographic works bring a stillness to today’s constant flow of images. Using analogue techniques, he has developed a visual language of his own that focuses the act of viewing and reflects on the status of the image. Braeckman explores the boundaries of his medium and challenges photographic conventions. The camera’s flash reflects off the surface of the subject, the texture of walls, curtains, carpets and posters. His images show anonymous subjects from his immediate surroundings, evoking an open story. The artist shows empty rooms in which time seems to stand still, elements of interchangeable interiors or human figures that stand only for presence — all separate from any specific identity, place, time or emotion.

Dirk Braeckman: ‘I think the Belgian pavilion is the most beautiful of all in Venice. If I could choose just one from the whole of the Giardini, this would be it. I always thought it would be ideal for my work: the light, the scale, the architecture’.
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Geoffrey Farmer’s “A way out of the mirror” floods the Canada Pavilion – 1018

Geoffrey Farmer, A way out of the mirror, 2017. Installation view at the Canada Pavilion for the 57th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, 2017. © Geoffrey Farmer, Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Francesco Barasciutti.

After an intense period of study and creation, Canadian artist Geoffrey Farmer has emerged with a presentation for the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia that interweaves diverse stories of collision and reconciliation.

“Geoffrey Farmer is a wonderful choice to represent Canada at the Biennale Arte 2017, which coincides with the 150th anniversary of our country’s confederation,” said Marc Mayer, Director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada – the commissioning institution for the Canada Pavilion. “His new work is unlike anything he has created before or anything ever presented in this pavilion. Farmer has entered new creative territory with this extraordinary installation.”

The Geoffrey Farmer exhibition was commissioned by the National Gallery of Canada and produced in partnership with the Canada Council for the Arts. The Canadian representation at Biennale Arte 2017 is made possible through the generous financial support of Presenting Sponsor Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Major Sponsor Aimia. Other support was generously provided by the Canadian Artists in Venice Endowment, the Government of British Columbia, the Joy Thomson Fund, and the philanthropic support of over fifty families and individuals through the National Gallery of Canada Foundation. The art galleries Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver, and Casey Kaplan, New York, offered valued assistance to the project.

Simon Brault, O.C., O.Q., Director and CEO, Canada Council for the Arts, said: “Canada is present at the 57th Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia through some of contemporary art’s boldest artists. Their work offers the world a window onto the issues, challenges and concerns that define Canada in 2017. They provoke conversations that resonate worldwide, on our current human condition – both as a subject of apprehension and hope. Continue reading “Geoffrey Farmer’s “A way out of the mirror” floods the Canada Pavilion – 1018″

“The Aalto Natives” by Nathaniel Mellors and Erkka Nissinen on view at the Pavilion of Finland – 1017

The Aalto Natives by Erkka Nissinen and Nathaniel Mellors. Photo: Ugo Carmeni Frame Contemporary Art Finland

The Pavilion of Finland presents The Aalto Natives, a collaboration between artists Nathaniel Mellors and Erkka Nissinen at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Individually known for their irreverent and often comedic story-driven work, Mellors and Nissinen focus on various clichés surrounding Finnish history and national identity for The Aalto Natives.

Conflating ideas and tropes from archaeology, anthropology and science fiction, the work re-imagines Finnish society through the eyes of two messianic outsider figures, Geb and Atum, who are represented by talking animatronic puppets.

The story presents Geb and Atum as terraforming higher beings, who re-visit the Finland they have created millions of years earlier, and who try to make sense of the culture that has developed in the meantime. They are engaged in a dialogue in which they introduce a series of video vignettes on Finnish creation mythology, contemporary Finnish society and their vision for the future of Finland.

Within this narrative framework, Mellors and Nissinen playfully critique religion and the nature of human existence, to reveal the systemic flaws at the heart of cultures dominated by rationalism and the fetishization of progress. Continue reading ““The Aalto Natives” by Nathaniel Mellors and Erkka Nissinen on view at the Pavilion of Finland – 1017″

Greek Pavilion in Venice presents George Drivas’ “Laboratory of Dilemmas” – 1016

Laboratory of Dilemmas is presented piecemeal on screens and through speakers which have been placed in an installation divided into three parts: the Upper Level, the Lower Level/Labyrinth and the Screening Room.

Laboratory of Dilemmas is a narrative video in- stallation based on Aeschylus’ theatre play Iketides (Suppliant Women) and the dilemma it poses between saving the Foreigner or maintaining the safety of the Native, which attempts to expose the anguish, puzzlement, and confusion of individuals and social groups when called upon to address similar dilemmas.

Aeschylus’s Iketides (Suppliant Women, 463-464 BC) is the first literary text in history that raises the issue of a persecuted group of people seeking asylum. The Suppliants have left Egypt to avoid having to marry their first cousins and arrive at Argos seeking asylum from the King of the city.

The King is then faced with a major dilemma. If he helps the foreign women, he risks inciting a war with the Egyptians, who will come to take back the Suppliants. But if he doesn’t help them, he will be breaking the sacred laws of Hospitality and violating the principles of Law and Humanism, leaving the Suppliants to the mercy of their pursuers, who might well destroy them. Laboratory of Dilemmas presents the play’s dilemmas through the excerpts of an unfinished documentary, about a scientific experiment.

This experiment was never completed for unknown reasons, however the excerpts from an old documentary reveal today for the first time the details of the experiment, the hopes of the Greek professor who envisioned it, and the disagreements with his co-researchers.

The project went through many stages. During the last stage, the researchers suddenly discovered in their cell culture, a group of new cells which were different from the ones being investigated. These new ones were vulnerable outside the cell culture and were showing a tension to organize with the old cells. Continue reading “Greek Pavilion in Venice presents George Drivas’ “Laboratory of Dilemmas” – 1016″

United Arab Emirates Opens Pavilion, First to Be Created at Venice by an Arabian Gulf Country – 1015

Through visual arts, performance, video, and its own architectural design, the Pavilion offers a unique view into the creative ferment taking place in the UAE today.

The United Arab Emirates Pavilion opened in the Arsenale at the 53rd International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, making history as the first national pavilion ever to be created at the Biennale by an Arabian Gulf country. Through visual arts, performance, video, and its own architectural design, the Pavilion offers a unique view into the creative ferment taking place in the UAE today. The UAE Pavilion will welcome visitors through November 22, 2009.

“It’s Not You, It’s Me”
The UAE Pavilion is titled “It’s Not You, It’s Me,” an unconventional name for the country’s first pavilion at the world’s most prestigious contemporary art event. “By and large, art professionals around the world dismiss the notion that a pavilion can truly represent a nation,” Zolghadr explains. “There still remains much to consider— your citizenship can still largely determine your career, and the way your art is produced, circulated and received.”

“Coming from a new arrival at the Venice Biennale,” Zolghadr continues, “the title ‘It’s Not You, It’s Me’ might therefore be interpreted to mean, it’s not the art that’s the problem, it’s the audience, or vice versa, or ‘look, it’s the UAE’s turn now’. The UAE Pavilion as a whole can be seen as an exhibition about exhibition-making, reflecting on the very act of national showcasing at the Venice Biennale.”

Built in a large and prominent location in the Arsenale—one of the two main areas of the Venice Biennale—the Pavilion draws attention to its nature and function as a showcase through a combination of scenographic elements and architectural design by the partnership of Rami Farook (founder of the UAE’s Traffic design gallery) and the Belgian architectural collective D’haeseleer & Kimpe & Poelaert, known for its collaborations with visual artists. Physically, the entire Pavilion highlights a “World Fair” theme that incorporates various components: Continue reading “United Arab Emirates Opens Pavilion, First to Be Created at Venice by an Arabian Gulf Country – 1015”

Immersive two-person exhibition featured in the South African Pavilion – 1014

Candice Breitz, Love Story, 2016. Featuring Alec Baldwin and Julianne Moore. Right to Left: Farah Abdi Mohamed, José Maria João, Luis Ernesto Nava Molero 7-Channel Installation: 7 Hard Drives. Commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne), Outset Germany and Medienboard (Berlin-Brandenburg). Courtesy: Goodman Gallery (Johannesburg), Kaufmann Repetto (Milan) and KOW (Berlin). Installation View: Kunstmuseum Stuttgart Photograph: Die Arge Lola.

The South African Department of Arts and Culture presents Candice Breitz + Mohau Modisakeng, an immersive two-person exhibition in the South African Pavilion at the 57th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, running from 13 May – 26 November, 2017.

South Africa’s Commissioner, Titi Nxumalo, said she is delighted that Breitz and Modisakeng accepted the invitation to represent South Africa. “Experimental film provides a captivating environment for viewers, and it was with the intention of creating a multi-media installation that the artists were selected. Breitz is an internationally acclaimed artist, best known for her multi-channel video installations, while Modisakeng’s award-winning career is defined by his film, photography and sculpture. Their practices come together for South Africa’s first exclusively cinematic experience.”

Curated by Lucy MacGarry and Musha Neluheni on behalf of project lead, Connect Channel, the exhibition explores the disruptive power of storytelling in relation to historical and contemporary waves of forced migration. Breitz’s seven-channel installation, Love Story (2016), interrogates the conditions under which empathy is produced. Featuring Hollywood actors Alec Baldwin and Julianne Moore, the work is based on and includes dense interviews with six refugees. Modisakeng’s threechannel installation, Passage (2017), meditates on slavery’s dismemberment of African identity and its enduring erasure of personal histories.

MacGarry describes the artists’ works as articulations of our past and current state of “refugeeness” within a global context of exclusion and transience. What is it to be visible in everyday life, yet invisible at the level of cultural and political representation? Continue reading “Immersive two-person exhibition featured in the South African Pavilion – 1014”

Japanese Pavilion inVenice presents a selection of three-dimensional works by Takahiro Iwasaki – 1013

Installation image of “Turned Upside Down, It’s a Forest”, photo courtesy of the Japan Foundation, © Takahiro Iwasaki.

Takahiro Iwasaki was born in the Hiroshima Prefecture where he is also currently based. This solo exhibition presents a selection of three-dimensional works created using everyday familiar objects including towels, books, and plastic rubbish. Characteristic of Iwasaki’s works is his fine handiwork by which he transforms his materials, such as creating steel towers from the threads pulled out of towels. These small interventions like making a stack of towels look like mountains in nature use the traditionally “Japanese” technique of “figurative representation.” For his works Iwasaki has selected motifs of both old and new buildings in the coastal regions of Japan, including a traditional shrine built above the sea, chemical plants that stand along Hiroshima’s coast, as well as oilrigs. From issues of nuclear energy and the development of resources, to chemical plants that despite supporting the high growth of the postwar economy had been a serious cause for pollution, Iwasaki’s works serve to shed light on the various challenges and situations confronted by Japan’s rural regions.

Takahiro Iwasaki was born in Hiroshima Prefecture in 1975, and currently lives and works in the same prefecture. He received his Ph.D., Art from the Graduate School of Arts, Hiroshima City University, and completed the M.F.A. program at the Edinburgh College of Art.

Iwasaki held a solo exhibition at the Asia Society in New York in 2015, and solo exhibitions at the Kurobe City Art Museum and the Oyama City Kurumaya Art Museum in the same year. He has also participated in international exhibitions including the 10th Lyon Biennale (2009), Yokohama Triennale (2011), 7th Asia Pacific Triennale (2012), 2013 Asian Art Biennale (National Taiwan Museum of the Arts), 8th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale (2014), as well as numerous group exhibitions including the Roppongi Crossing 2007 – Future Beats in Japanese Contemporary Art (Mori Art Museum, 2007), Happiness in Everyday Life (Contemporary Art center, Mito Art Tower, 2008), trans×form (Aomori Contemporary Art Center, 2013), and Nissan Art Award 2015 (BankART Studio NYK). Continue reading “Japanese Pavilion inVenice presents a selection of three-dimensional works by Takahiro Iwasaki – 1013”

Global crises meets peaceful culture clash in Azerbaijan Pavilion – 1012

Under One Sun by Elvin Nabizade, 2017, installation, Saz (real national music instrument), variable dimensions. Image courtesy of Javid Guliyev.

At the Azerbaijani Pavilion of this year’s 57th Biennale di Venezia, Prof. Dr. Martin Roth, the former director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, and Emin Mammadov, the artistic adviser of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, are curating the exhibition UNDER ONE SUN. The Art of Living Together.

The Azerbaijani Pavilion of this year’s 57th Biennale di Venezia is being presented in the Palazzo Lezze from the 13th of May to the 26th of November 2017. The exhibition UNDER ONE SUN. Art of Living Together by artist Elvin Nabizade and the visual performance group HYPNOTICA is shown on two floors with a number of imposing works by both artists.

The Pavilion displays Azerbaijan’s cultural diversity
In Azerbaijan many people from very different backgrounds have lived alongside each other since time immemorial. Within a major region that combines European and Eastern civilizations, it is unavoidable that religion, philosophy, and political theories confront each other. The peaceful cohabitation of different cultures in Azerbaijan and the preservation of the best traditions of Eastern hospitality spark wonder in this age of globalization, ethnic conflicts, intolerance, and aggression. The metaphorical title UNDER ONE SUN. The Art of Living Together, explains the subjects of this exhibition, focusing on the cultural and ethnical diversity in Azerbaijan. It is mostly about the tolerance that has developed among these groups over the years. At the same time, however, it sends a hidden message about the challenges they are facing in order to maintain peace. Furthermore, it demonstrates Azerbaijan’s continuous effort towards a peaceful solution to the Armenian-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

At the entrance of the pavilion the visual performance group HYPNOTICA has set up twenty monitors showing an ethnic minority speaking its own language. Personal interviews merge into one another on the screens. The unity that is created through the text and the language, and that is especially emphasized by an anthropomorphic sculpture, reflects the different ethnic groups living together in one country. In parallel, the artist Elvin Nabizade presents an installation named after the exhibition’s title that fills an entire room on the first floor. Cultural diversity is also his main theme. He shows approximately fifty Saz, traditional string instruments, that resemble the form of a rainbow. Symbolically, it is not only the act of speaking, but also the common language of music that connects the various minorities. Continue reading “Global crises meets peaceful culture clash in Azerbaijan Pavilion – 1012”

New, site-specific installation by Gal Weinstein on view at the Israeli Pavilion – 1011

Gal Weinstein, El Al, 2017, Acrilan, Styrofoam, graphite, felt and steel wool, installation view, Sun Stand Still, Israeli Pavilion, photo: Claudio Franzini, courtesy of Gal Weinstein.

Sun Stand Still, Gal Weinstein’s project for the Israeli pavilion at the 57th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, is a new, site-specific installation which explores the human desire to stop time. Reflecting a fascination with actual and potential forms of creation and destruction, progress and devastation, this project critically engages with the mythological and Romantic images embedded in Israel’s collective memory. Each part of the exhibition is related to works created by Weinstein over the past decade, so that his entire oeuvre is woven into a single, cohesive installation.

The installation’s title refers to the biblical miracle performed by the ancient Israelite leader Joshua Bin-Nun, who sought to win his battle against the kings of Canaan before darkness fell. By commanding the sun to stop in its course, Bin-Nun attempted to arrest the passage of time. The central axis of the project – Moon over Ayalon Valley – is a representation of this biblical miracle. The exhibition transforms the national pavilion – both physically and metaphorically – into an abandoned site; a desolate, moldy and decaying building whose days of glory have long passed, a ghostly space pervaded by signs of decline.

Jezreel Valley in the Dark – a floor installation on the intermediate level – consists of puzzle-shaped agricultural plots filled with coffee dregs. This “agricultural laboratory” is an ironic inversion of agricultural processes, as actions related to order, cultivation, and maintenance are replaced by inaction and neglect. On the pavilion’s upper level, Weinstein’s preoccupation with freezing time is underscored in a sculptural work depicting a missile or satellite launch pad made of Acrilan fiber.

The project may be interpreted as a melancholic and poetic allegory of the Israeli story – one composed of miraculous acts and moments of enlightenment as well as neglect and destruction, a story vacillating between a megalomaniac soaring to great heights and a resounding crash. The divine miracle in the Ayalon Valley is related here to the Zionist project of conquering a seemingly barren wilderness, alongside expressions of technological progress and the mold agriculture. However, taken together, these works create a narrative that may also be read as a post-apocalyptic vision, revealing the cost of human hubris in the enterprise of civilization. Continue reading “New, site-specific installation by Gal Weinstein on view at the Israeli Pavilion – 1011”

‘Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play’ is United Arab Emirates’ exhibition for the Venice Biennale – 1010

Installation view of the National Pavilion UAE exhibition at the 57th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia, titled Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play. Image courtesy National Pavilion UAE

The National Pavilion United Arab Emirates opened its exhibition at the 57th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia.

Curated by Hammad Nasar, the exhibition, titled “Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play”, explores the concept of ‘playfulness’ as a connecting thread across multiple generations of artistic practice in the UAE. It attempts to address a set of nested enquiries: Where does ‘playfulness’ in artistic practice come from? How and where is ‘play’ nurtured? What does ‘play’ do?

Commissioned by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation and supported by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, the exhibition runs from May 13th to November 26th, 2017, with a preview from 10th to 12th May, 2017.

The exhibition presents a mix of new commissions, existing works and re-fabrications of ‘lost’ pieces by five artists who call the UAE home: Nujoom Alghanem, Sara Al Haddad, Vikram Divecha, Lantian Xie and Dr. Mohamed Yousif. Their exhibited works approach play through movement, rhythm, form, time and place. The accompanying publication and program serve as additional sites of play.

“Play and playfulness are vehicles through which we as children learn to understand the world around us and navigate our place in it. This exhibition foregrounds a selection of artists whose practice takes this process of understanding and navigation as a source of inspiration and vitality,” says Hammad Nasar. “These artists fit within an artistic trajectory in the UAE of play and playfulness as a mode of creation. They variously experiment with materials, sound, texts and physical and social processes as part of their artmaking.” Continue reading “‘Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play’ is United Arab Emirates’ exhibition for the Venice Biennale – 1010”

New Zealand presents multi-media artist Lisa Reihana at the 57th International Art Exhibition – 1009

in Pursuit of Venus [infected], 2015–17, Lisa Reihana: Emissaries, Biennale Arte 2017. Photo: Michael Hall. Image courtesy of New Zealand at Venice.

Lisa Reihana: Emissaries features the artist’s vast panoramic video in Pursuit of Venus [infected], 2015—17, alongside interrelated photo-based and sculptural works. The exhibition is presented at Tese dell’Isolotto, one of the oldest and most expansive maritime buildings in the Arsenale. This is the first time the New Zealand pavilion has been located within the Biennale’s central exhibition area.

Lisa Reihana’s (b.1964) technically ambitious and poetically nuanced practice draws on fiction, historical evidence, mythology and kinship to disrupt notions of truth, gender and modes of representation. In Lisa Reihana: Emissaries, curated by Rhana Devenport, imperialism’s glare is returned with a speculative twist and the exhibition aims to unravel Enlightenment ideals and philosophy, the colonial impulse, and the pervasive gaze of power and desire.

in Pursuit of Venus [infected], 2015—17, is a cinematic reimagining of the French scenic wallpaper Les Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique, 1804—1805, also known as ‘Captain Cook’s voyages’. Two centuries later – and almost 250 years after the original voyages that inspired them – Reihana employs complex twenty-first century audio-visual technologies to animate the wallpaper with real and invented narratives in a cultural endeavour of reclamation and reimagining. The artist re-casts this original European fabrication of the Pacific to suggest a more complex story.

The expansive video panorama is populated by characters drawn from across Aotearoa New Zealand, the Pacific and Europe to create a compelling and mesmerising experience. Reihana intensifies the death of Cook in Hawai’i as the dramatic moment of rupture. This and other narratives play out within a looping visual and sonic world where time is cyclical. Heightening the emotional arc of the work, an integrated soundscape weaves together live capture of performances, the winding of an original clock used on Cook’s voyages, and rare recordings of the taonga pūoro (Māori instruments) that he collected.

The title in Pursuit of Venus [infected] consciously references the artist’s ‘point of view’ or ‘POV’. The ‘Venus’ alludes to the worldwide international scientific mission to measure the heavens by documenting the 1769 Transit of Venus, in order to determine the distance between Earth and the Sun. Arcadian conceptions of the South Seas

are also alluded to, with Bougainville having named Tahiti ‘New Cythera’ in reference to the birthplace of the goddess of love. The ‘infection’ reveals itself through the slippages of encounter as Pacific peoples and the English sailors, artists, scientists and astronomers share this heightened phantasmic zone.

A constellation of five sculptural Perspectival Tubes feature transparencies that reference one’s POV (point of view) and literally ‘telescope in’ on certain moments associated with in Pursuit of Venus [infected]. Featured are a Nootka Sound figurine (an ancestor from the northern hemisphere), the Tahitian Omai’s calling card that he used in London, a powerful headdress from Cook Islands worn by a senior performer from Rarotonga, an eighteenth century universal compass that tracks colonisation, as well as the artist’s text ‘Because we are From the Future’. These words allude to Māori and Pacific concepts of time (Tā-Vā) where past, present and future are embodied in the same moment.

Flanking in Pursuit of Venus [infected] are two emissaries, at the close of the exhibition is Joseph Banks, the ambitious English naturalist and explorer who was an eighteenth century emissarial figure of expanding knowledge, at the entrance of the exhibition appears the elaborately costumed Tahitian Chief Mourner who led customary rituals transiting between death and life.

Source : Artdaily

Artist Bernardo Oyarzún and curator Ticio Escobar represent Chile at the 57th Venice Art Biennale – 1008

Installation view of Werken by Bernardo Oyarzún, 57th Venice Biennale. Photographer: Daniela Aravena Jordán.

The National Council of Culture and Arts Chile announced details of artist Bernardo Oyarzún and curator Ticio Escobar’s presentation for Chile at the 57th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale 2017.

Bernardo Oyarzún represents the Chilean pavilion in the Arsenale at the Venice Art Biennale. The exhibition has been curated by Ticio Escobar.

Mr. Ernesto Ottone, Minister of Culture of Chile, said: “We are extremely happy with the decision made by the jury. I have admired the work of Bernardo Oyarzún for many years and am very excited about this project. Oyarzún explores the relationship between contemporary art and indigenous peoples, and I think this project will offer an important insight into the subject.”

Oyarzún’s project explores the theme of the current representation of the Mapuche community, a group of indigenous inhabitants of southcentral Chile and southwestern Argentina. The exhibition, entitled Werken, features an impressive installation of over 1,000 Mapuche kollong masks, traditionally used in ceremonies, located in the centre of the room, forming an area which occupies approximately 10 x 11 meters. The walls of the room feature red LED scroll signs that display 6,907 Mapuche surnames. Oyarzún’s work often combines anthropological, social and historical elements in order to present a critique of Chilean culture and society.

The masks were made one by one by forty Mapuche artisans who live in different communities in southern Chile, from a direct relationship established by the artist with each of them.

Curator Ticio Escobar is an academic, art critic and cultural promoter. In 1979 he founded the Museo del Barro (Museum of Pottery) in Asunción with the objective of preserving Paraguayan culture, and in the same year founded the Museo de Arte Indígena, Centro de Artes Visuales (Museum for Indigenous Art, Centre of Visual Art), of which he was director until 2008. He is currently the Director of the Centre for Visual Arts at Museo del Barro. Continue reading “Artist Bernardo Oyarzún and curator Ticio Escobar represent Chile at the 57th Venice Art Biennale – 1008”

Pavilion of the Republic of Albania presents works by Leonard Qylafi – 1007

Imagery #2, 2014. Oil on canvas 80cm x115 cm. All Images: Courtesy the Artist © Leonard Qylafi.

Albania’s representation at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, is the exhibition Occurrence in Present Tense by Leonard Qylafi, curated by Vanessa Joan Müller.

As the presence of the past in the today, recollection shapes our understanding of history. The evolution it undergoes over time is an issue of quality as much as distance: experience becomes fact, witnessed events turn into objective matter. Living recollection is superseded by collective memory, which for its part resorts to material supports such as books and archives, films and photographs.

Leonard Qylafi’s artistic practice takes these material supports of remembrance as a point of departure to look at the process of transformation that shapes our understanding of the past. His paintings and videos are as much investigations of the processes shaping his country’s recollection of significant events, as they are reflections on the nature of the image.

The sources for the paintings are photographic: photos published in New Albania, a state propaganda magazine from the 1980s when the country was still socialist, and photos that artist took himself. The images depict noteworthy occasions in the history of Albania, although one might not consider them iconic. Official photographs of the former communist party’s parades, sporting events, and other occurrences considered characteristic for the People’s Republic of Albania under Enver Hoxha on the one hand, and photos taken in Tirana at a demonstration against corruption that ended in violence. The location of the events is the same, but the colors and the array of the people on the boulevard differ drastically: a collective body of young people, choreographed as mass ornaments, versus an assembly of individuals. The minor quality of the magazine images and the blown-up details of the photographs documenting the 2011 demonstration lead to blurred contours and a general out-of-focusness, which in itself forms a metaphor for the dissolution of lived experience into general fact. Continue reading “Pavilion of the Republic of Albania presents works by Leonard Qylafi – 1007”

Singapore Pavilion opens at the 57th Venice Biennale with works by artist Zai Kuning – 1006

Artist Zai Kuning represents Singapore at the 57th Venice Biennale.

The Singapore Pavilion at the 57th edition of the Venice Biennale was officially opened on Wednesday, 10 May 2017 by Guest-of-Honour Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Singapore, at the Sale d’Armi building at the Arsenale in Venice.

Multidisciplinary artist Zai Kuning represents Singapore with a work that resurrects, reimagines and weaves together his artistic obsession, imaginings, and dreams of an ancient Malay world. Titled Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge, it is a culmination of decades of Zai’s research since the late-90s on the forgotten stories of the orang laut (sea people), and mak yong, a dying pre-Islamic operatic tradition, throughout the Riau Archipelago; alongside the narrative of the first Malay king of Srivijaya, Dapunta Hyang Sri Jayanasa.

Zai Kuning is the first contemporary visual artist to resurrect Dapunta Hyang’s story, calling forth the grandeur and sheer force of a maritime world cast in darkness for centuries. Central to the exhibition is the ship – the fifth and largest vessel that Zai has created to date at 17-metres long – symbolic of the Srivijaya empire and its influence over the region. An emblem of knowledge transmission, the ship is made of rattan – an old-world climbing plant common in Southeast Asia – and bound with an old technique using only beeswax and strings. The use of beeswax is especially poignant in this work, as beeswax was used for embalming in the ancient world. Likewise, the red string that holds everything together represents an old binding technique, and symbolises the bloodline of the descendants of Dapunta Hyang. Continue reading “Singapore Pavilion opens at the 57th Venice Biennale with works by artist Zai Kuning – 1006”

Xavier Veilhan transforms French pavilion into a studio for musicians – 1005

Xavier Veilhan, Studio Venezia (2017). Installation view French Pavilion, Biennale di Venezia. Photo © Giacomo Cosua © Veilhan / ADAGP, Paris, 2017.

The French pavilion for the Venice Art Biennale 2017 has been transformed by Xavier Veilhan and the pavilion’s curators, Christian Marclay and Lionel Bovier, into a musical space in which professional musicians from all over the world will work throughout the duration of the exhibition.

It is no accident that the word “studio”, in both English and Italian, is used to denote a place that houses both musicians and artists. Teamwork is one of the central pillars of Xavier Veilhan’s atelier, and he has always expressed his desire for collaboration, in contrast to the common perception of the “lone creator”. Studio Venezia is fully in keeping with this desire, bringing together musicians, sound technicians, programmers and producers, amongst others.

In this immersive installation that blurs the architectural lines initially drawn up for the French pavilion (designed in 1912 by the Venetian engineer Faust Finzi), floors, walls and ceilings collide to form a landscape of wood and fabrics that reveals a fully operational recording studio. Inspired by additive and intuitive construction methods. This overall artwork evokes not only Kurt Schwitter’s Merzbau but also the phonic devices used during recordings.

Numerous instruments, which have been integrated into the space, enables musicians from different horizons and genres (from classical to electronic and from new music compositions to folkloric styles) to work on site, either individually or collaboratively. The presence of sound technicians and an impressive guest list of musicians ensures the possibility to experiment with sound, at the same time as encouraging unexpected collaborations. Musicians are free to decide how they wish to use their time in the pavilion and they will retain full ownership of their performances, thus leaving with their own recordings and a compilation of their work with others. Continue reading “Xavier Veilhan transforms French pavilion into a studio for musicians – 1005”

Carlos Amorales represents Mexico at La Biennale di Venezia – 1004

Carlos Amorales’ project for Biennale Arte 2017 is the outcome of an extensive research in which the artist introduces a formal language that unfolds in the works which comprise the installation

The Ministry of Culture of Mexico through the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA) presents Life in the folds, a proposal by the artist Carlos Amorales with the curatorship of Pablo León de la Barra. This project represents Mexico at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

Lidia Camacho highlights that in this edition, México commemorates the first decade of its participation with an official pavilion in Biennale Arte 2017, the most important event to promote contemporary art worldwide. To celebrate this special occasion, INBA has selected Carlos Amorales with his work Life in the folds, in which the artist “introduces us to a world where prints, sculpture, music, and cinema combine to give life and form to a new way of looking into reality, which materialize critical thinking and today’s problematics in contemporary art”.

Carlos Amorales studied in Netherlands, and participated in residencies in France and the United States. His artistic explorations led him to generate the Liquid Archive, an image bank that the artist has used in multiple ways, with which he has evidenced the crisis existing in the communication systems. Throughout his practice the artist puts at the center of his reflection language, codification, music and the implications of art in society. Continue reading “Carlos Amorales represents Mexico at La Biennale di Venezia – 1004”