martedì 12 ottobre 2021

Małgorzata Mirga-Tas per la Polonia

 Per la Polonia è stata scelta l'artista Małgorzata Mirga-Tas (Zakopane, 1978) 

Dal sito della Cultura Polonia

Małgorzata Mirga-Tas is a Polish-Romani visual artist, sculptor, painter, educator and activist. Born in 1978, she lives and works in Czarna Góra, a Romani village at the foot of the Tatra Mountains.

Małgorzata Mirga-Tas started her artistic career with sculpture, which she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków under Józef Sękowski. As a student, she developed a characteristic authorial sculptural technique using cardboard as the base material. She sculpted in the glued layers, using the pale brown colour of the material and the clear texture of the cardboard and glue. She gave form to the sculptures by cutting and modelling blocks of glued cardboard with a chain saw, grinder and drill and bracing them with metal and wooden supports. In this technique, she created semi-abstract and surreal depictions of animals, combining everyday life with the extraordinary, somewhat resemblant of the later hybrid-like creatures from Daniel Rycharski’s Rural Street Art. Her diploma work also included a Romani theme, which was later to become the leading theme of her art. Mirga-Tas comes from the Bergitka Roma tribe, which has the longest traditions of living in settlements, dating back to the pre-partition era. The artist herself also finally settled in her hometown of Czarna Góra, on the border of Spiš and Podhale.

Her 2004 diploma work titled Caravan is a slightly ornamented Romani caravan, fragile and somewhat melancholic. Although sculpted out of cardboard, it was still inspired by the visuality of the nomadic lifestyle of the Romani people, which was drastically transformed and regulated by their forced settlement in 1964. The artist’s newer works depict a world no longer clinging to the past known from Jerzy Ficowski’s texts but the lives of Romani communities in permanent settlements. They document both the changes and the longevity of social models developed over the centuries, with community activities not limited by the confines of four walls.

With time, cardboard sculptures began to give way to drawings and paintings in which the monochromaticity of cardboard was replaced by an explosion of colour and ornamentation. Decorative, almost purely ornamental compositions, with floral motifs were accompanied by equally decorative portraits in which human silhouettes melted together with ornaments. Finally, a narrative element appeared in her representations of members of Romani communities, and portraits of individuals replaced portraits of Romani communities.

In genre scenes, Mirga-Tas not only stayed true to her passion for decorativeness but even developed it, complicating the Baroque texture of the heavy paintings with patterned fabrics, sequins, feathers or playing cards. Thanks to them, the flat scenes built with clear contours gained optical depth and began to sparkle or almost vibrate in a slightly pop-art fashion. The fragments of fabrics used are not incidental – they often come from clothes once worn by people dear to the artist, such as family members and friends. What might seem to be a mere ornament adorning the depicted scene is therefore sometimes a most realistic and somewhat intimate element, not simply presented in the painting but transferred onto it directly from reality – like a woman’s skirt made of a piece of skirt actually worn by the portrayed.

Despite the decorativeness, the scenes presented by the artist are not idealised and romanticised but are firmly set in reality in almost a journalistic fashion. We see an old woman lost in thought and smoking a cigarette on the stairs to a house, a game of cards, the hanging up of laundry, sewing or chatting at the table. Apart from people, there are also many animals – hens walking around the courtyards, a goat sticking its head out from under the kitchen table. The apparent documentary style is accompanied by an element of creation, not only in synthesising and ornamenting scenes but also in combining characters who, for example, in reality, come from different neighbourhoods. In works made exclusively from stitched pieces of fabric, the figures of people and animals detach themselves from their surroundings and drift in the abstracted decorative space (where a rooster can outgrow a human in size) with no limitations.

Thus, the artist does not create a ‘sociological record’ in the style of Zofia Rydet; she does not catalogue all the elements of life and visual culture of Romani settlements but only provides us with selected snapshots observed from within the Romani community, combining realism with building an expressive visual dictionary of Romani culture. As she herself admits, at one point she was inspired by the so-called Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s. In Mirga-Tas’ works, one can also see a kinship with Kerry James Marshall’s contemporary painting, which in a similar way reclaims the visuality of Afro-American culture, liberated from the colonial gaze.

Greetings from Tarnów: From Factory Town to Humanopolis

A garden city, a city of the future and a city of death. presents a series of snapshots from the history of Tarnów, a city in southeastern Poland.

Mirga-Tas' strategy is a kind of insider ethnography that in its own way continues and responds to the work of her uncle Andrzej Mirga, an ethnographer who studied the Romani community from within. As the artist said 'he […] came from this world, spoke its language, visited places he knew well, where his family lived, photographed people who trusted him'. The photographs by Andrzej Mirga became the starting point for the exhibition The Right to Look at the Szara Kamienica Gallery in Kraków, curated by Wojciech Szymański and Delaine Le Bas. In her art, Małgorzata Mirga-Tas returns to the same neighbourhoods several decades later.

In addition to contemporary topics, Mirga-Tas’s work takes up one of the most important themes in the history of the Roma, although it is almost absent from the broader discourse – Porajmos (a term popularised by Ian Hancock meaning ‘the Devouring’), or the Romani Holocaust. In 2011, in Borzęcin Dolny, the artist created the wooden Monument to the Memory of the Holocaust of the Romani (Gypsies), with the silhouettes of a falling man and woman, to commemorate the local victims of Nazi crimes – the Romani people were one of the two ethnic groups, next to the Jews, designated by the Nazis for complete liquidation; according to estimates, the number of victims of the Porajmos may reach from two hundred thousand to half a million people. On the initiative of Adam Bartosz, the long-term director of the Tarnów District Museum and a researcher of Romani culture, the monument was erected in a forest, at the site where, in July 1942, the Nazis executed 29 Romani. The scale of the silence on the topic of the Romani victims of Nazism is attested to by the fact that this is the world’s first figural monument to commemorate the extermination. Anti-Romani prejudices became apparent when the monument was destroyed by unknown perpetrators in 2016. Soon, a copy was erected in the same place, while the artist kept the fragmented remains of the original as a separate work, involuntarily updated by the act of xenophobic vandalism.

Małgorzata Mirga-Tas is also active as an organiser, educator and activist. During her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, she joined the ‘Harangos’ Romani Educational Association, which is active in the education of Romani children and youth. Together with the photographer Marta Kotlarska, she has been implementing the project Romani Snap for several years, constituting workshops for children teaching them the pinhole photography technique. Together with two other artists from the Bergitka Roma – Bogumiła Delimata and Krzysztof Gil – she founded the Romani Art movement in 2007.

In the same year, the Roma Pavilion was included in the 52nd Venice Biennale, a major milestone in the struggle for the visibility of art created by Romani artists, which has existed in a kind of limbo for decades – breaking both from the tendencies that dominate the official narratives of contemporary art and from the ideas about folk art, and consequently ignored by researchers of both. Timea Junghaus, the curator of the first Roma Pavilion in Venice, wrote:

In the Footsteps of the Tatars: Poland's Only Muslim Minority

Legend has it that King Jan III Sobieski was so delighted with a Tatar cavalry captain’s service that he gave him as much land in Poland as he could travel around on horseback in one day. This is how Tatars ended up in Poland, in the eastern province of Podlasie.

The concept of Romani contemporary art is one of the greatest achievements of the Roma emancipation movement launched in Europe in the late 1960s. The movement was critical of the more than six-hundred-year-old practices which resulted in the Roma becoming victims of depictions created exclusively by non-Roma. The iconography of European art has thrown them, as ‘Gypsies’, into a conceptual ghetto – an imaginarium created on the basis of false premises and the same schemes – inhabited by wild people, criminals, welfare recipients, exotic prostitutes and beautiful children living in extreme poverty, yet happy.

The first Roma Pavilion was also unique because, unlike other pavilions that have made their debut in recent years, such as those dedicated to African countries, it went beyond the format of national representation shaped in the 19th century, in the ‘century of nations’ when the Biennale was founded.

Mirga-Tas is also the originator of the international open-air events called Jaw Dikh! (in English: 'come and see!') held in Czarna Góra between 2012 and 2016. The small mountain town was visited mainly, but not exclusively, by Romani artists, who had a chance to meet and connect with one another. The open-air workshops strengthening the transnational integration of Romani artists, although organised in inconspicuous circumstances, also played one of the key roles from the point of view of contemporary Roma art. In 2017, the artist also co-founded the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (Eriac) in Berlin.

29. Ćwiczenia Ceroplastyczne (29. Ceroplastic Exercises, 2020) is one of the most moving exhibitions created my Małgorzata Mirga-Tas. The artist created wax moulds of the monument figures and the remains of the damaged epitaph commemorating the extermination of the Romani people near Borzęcin Dolny. In the spring of 2016, perpetrators damaged the monument. Once again the Romani men and women were killed by Poles. The artist did not try to restore the original image of the monument or the sculptures, as she did before. What interested her was not a renewed commemoration of the concrete crime of the summer 1942 that occurred during the Samudaripen, but rather the commemoration of the very fact of destroying the monument, which was a sort of a symbolic murder as well as a historical reconstruction of the original crime. Thus the artist did not recombine the mutilated figures into a whole. Quite the opposite: she tended to the wounds, emphasizing their fragmentary character, fragility and precariousness of the remains. The material in which she moulded the remains is highly symbolic. Wax is a sculptural material ‘truer than the truth’ and since antiquity inseparably connected with veristic portrayal of the dead. At the same time, it is a material strongly featured in Romani culture, especially within the funeral and apotropaic practices; it was used for making magical sculptures presenting the corpse, devil and cross.

The exhibition Wyjście z Egiptu (Out of Egypt, 2021) organized by the Arsenal gallery in Bialystok comprised three series of works from the years 2016–2021. Two of them: Wesiune thana and 29 have been shown as part of collective and solo exhibitions at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko, and the Sądecki Ethnographic Park in Nowy Sącz. Out of Egypt – the third series and inspiration for the title labelling the entire exposition – is an all-new sequence of monumental collages created as bespoke pieces for the show.

Do You Need to be Christian to be Human?: An Interview with Mariusz Gałczyński on Multiculturalism

Never have Europeans discussed immigration so intensely as right now, as thousands of Syrian refugees wait at the borders for EU countries to decide their fate. spoke to Mariusz Gałczyński, an expert on multicultural education at Canada's McGill University, to discuss whether peaceful co-existence in culturally-diverse societies is possible.

All presented cycles explore themes typical for the artist’s entire oeuvre: the convoluted Roma and Roma-Polish identity, history of the Romani people, and transcultural and transnational experience of being a Roma. Concurrently, each of the series tells a different micro-story centered on an aspect essential from the artist’s vantage point. The Wesiune thana cycle deals with the issue of musealising Roma culture, and attempts at displaying it in the context of folk cultural heritage when the eponymous Out of Egypt refers to seventeenth-century etchings by printmaker Jacques Callot – scenes from the life of contem-poraneous Romani people.

Callot’s etchings known as La vie des Egyptiens (Life of the Egyptians) – and, therefore, the en-tire European iconographic tradition of presenting the Roma – have become a point of de-parture for Mirga-Tas’ new cycle of works. This goes to show that as early as in the 15th-century, artists had begun showing the Roma as a collective entity, Oriental-style. They were ethnographised, and duly construed as the Other of Europe. Combined with poverty, Oriental details in the attire were displayed as testimony to their non-European origin, well-deserved punishment of wandering travellers, and bitterness of having been banished from their homeland, likened with Egypt at the time. Other renderings were produced at the time, associating Egyptian-Gypsy garments with pursuits typical for the new arrivals. According to the collective portrait outlined in iconographic sources, the Roma were arrivals from the East, pickpockets, thieves, con-men, and ever so slightly bizarre vagrants and beggars. n a gesture of artistic appropriation, Małgorzata Mirga-Tas processes historical representations of the Romani people, all of which without exception – a fact of immense importance – created by non-Roma artists. Therefore, deprived of Roma self-portraits or narratives of how the Ro-mani people perceived themselves, the artists explores a retrospective and phantasmatic at-tempt at (re)creating and restituting the image. In an ironic reference to non-Roma visual tes-timonies of the past, she further proceeds to undermine stereotypes built over the years – metaphorically leaving Egypt.

Małgorzata Mirga-Tas combines various techniques to talk about identity and show the daily life of her community. The artist is the winner of Paszporty Polityki 2020 "for art that effectively, remarkably and wisely talks about identity and heritage. For the continued search of prevailing values and universals in Romani tradition."

The Disputed Origins of Poland's Smallest Ethnic Minority

346 – this is how many Karaites live in Poland according to the most recent census. They are by far the smallest of the four ethnic minorities established in Poland, but their culture is distinctive and should not be overlooked.

Selected solo exhibitions:

2021 – Wyjście z Egiptu (Out of Egypt), Arsena Gallery, Białystok

2020 – 29. Ćwiczenia ceroplastyczne (29. Ceroplastic Exercises), Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko

2019 – Side Thawenca: Sewn with Threads, Antoni Rząsa Gallery, Zakopane

2018 – Medzi Svetmi, Diera do Sveta, Liptovský Mikuláš, Slovakia

2017 – On the Border, Polish Institute, Bratislava, Slovakia ; On the Road - Andro Drom, Mathare Art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya

2016 – Małgorzata Mirga-Tas, Nationaltheater, Skopje, Macedonia

2011 – Małgorzata Mirga-Tas, Schindler Factory, Kraków

Selected group exhibitions:

2020/2021 – Warsaw Under Construction 12 Something in Common, Museum on the Vistula, Warsaw

2020 – 11. Berlin Biennale the crack begins within, KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin

2019 – Third Art Biennial in Timișoara, Romania; 44th Biennale of Painting Bielsko Autumn, Bielsko-Biała; Speaking in One’s Own Voice, Promocyjna Gallery, Warsaw

2018 – The Right to Look, Szara Kamienica Gallery, Kraków

2017 – Transcending the Past, Shaping the Future, ERIAC, Berlin, Niemc; The Universe Is Black, Moravian Gallery, Brno, Czech Republic; 42nd Biennial of Painting Bielsko Autumn, Bielsko-Biała

2016 – pany chłopy chłopy pany, BWA Sokół, Sądecki Ethnographic Park, Nowy Sącz; Kali Berga, Księgarnia | Exhibition, Kraków

2011 – International Sculpture Symposium, Bratislava, Slovakia; Romani Art, Ethnographic Museum, Warsaw

2008 – Romani Art, Ethnographic Museum, Tarnów

giovedì 23 settembre 2021

Gian Maria Tosatti al Padiglione Italia

 Si attende l'ufficializzazione di  Gian Maria Tosatti come l'artista del Padiglione Italia alla prossima Biennale di Arti Visive

Ne ha dato informativa Eugenio Viola, curatore incaricato lo scorso 15 maggio alla gestione del Padiglione Italia.

martedì 6 luglio 2021

Correzione di Ignasi Aballì per il Padiglione Spagna alla prossima 59ª Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte – La Biennale di Venezia

Correzione è il titolo del lavoro che Ignasi Aballí realizzerà per il Padiglione della Spagna in occasione della 59ª Biennale d'Arte, sotto la curatela di Bea Espejo.

Il progetto, che potrebbe definirsi una sfida all'attenzione e alla percezione dello spettatore, segue la scia di precedenti opere in cui l'artista costruisce un sottile processo di interrogazione dello spazio espositivo, sia dipingendo le pareti di un museo in diverse gradazioni di bianco, sia disegnandone alcune immaginarie per separare a priori spazi indivisibili.
La Biennale 2022 coinciderà con il centenario del Padiglione spagnolo.
Sin dagli esordi negli anni Ottanta, Ignasi Aballí si è soffermato su una riflessione concettuale della rappresentazione e percezione dei media come la pittura, gli oggetti, la fotografia, la fiction, il cinema o il video. Il suo lavoro inventa e riorganizza testi, immagini, materiali e processi, confrontando la presenza e l'assenza, il materiale e l'immateriale, il visibile e l'invisibile, la trasparenza e l'opacità, l'appropriazione e la creazione. Così da mettere in relazione la sovrabbondanza di immagini nella società odierna con la scarsità di significati che possiamo attribuirgli. Nella sua proposta per il Padiglione della Spagna sono molti i temi che costantemente hanno accompagnato il suo lavoro: il tempo e il suo segno, la duplicità di nominare e mostrare, l'assenza e la scomparsa, l'idea di sprecare, l'errore e la correzione o i limiti del materiale di lavoro.
IGNASI ABALLÍ (Barcellona, 1958) vive e lavora a Barcellona. Ha tenuto diverse mostre personali in Spagna e all'estero, tra cui quella al Macba di Barcellona (2005), alla Fondazione Serralves di Porto (Portogallo, 2006), alla IKON Gallery di Birmingham (UK, 2006), allo ZKM di Karlsruhe (Germania, 2006), alla Pinacoteca dello Stato di Sao Paulo, Brasile (2010), al Museo Artium di Vitoria – Spagna (2012), al Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía di Madrid (2015), alla Fondazione Miró di Barcellona (2016), al Museo d'Arte dell'Università Nazionale della Colombia di Bogotá (2017), alla Galleria Kula (Split) e al Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Zagabia in Croazia (2018). Ha esposto in diverse occasioni presso le gallerie Estrany-de la Mota di Barcelona, Elba Benítez di Madrid e Meessen De Clercq di Bruxelles. Recenti invece sono le sue esposizioni nelle gallerie Proyecto Paralelo (Città del Messico, Messico), Thomas Bernard-Cortex Athletico (Parigi, Francia), Pedro Oliveira (Porto, Portogallo) e Nordenhake (Berlino, Germania).
BEA ESPEJO (Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcellona, 1977) vive e lavora a Madrid. Attualmente dirige il Programma di Arti Visive Madrid45 della Comunità di Madrid, basato sull'insegnamento attraverso laboratori con artisti e professionisti del settore. Tra le sue ultime mostre curate si segnalano: Todos los conciertos, todas las noches, todo vacío di Ana Laura Aláez presso il Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (CA2M, Madrid) e l'Azkuna Zentroa di Bilbao, e Los blancos secretos de su panza, una rassegna della collezione RAC di Carlos Rosón per la Città della Cultura di Santiago de Compostela. Dal 2002 al 2007 ha lavorato per il programma espositivo della galleria Estrany-de la Mota a Barcellona. Come critico d’arte ha scritto per El Cultural e attualmente lo fa per Babelia di El País. Nel 2017 ha ricevuto il Premio GAC per la Critica d'Arte.

lunedì 21 giugno 2021

Angela Su per Hong Kong


Sarà Angela Su a rappresentare Hong Kong alla prossima Biennale Arti Visive di Venezia, conosciuta soprattutto per le sue pratiche molto variegate fra disegno, performance, video e installazioni.

L'artista è stata selezionata dal museo M+ di Hong Kong e l'Hong Kong Arts Development Council.

mercoledì 16 giugno 2021

Parte il bando Biennale College Arte per giovani artist* under 30



Al via da oggi il primo bando Biennale College Arte, il cui workshop avrà inizio dal prossimo autunno 2021. L’obiettivo è quello di affiancare all’Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte un laboratorio di alta formazione, ricerca e sperimentazione per lo sviluppo e la produzione di progetti di artiste/i emergenti under 30 provenienti da tutto il mondo.


Il bando internazionale Biennale College Arte resterà aperto per sei settimane, da mercoledì 16 giugno fino a lunedì 26 luglio 2021.


Il bando è riservato a giovanni artiste/i emergenti under 30 provenienti da tutto il mondo (che non abbiano compiuto 31 anni alla data di scadenza di presentazione delle domande), che abbiano partecipato ad almeno una mostra collettiva e al cui lavoro sia stata dedicata almeno una mostra personale in spazi espositivi riconosciuti in ambito nazionale e/o internazionale.


Saranno selezionati 12 progetti e le/gli artiste/i saranno invitate/i a partecipare a un workshop di 10 giorni dedicato allo sviluppo dei progetti proposti, che si svolgerà a Venezia nel mese di ottobre 2021.


Il workshop, che alternerà momenti individuali e di gruppo, sarà coordinato dalla Direttrice del Settore Arti Visive, Cecilia Alemani, assieme a curatori e artisti, tutor e mentori direttamente impegnati allo sviluppo dei progetti con i partecipanti.

Al termine del workshop le/gli artiste/i avranno a disposizione 3 settimane per lavorare sui progetti e consegnare una proposta finale. Sulla valutazione dei materiali Cecilia Alemani selezionerà fino a quattro progetti, che potranno accedere a un contributo massimo di 25.000 euro per la realizzazione del lavoro finale.


Le opere saranno presentate, fuori concorso, nel contesto della 59. Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte della Biennale di Venezia, Il latte dei sogni / The Milk of Dreams, a cura di Cecilia Alemani.


Il Presidente della Biennale Roberto Cicutto dichiara:

«Con l’avvio del College Arte, La Biennale offre un’ulteriore importante opportunità a giovani artisti di allargare il raggio dei propri rapporti professionali e soprattutto di stringere relazioni con altri giovani e con affermati professionisti. Le artiste e gli artisti saranno accompagnati in una nuova fondamentale tappa della loro crescita dal curatore dell’Esposizione Internazionale e dai tutor che li assisteranno. Dopo Cinema, Danza, Teatro, Musica e Archivio Storico, l’Arte non poteva mancare a questo approfondimento che caratterizza le attività della Biennale da molti anni. Sono grato alla Curatrice della Biennale Arte 2022, Cecilia Alemani, di aver accettato di aprire questa nuova sfida, che la carica di più responsabilità e lavoro. Ma sono certo che i risultati, che saranno raggiunti a partire dal prossimo anno e per molti anni a venire, ripagheranno largamente dell’impegno investito. La Biennale è lieta di accogliere nella propria famiglia ancor più giovani artisti, ai quali va un grande in bocca al lupo per l’affrontare con noi questa nuova straordinaria esperienza.»


La nascita del College per questa nuova disciplina si prefigura di importanza decisiva per il Settore Arti Visive della Biennale. Tale programma di attività permanenti, “oltre l’Esposizione”, assume così una configurazione del tutto inedita, volta a favorire lo sviluppo di nuove energie creative.


Come partecipare

Il testo completo del bando Biennale College Arte è disponibile online su

Tutti i materiali richiesti dovranno essere trasmessi entro il 26 luglio.


Calendario e programma

16 giugno 2021 - Lancio bando “Biennale College Arte”

26 luglio 2021 - Chiusura bando “Biennale College Arte”

23 agosto 2021 - Comunicazione del risultato ai selezionati

15 settembre 2021 - Annuncio dei 12 progetti e artiste/i selezionati

1-10 ottobre 2021 (giorni di viaggio: 30 settembre – 11 ottobre) a Venezia - workshop per le/gli artisti dei 12 progetti selezionati

1 novembre 2021 scadenza per la consegna del progetto finale, del budget e del calendario richiesti alle/agli artiste/i dei 12 progetti selezionati

Entro il 15 novembre 2021 - Comunicazione dei risultati della selezione finale

11 – 17 gennaio 2022 - workshop online di pre-produzione

1 aprile 2022 - data di consegna a Venezia


Biennale College

Biennale College è il progetto della Biennale di Venezia dedicato alla formazione e al supporto dei giovani in tutti i settori artistici e nelle attività proprie della struttura organizzativa della Biennale. Già attivo per i settori di Cinema, Danza, Musica, Teatro e Archivio Storico, Biennale College nasce con l’obiettivo di promuovere giovani talenti, offrendo loro di operare a contatto con Maestri per la messa a punto di “creazioni” che diventeranno parte dei programmi dei Settori artistici.  


Hashtag ufficiale #BiennaleCollegeArte

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mercoledì 9 giugno 2021

Il latte dei sogni


Roberto Cicutto e Cecilia Alemani_Photo by Andrea Avezzù - Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

Oggi dalla sezione della Biennale Arte è arrivato il titolo scelto dalla curatrice Cecilia Alemani per la prossima edizione che si svolgerà nel 2021, che è "Il latte dei sogni", bella frase ispirata ad un testo di Leonora Carrington.


 Il Presidente della Biennale di Venezia, Roberto Cicutto, e la Curatrice della 59. Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte, Cecilia Alemani - nominata Direttrice del settore Arti Visive dal precedente Cda il 10 gennaio 2020 -, annunciano oggi il titolo e il tema della Biennale Arte 2022, che si svolgerà dal 23 aprile al 27 novembre 2022 (pre-apertura 20, 21, 22 aprile) ai Giardini, all’Arsenale e in vari luoghi di Venezia.

La 59. Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte si intitolerà Il latte dei sogni. La mostra prende il nome da un libro di Leonora Carrington in cui, come spiega Cecilia Alemani, «l’artista surrealista descrive un mondo magico nel quale la vita è costantemente reinventata attraverso il prisma dell’immaginazione e nel quale è concesso cambiare, trasformarsi, diventare altri da sé. La mostra propone un viaggio immaginario attraverso le metamorfosi dei corpi e delle definizioni dell’umano.»

Cecilia Alemani spiega cosi` la sua scelta:
«La mostra prende il nome da un libro dell’artista surrealista Leonora Carrington (1917-2011), che negli anni Cinquanta in Messico immagina e illustra favole misteriose dapprima direttamente sui muri della sua casa, per poi raccoglierle in un libricino chiamato appunto Il latte dei sogni. Raccontate in uno stile onirico che pare terrorizzasse adulti e bambini, le storie di Carrington immaginano un mondo libero e pieno di infinite possibilità, ma anche l’allegoria di un secolo che impone sull’identità una pressione intollerabile, forzando Carrington a vivere come un’esiliata, rinchiusa in ospedali psichiatrici, perenne oggetto di fascinazione e desiderio ma anche figura di rara forza e mistero, sempre in fuga dalle costrizioni di un’identità fissa e coerente.»

«La mostra nasce dalle numerose conversazioni intercorse con molte artiste e artisti in questi ultimi mesi. Da questi dialoghi sono emerse con insistenza una serie di domande che non solo evocano questo preciso momento storico in cui la sopravvivenza stessa dell’umanità è minacciata, ma che riassumono molte altre questioni che hanno dominato le scienze, le arti e i miti del nostro tempo. Come sta cambiando la definizione di umano? Come si definisce la vita e quali sono le differenze che separano l’animale, il vegetale, l’umano e il non-umano? Quali sono le nostre responsabilità nei confronti dei nostri simili, di altre forme di vita e del pianeta che abitiamo? E come sarebbe la vita senza di noi?»

«La mostra si concentra in particolare attorno a tre aree tematiche: la rappresentazione dei corpi e le loro metamorfosi; la relazione tra individui e tecnologie; i legami che si intrecciano tra i corpi e la Terra...»

Da parte sua il Presidente Roberto Cicutto ha dichiarato:

«Cecilia Alemani mette al centro del suo “viaggio immaginario attraverso le metamorfosi dei corpi e delle definizioni dell’umano” una serie di domande su “questioni che hanno dominato le scienze, le arti e i miti del nostro tempo”.

Anche il titolo della 17. Mostra Internazionale di Architettura curata da Hashim Sarkis è una domanda: “Come vivremo assieme?”.

Due scelte frutto dei tempi correnti privi di certezze che caricano l’umanità di immense responsabilità.

Cecilia Alemani nel 2020 ha coordinato il lavoro dei direttori di tutti i settori della Biennale (Arte, Architettura, Cinema, Danza, Musica, Teatro) per realizzare la Mostra Le muse inquiete. La Biennale di fronte alla storia.

L’inquietudine e l’assunzione di responsabilità propria dell’atto artistico erano l’ispirazione di quella Mostra che raccontava molta parte della storia della Biennale. Oggi il punto di partenza della prossima Biennale d’Arte pare essere la reinvenzione di nuove e più sostenibili relazioni fra gli individui e tutto ciò che popola l’universo in cui viviamo.

Non poteva esserci modo migliore per Cecilia Alemani di aprire, attraverso queste due esperienze, nuove porte per le Biennali del futuro.»

La 59. Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte presenterà, come di consueto, le Partecipazioni Nazionali con proprie mostre nei Padiglioni ai Giardini e all’Arsenale, oltre che nel centro storico di Venezia. Anche per questa edizione si prevedono selezionati Eventi Collaterali, proposti da enti e istituzioni internazionali, che allestiranno le loro esposizioni e le loro iniziative a Venezia.

Un ringraziamento speciale a Leonora Carrington Estate.

La prossima Biennale Arte avrà corso a Venezia (Arsenale e Giardini) dal 23 Aprile al 27 novembre 2022 (pre-apertura 20, 21 e 22 aprile).

Sito web ufficiale

Hashtag ufficiali: #BiennaleArte2022 #IlLatteDeiSogni #TheMilkOfDreams

venerdì 21 maggio 2021

Eugenio Viola è il curatore del Padiglione Italia


Il Ministro della Cultura, Dario Franceschini, ha scelto il curatore del Padiglione Italia della 59. Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte della Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia, che verrà realizzata da Cecilia Alemani.

Al termine della selezione a inviti, promossa dalla Direzione Generale Creatività Contemporanea, il Ministro, nella terna sottopostagli dal direttore generale, Onofrio Cutaia, ha infatti individuato nel progetto di Eugenio Viola la proposta che rappresenterà il nostro Paese dal 23 aprile al 27 novembre 2022 alle Tese delle Vergini dell’Arsenale, dove da quindici anni ha sede il Padiglione Italia. L’esposizione proporrà una riflessione sulle urgenze dell’Italia di oggi, suggerendo chiavi di lettura e soprattutto di risoluzione e riscatto alla situazione attuale attraverso la creazione di un percorso.

“Per una Biennale d’arte curata per la prima volta da una donna italiana – ha dichiarato il Ministro Franceschini – il Padiglione Italia non può che essere portatore di una visione creativa, ambiziosa e innovativa come quella di Eugenio Viola, capace di indagare a fondo i profondi mutamenti innescati dalla pandemia nella nostra società”.

“Accolgo la nomina a curatore del Padiglione Italia 2022 alla 59. Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte della Biennale di Venezia - ha dichiarato Eugenio Viola - come un grande onore e privilegio. Ringrazio il Ministro della cultura Dario Franceschini e la Direzione Generale Creatività Contemporanea per la fiducia accordatami. Lavorerò al massimo dell’impegno, eticamente, consapevole della responsabilità per il prestigioso incarico che mi è stato affidato”.

Eugenio Viola è l’attuale Capo Curatore del MAMBO – Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotà, in Colombia; è stato Senior Curator del PICA- The Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts a Perth in Australia, nonché curatore del Museo MADRE di Napoli, dal 2009 al 2016.  Qui ha co-curato le prime grandi mostre istituzionali in Italia dedicate a Boris Mikhailov e a Francis Alӱs, un progetto di Daniel Buren e le retrospettive di Vettor Pisani e Giulia Piscitelli. Come guest curator ha collaborato con numerose istituzioni italiane e internazionali, curando, tra le altre,  antologiche dedicate a Regina José Galindo (Frankfurter Kunstverein, Francoforte, 2016); Karol Radziszewski (CoCA- Centre of Contemporary Art Torun, 2014); Mark Raidpere (EKKM- The Contemporary Art Museum of Tallinn, 2013); Marina Abramović (PAC, Milano, 2012); Francesco Jodice (MSU-The Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagabria, 2011); ORLAN (MAMC-Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Saint-Étienne, 2007); Nel 2015 ha curato il Padiglione dell’Estonia alla 56. Biennale di Venezia.

Complessivamente ha curato oltre 70 mostre in Italia e nel mondo. Viola ha al suo attivo più di 50 pubblicazioni, tra libri e cataloghi.

La Direzione Generale Creatività Contemporanea, che ha gestito la selezione, ha chiesto espressamente ai dieci curatori invitati di affrontare i temi attuali e urgenti della società di oggi, esplorandoli attraverso la trasversalità e l’interdisciplinarietà propri dei linguaggi del contemporaneo, al fine di creare mondi e immaginari in grado di dialogare in maniera costruttiva con gli spazi del Padiglione Italia – dal 2006 alle Tese delle Vergini in Arsenale – che occupa 1200 mq, a cui si aggiungono 900 mq di spazio in esterno.

La selezione dei curatori è stata eseguita tenendo conto delle esperienze maturate in campo nazionale e internazionale di alcuni dei principali rappresentanti italiani della curatela d’arte contemporanea, valutando le loro ricerche critiche e le esperienze curatoriali, oltre alla loro attività scientifica, garantendo equa ed equilibrata distribuzione di genere, nonché la presenza di giovani generazioni, al fianco di più affermati professionisti.

lunedì 26 aprile 2021

Negozio Olivetti ospiterà le opere di Lucio Fontana e Antony Gormley

Il prossimo anno gli spazi dello storico negozio Olivetti in Piazza San Marco progettato dal grande architetto Carlo Scarpa, in Piazza San Marco e ora gestito dal Fai - Fondo Ambiente Italiano ospiterà una mostra con le opere di Lucio Fontana e Antony Gormley con la curatela di Luca Massimo Barbero con lo sponsor di Associazione Arte Continua APS, B17 e Galleria Continua.

mercoledì 21 aprile 2021

Prossimamente Biennale secondo Artsy


Vi segnalo questo interessante e ampio articolo che è uscito oggi sulla prossima Biennale di Venezia sul sito Artsy.

mercoledì 24 marzo 2021

Terrence Musekiwa per il Padiglione del Zimbabwe


Terrence Musekiwa per il Padiglione del Zimbabwe


Catinca Tabacaru Gallery is thrilled to announce that Terrence Musekiwa has been selected to represent Zimbabwe at the 59th Venice Biennale. The Pavilion is curated by Fadzai Muchemwa.

Musekiwa participated in the Gallery's inaugural CTG Collective art residency in Harare in 2015, and in 2017 he presented his first solo exhibition at Catinca Tabacaru New York. Since that time he has exhibited internationally in public and private institutions in London, Lagos, Mänttä, Mexico City, Amsterdam, Utrecht, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Miami, New York, Tel Aviv, Harare, and at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.

Also coming up for Musekiwa is a third solo exhibition with the Gallery in Bucharest, and inclusion in the 14th Dakar Biennale in Senegal.

Sigurður Guðjónsson e Mónica Bello


L'Islanda per il 2022 ci porterà il lavoro di Sigurður Guðjónsson che si sta strutturando in un interessante progetto che si realizzerà col supporto della curatrice Mónica Bello.


The Icelandic Art Center is delighted to announce that Sigurður Guðjónsson, Iceland’s chosen artist representation at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, will collaborate with curator Mónica Bello to realise his project for the Pavilion of Iceland, which will be located in the Arsenale for the first time. 

Working with moving imagery, sound and installation, Sigurður Guðjónsson is known for his powerful, immersive works that create an organic synergy between visuals, audio and space, carrying carefully constructed soundscapes. His works often investigate man-made construction, machinery and the infrastructure of technical relics, in conjunction with natural elements, set within the form of complex loops and rhythmic schemes. His multi-faceted compositions allow for the viewer to be engaged in a synaesthetic experience, linking vision and hearing in ways that seem to extend the perceptual field and produce sensations never felt before.

Mónica Bello focuses her curatorial work on the narratives of today’s techno-scientific culture and the way artists instigate new enquiries around emergent phenomena, such as the role of science and new knowledge in the perception of reality. Since 2015 she has held the position of Curator & Head of Arts at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research in Geneva.

On their collaboration, Mónica Bello notes: “I am very enthusiastic about working with Sigurður Guðjónsson for the Pavilion of Iceland. His artistic practice intrigues me greatly because of the experimentation and unique aesthetic that he brings into material natures. In his work he succeeds to expose what hides behind lenses, optical instrumentation and scientific devices, revealing the richness and elegance of matter. These ideas inspire me profoundly and I look forward to accompany and support him as curator for this important project.”

Sigurður Guðjónsson says: “I am humbled and honoured to get the chance to exhibit my work at the Venice Biennale, and am greatly inspired by my collaboration with Mónica Bello. As we come from two different backgrounds, she offers a fresh perspective on the project and I'm curious and thrilled to be working together.” 

For the Biennale Arte 2022, the Pavilion of Iceland will, for the first time, be located in the Arsenale. Since the Icelandic Art Center became the commissioner of the Pavilion of Iceland in 2007, the pavilion has been located in various venues across the city, most recently in Spazio Punch, a warehouse on the island of Giudecca, where Egill Sæbjörnsson unleashed his trolls Ūgh and Bõögâr in Out of Controll in Venice (2017) and Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir / Shoplifter unveiled her cavernous, hypernature installation Chromo Sapiens


Sigurður Guðjónsson
Sigurður Guðjónsson is an Icelandic visual artist based in Reykjavík. His work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world, in such institutions as the National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik Art Museum, Scandinavia House in New York, BERG Contemporary in Reykjavík, Frankfurter Kunstverein in Germany, Arario Gallery in Beijing, Liverpool Biennial in the UK, Tromsø Center for Contemporary Art in Norway, Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, and Bergen Kunsthall in Norway. In 2018 he was awarded the Icelandic Art Prize, Visual Artist of the Year, for his exhibition Inlight, commissioned by Listasafn ASÍ, which featured video installations set within the defunct St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hafnarfjörður, Iceland. He often collaborates with musical composers, resulting in intricate work, allowing the visual compositions to enchantingly merge with the musical ones in a single rhythmic and tonal whole. More information about Sigurður Guðjónsson is available here.

Mónica Bello
Mónica Bello is a Spanish curator and art historian. Since 2015 she has held the position of Curator & Head of Arts at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research in Geneva. In this role she curates the research-led artistic residencies at the Laboratory and the new art commissions that reflect on the exchanges between artists and scientists at CERN. Most recently, she curated the exhibition Quantum which has been touring different art institutions in Europe since 2018, and was the guest curator of the Audemars Piguet Art Commission for Art Basel 2018. Prior to her arrival in Geneva she held the position of Artistic Director of VIDA (2010-2015) at Fundación Telefónica, Madrid, a pioneering award that explored cross-cultural expressions around the notion of life. From 2007-2010, she initiated and ran the Department of Education at Laboral Centro de Arte, Gijón (Spain). She has curated exhibitions and events across Europe and further afield, featuring contemporary artists, designers, scientists and theorists of different disciplines. As an internationally recognised figure within art and science networks, Bello is a regular speaker at conferences and participates in selection committees, advisory boards and mentorship programs. More information about Mónica Bello is available here.

Icelandic Art Center

Based in Reykjavik, the Icelandic Arts Center (IAC) is dedicated to promoting Icelandic visual arts internationally. Affiliated with Iceland’s Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, the IAC strengthens networks between the visual arts scene in Iceland and the global cultural sphere. Through funding and logistical assistance, the IAC assists Icelandic artists and arts professionals in producing projects abroad and facilitates cooperation with public and private associations, organisations, and enterprises worldwide. The Icelandic Art Center (IAC) is commissioner of the Pavilion of Iceland at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia on behalf of the Icelandic Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and has been commissioner since 2007. More information is available on the Icelandic Art Centre's website.

lunedì 22 marzo 2021

Sarà una biennale molto femminile e polemica?

Son già più di 20 le nazioni che hanno annunciato le loro rappresentanze e di questi la maggioranza ha scelto donne, come Simone Leigh per Usa, Zineb Sedira per la Francia o Sonia Boyce per la Gran Bretagna.

Nel complesso si presentano prospettive di opere che più di arte parlano di sociologia e impegno politico, diritti (soprattutto femminili e di colore), spesso con risultati deboli ma che sicuramente smuovono un poco il dibattito nel sistema dell'arte contemporanea. 

Anche qui il tema delle integrazioni culturali si manifesta purtroppo più in uno scontro che in un incontro, come sempre fa più attenzione mediatica lavorare sulle polemiche che sul difficile piano del dialogo. 

Intanto per il Padiglione Italia non si sa ancora nulla ...    

sabato 27 febbraio 2021

Anish Kapoor alla Gallerie dell'Accademia di Venezia

Lo studio di Anish Kapoor, 2020 - Kapoor Black
©Anish Kapoor. Tutti I diritti riservati DACS, 2021


Per l'anno della Biennale Arti Visive la Gallerie dell’Accademia di Venezia proporrà una grande mostra su Anish Kapoor


La Gallerie dell'Accademia di Venezia sono liete di annunciare che Anish Kapoor sarà il primo artista britannico a essere celebrato con una grande mostra al museo. L'esposizione, inizialmente prevista nel 2021 e slittata di un anno a causa della pandemia, sarà presentata in concomitanza con la prossima Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte della Biennale di Venezia, e si terrà dal 20 aprile al 9 ottobre 2022. Il curatore è lo storico dell'arte Taco Dibbits, Direttore generale del Rijksmuseum di Amsterdam.

La mostra costituisce una completa e ampia retrospettiva che presenterà i momenti chiave della carriera di Kapoor ed esplorerà lo sviluppo del suo linguaggio visivo unico. Per la prima volta verranno esposti i nuovi lavori fortemente innovativi, creati utilizzando la nanotecnologia del carbonio. Queste nuove opere sviluppano ulteriormente il linguaggio delle prime sculture di Kapoor, che esplorano la condizione di ciò che l’artista ha definito il 'non-oggetto' - opere che indagano lo spazio liminale occupato da un oggetto, tra presenza fisica e immaterialità, qualcosa che è presente ma al tempo stesso assente, vuoto ma pieno.

Il progetto fa parte della più vasta programmazione delle Gallerie dell'Accademia di Venezia, che da alcuni anni hanno aperto le porte all'arte contemporanea. Questo risponde sia alla storia stessa del museo, che è stata una grande accademia per la formazione di artisti contemporanei, che alla sfida di voler aprire nuove opportunità di dialogo tra passato e presente.

Giulio Manieri Elia, Direttore delle Gallerie dell’Accademia, afferma: “Per affinità con la collezione del Museo, in passato è sempre stato selezionato un “pittore-pittore” e di conseguenza oggi potrebbe stupire il fatto che la scelta sia caduta su uno scultore: in realtà Kapoor, in virtù delle sue originali e profonde ricerche sul colore, sulla luce, sulla prospettiva e sullo spazio va alla radice dei principi della pittura rinascimentale veneta, ne indaga l’essenza e riesce a dialogare intimamente su un piano ideale – potremmo anche dire concettuale – con l’opera di Giovanni Bellini, di Giorgione, di Tiziano, di Veronese e di Tintoretto.”

Le opere di Kapoor instaurano un dialogo dinamico con l'arte medievale e rinascimentale della collezione delle Gallerie. L'uso di Kapoor della pelle di un oggetto come un “velo” tra il mondo interno ed esterno rievoca, infatti, il motivo della piega nell'arte rinascimentale, dove funge da confine tra corpo, pelle ed essere, tra il corporeo e il sacro. Tali indagini sul soggetto incarnato portano alla modernità di Malevich, Newman e Rothko. Kapoor continua questa indagine con sculture sensuali e intriganti che mettono in discussione lo status sia della materia che dell'essere.

Taco Dibbits osserva: “Tutti gli artisti, per quanto all'avanguardia e contemporanei, sono sempre in dialogo con quelli che li hanno preceduti. Le Gallerie dell'Accademia sono il luogo perfetto per un maestro moderno per approfondire i temi che hanno da sempre coinvolto scultori e pittori. Gli ultimi lavori di Kapoor, utilizzando la nanotecnologia più avanzata, promettono di essere una vera rivelazione ".

Anish Kapoor dichiara: "La luce e lo spazio di Venezia e le glorie della collezione delle Gallerie dell'Accademia, sono stati a lungo fonte di ispirazione per me. Ho imparato ad amare questa città e i suoi pittori, scultori e architetti e mi sento onorato di essere stato invitato a impegnarmi in un dialogo visivo con essi. Spero di poter aggiungere qualcosa al vocabolario del colore e della forma che è stato il dono di Venezia al mondo. "

Anish Kapoor è considerato uno degli artisti più influenti di oggi. Nato a Mumbai, in India, nel 1954, ora vive e lavora a Londra. Le sue opere sono esposte nelle più importanti collezioni permanenti e nei musei di tutto il mondo, dal Museum of Modern Art di New York alla Tate di Londra; alla Fondazione Prada di Milano; ai Musei Guggenheim di Venezia, Bilbao e Abu Dhabi. Recenti mostre personali si sono tenute alla Pinakothek der Moderne, a Monaco, Germania (2020); Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum and Imperial Ancestral Temple di Pechino (2019); Fundación Proa, Buenos Aires (2019);  Serralves, Museu de Arte Contemorânea, di Porto, Portogallo (2018); University Museum of Contemporary Art (MUAC), in Messico (2016); Château de Versailles, in Francia (2015); Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, di Mosca (2015); Gropius Bau, Berlino (2013); Sakıp Sabancı Müzesi, Istanbul (2013); Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2012).

Anish Kapoor ha rappresentato la Gran Bretagna alla 44a Biennale di Venezia nel 1990, dove ha ricevuto il Premio Duemila. Nel 1991 ha vinto il Premio Turner e ha ricevuto numerosi premi internazionali tra cui il Praemium Imperiale nel 2011 e Padma Bhushan nel 2012. È stato insignito del riconoscimento di Commander of the Order of the British Empire nel 2003 e del titolo del Knighthood nel 2013 per il suo contributo nelle arti visive.

Noto anche per le sue opere architettoniche, i progetti pubblici che ha realizzato comprendono, tra gli altri: Cloud Gate (2004), Millennium Park, Chicago, USA; Leviathan (2011) esposto a Monumenta 2011, Parigi; Orbit (2012), Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Londra; Ark Nova, una sala da concerto gonfiabile creata per il Festival di Lucerna, Giappone (2013-) e Descension, (2014) recentemente installata a Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York, USA (2017).

La mostra sarà curata da Taco Dibbits, direttore del Rijksmuseum di Amsterdam, uno dei massimi esperti mondiali del lavoro di Rembrandt e della pittura fiamminga del XVII secolo. È stato curatore, insieme ad altri, della mostra "Rembrandt-Caravaggio" al Rijksmuseum e al Van Gogh Museum di Amsterdam nel 2006, e anche della mostra "Anish Kapoor e Rembrandt" al Rijksmuseum nel 2016.

Articolo su Plus del Sole24h

 Oggi l'inserto settimanale del Sole24Ore Plus pubblica un bell'articolo sulla futura Biennale di Venezia.

venerdì 19 febbraio 2021

Maria Eichhorn per la Germania

Maria Eichhorn, Rose Valland Institute, 2017, detail: Unlawfully acquired books from Jewish ownership, 2017, detail, exhibition view, documenta 14, Neue Galerie, Kassel, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021,photo: Mathias Völzke

 Con calma anche la Germania ha scelto la sua rappresentate per la prossima Biennale di Arti Visive, sarà Maria Eichhorn, artista poco conosciuta in Italia ma già affermata nel nord Europa con una tipologia di lavoro, molto concettuale che affronta spesso le intricate relazioni tra denaro, arte e le istituzioni politiche, soprattutto legate alla storia della sua nazione. Curerà il progetto Yilmaz Dziewior, direttore del Museum Ludwig di Colonia.



The German Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition—la Biennale di Venezia in 2022 will feature the artist Maria Eichhorn. By choosing Eichhorn, who was born in Bamberg in 1962 and lives in Berlin, the curator Yilmaz Dziewior has decided in favor of an internationally highly recognized artist known as much for her conceptual approach as for her subtle sense of humor. With her visually minimal gestures, spatial interventions, and process-based works, Eichhorn critically examines institutional power structures and political and economic interrelationships.

Maria Eichhorn already drew wide notice in 2002 with her work Maria Eichhorn Aktiengesellschaft [Maria Eichhorn Public Limited Company], which she realized for the Documenta11 in Kassel. It consisted in the artist’s founding a public limited company with a special status that prohibited it from increasing its capital. By presenting foundation documents and the 50,000-Euro equity capital—placed in a display case in a neat bundle of a hundred brand-new 500-Euro bills—, she made a striking commentary on the relationship between art and the economy.

The Rose Valland Institute founded by Maria Eichhorn in 2017 on the occasion of the documenta 14 likewise gained international attention. The project, which is still in progress today in cooperation with various scholarly institutions, researches and documents the dispossession of Europe’s Jewish population. In a manner resembling her earlier projects— for example Restitutionspolitik / Politics of Restitution (2003) and In den Zelten ... (2015)—, Eichhorn thus raises the issue of unresolved ownership and property structures from 1933 to the present and the continued effects of Nazism.

Maria Eichhorn is the artist I have always wanted to see in the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Because in my view there are few artists who address themselves to German history and its impact on the present in as multifaceted and intensive a manner as Maria Eichhorn.

—Yilmaz Dziewior

Maria Eichhorn’s work has been on view in numerous solo and group exhibitions in prestigious institutions and at international biennials. The artist has been teaching at the Zurich University of the Arts since 2003.


La Biennale di Venezia

59th International Art Exhibition

Deutscher Pavillon 2022

Curator: Yilmaz Dziewior

Artist: Maria Eichhorn

YD Do you still remember what went through your mind when I asked you whether you could imagine exhibiting in the German Pavilion at the next Biennale in Venice?  I thought you seemed very relaxed, but you did want to know immediately whether you’d be exhibiting alone or with others.

ME At first I was incredulous and amazed and at the same time very delighted about your invitation. I remember we talked for a long time about the Biennale’s past and present and what it means to society, and about certain Biennale contributions. Our conversation gave me a sense of the seriousness and responsibility artists before me have attached to this task. In any case, I was glad that we’ve known each other for so long, have already worked together several times, that we’re a team built on trust. 

YD When I’ve visited the German Pavilion in the past, I’ve often asked myself which artist I would have presented there. In that sense, I’ve often tried to imagine one day being responsible for the German Pavilion in Venice in the role of curator, though admittedly never in great depth. Was it like that for you, too? I mean, did you ever think of possibly taking on this task as an artist?

ME No, I didn’t start thinking about it until you invited me.

YD I think it’s downright surprising that you’ve never exhibited in the German Pavilion before because you’ve addressed yourself repeatedly to various topics related to German history. I’m thinking above all of Restitutionspolitik / Politics of Restitution (2003) and In den Zelten ... (2015), and of course the Rose Valland Institute (2017) you founded in the context of the documenta 14. All of these projects are about unresolved ownership and property structures from 1933 to the present—that is, about how Nazism continues to have an impact today in the broadest sense. The architecture of the German Pavilion in Venice can also be interpreted as a symbol of that period. What’s your view on the subject?

ME Several artists have grappled with the architecture of the German pavilion and with German history. There have been a number of attempts and proposals to redesign the pavilion. Since its monumental reconstruction in the Nazi period, the building has undergone various changes—inside and out.  In 1957, for example, the documenta founder Arnold Bode had the idea of redesigning the pavilion in such a way as to give it a more democratic look. He wanted to renew the façade, m ve the entrance, and have a second level constructed in the interior—an idea  later exhibition contributions picked up on. The issue of how we should deal with the architectural vestiges of the Nazi era, or with Nazi architecture, is one of ongoing topicality. With regard to the German Pavilion in Venice, I share the view of Hans Haacke and others that, historically speaking, the pavilion should be preserved as a monument. History, which also conveys itself to us in architecture, can’t just simply be dismantled and belied like with the Palast der Republik in Berlin, which was replaced with a fake Schloss.

YD What contributions to the German Pavilion have you especially liked and why?

ME I especially remember contributions by artists who responded to the site, for example Sigmar Polke, whose works reacted to the humidity of the lagoon and who showed a painting entitled Polizeischwein (Police Pig) on the pavilion’s façade, right next to the words “Bundesrepublik Deutschland.” Then there was Hans Haacke, who made reference to the history of the pavilion and broke up the floor. The commissioner Klaus Bußmann’s nomination of Hans Haacke and Nam June Paik, which questioned national affiliation, was quite foresighted. I liked Katharina Fritsch for the clarity of her contribution. Isa Genzken, who hid the façade behind scaffolding. Liam Gillick and his talking cat. Hito Steyerl’s attack on the Deutsche Bank, and finally Natascha Sadr Haghighian, who involved herself performatively by disguising herself and focused on the AnkER centres.

YD It’s not uncommon for your works to bear specific reference to the exhibition site for which they’re made. Against that background, what does it mean to you to exhibit in the German Pavilion?

ME The German Pavilion is symbolically charged and presents a challenge to artists on several very different levels. With every attempt at deconstruction you’re confronted with that fact, but it also makes it fun. Without departing from that aspect, I regard the German Pavilion not as isolated, but as part of an ensemble and engaged in interplay with other pavilions and other country participations in terms of national-territorial and geopolitical, global-economic, and ecological developments.  Why was the Biennale founded in 1895? When were the respective country pavilions built? Which countries have never been represented and why? Is the Biennale really still a mirror of politics between nation states, as is often assumed, or hasn’t its representative function actually already long been brokered in a transnational arena of the art market extended by capital?  Then there’s the question of ownership: Who do the pavilions belong to? The fact that Venice continues to adhere to the model of national pavilions is inseparably linked to the fact that, like embassy buildings, the Giardini pavilions are the property of the respective countries—except the U.S. pavilion, which is owned by the Guggenheim Foundation. And country participations without their own Giardini pavilions copy this dominant structure almost without exception. How would art be produced and received more independently of such constructions of national identity? The individual state, to refer to Hannah Arendt, can be seen as an abstract structure consisting of many nationalities, which could help dissolve the concept of the nation.

YD Country contributions at the Biennale in Venice are also always associated with attributions and expectations regarding national representation and cultural affiliation. How will you deal with the expectations that might be placed on you?

ME I don’t think art is subject to the kind of representation that occurs in politics or religion, where figures with a claim to leadership and representation play a prominent role. Most of the artists who do a Biennale pavilion, including the German Pavilion, simply see it as an assignment either to pursue their accustomed work and show that, or to expose grievances, question politics, initiate forms of solidary exchange between groups of society, take a stance, etc. In my view, an artist is not a representative of a country, but of a certain attitude, a certain way of thinking and acting in relation to a given situation.  As for the question of affiliation: I conceive of myself as a mixture of multiple identities and non-identities and distinguish myself from myself. It’s not me as a person but my work that’s supposed to be the focus of the attention. I make my work and then recede into the background.

YD Biennials are a special kind of exhibition format you’ve already had a lot of experience with, for example through your participation in Istanbul (1995 and 2005), Yokohama (2001), Berlin (2004 and 2008), Łódź (2004), Sevilla (2006), and Guangzhou (2008). You’ve even contributed to the Venice Biennale three times in the past—in 1993, 2001, and 2015. Do you think those experiences will help you in Venice in 2022?

ME Yes, definitely. But conversations with colleagues and artist friends who have exhibited in the German Pavilion or other pavilions in the past are also instructive and helpful. 

YD Large-scale exhibitions like biennials are coming under fire more and more frequently, also with regard to the ecological implications of the excessive travelling they’re associated with. Neither art insiders nor art tourism necessarily contribute to improving the ecological footprint. How do you see the relationship between ecology and large-scale exhibitions?

ME Ironically, the 1895 Venice Biennale was founded in response to Venice’s economic decline as a way of boosting the economy and the tourist industry. And by the way, that’s often the modus operandi for newly founded biennials to this day. Now, 126 years later, we have to bear the consequences of an excessive tourist industry. The Venice Biennale, and the culture industry in general, are part of the ecological disaster. In addition to social displacement and real estate speculation, cruise and mass tourism are huge problems in Venice. The Comitato No Grandi Navi has been protesting against the cruise and luxury liners for years already, and the Venice Climate Camp activists carry out campaigns demanding that tourists stay away from Venice.

YD Do you think the pandemic that’s still very much with us today will have an impact on your work? And how will it be reflected in Venice in 2022?

ME No one knows how things will be in 2022. But Covid-19 has been raging for more than a year and has had extreme consequences for nearly all areas of life. The pandemic is  going to have a lasting impact already for that reason alone, even if it’s not being talked about directly.

YD Without revealing too much at this early stage, how would you characterize your contribution in Venice in 2022 in three sentences?

ME I’ll try it in two: The work is accessible. It can be experienced both conceptually and— physically and in motion—on site.

Maria Eichhorn’s artistic projects are usually processual in nature and aspire to illuminate and transform existing social orders.

Within the context of her work, she often poses the question of ownership. On the occasion of the Sculpture. Projects in Münster 1997, Eichhorn explored the topic of land holding and purchased a plot in the city center. When she sold the property, she donated the proceeds to an organization that combats gentrification. For her presentation at the Documenta11 in Kassel she founded the Maria EichhornAktiengesellschaft [Maria Eichhorn Public Limited Company](2002), whose share capital was withdrawn from the monetary cycle and whose shares were transferred to the company itself. Her exhibition Restitutionspolitik / Politics of Restitution (2003) at the Lenbachhaus in Munich marked the beginning of her search for artworks stolen from Jewish ownership in the Nazi era—a topic she continued to pursue in later projects. For her contribution to the exhibition Wohnungsfrage [Housing Question] at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, she realized a work entitled In den Zelten 4 / 5 / 5a / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 9a / 10, Kronprinzenufer 29 / 30, Beethovenstraße 1 / 2 / 3 (1832 to 1959) > John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10 (since 1959), Berlin (2015) to determine the ownership structure of the property on which the building was erected. Consisting among other things of floor drawings, excerpts from the registry of deeds, and related texts, this work exposes the fact that the Kongresshalle (now the Haus der Kulturen der Welt) was built partially on expropriated land for which restitution should have been paid. For Building as Unowned Property (2017—), the work she presented at the documenta 14, she purchased a property in Athens in order to convert it into unowned property, and founded the Rose Valland Institute (2017—) in Kassel for research on the dispossession of Europe’s Jewish population and its lingering effects until the present.

Maria Eichhorn concerns herself as intensively with the relationship between ownership and possession as with that between work, value, and time. Her exhibition 5 weeks, 25 days, 175 hours (2016) at the Chisenhale Gallery in London consisted in giving all the employees time out from their work. The institution remained closed for the duration of the show.

The same year, Maria Eichhorn had the city of Cologne hire her as a research associate at the Museum Ludwig and, in a work called Employment Contract between the City of Cologne, Represented by the Mayor, and Ms. Maria Eichhorn (2016), addressed herself to the status society assigns to artistic work.

Maria Eichhorn was born in Bamberg in 1962 and lives in Berlin. She studied with Karl Horst Hödicke at the Berlin University of the Arts between 1984 and 1990. She has been teaching as a professor since 1999, initially as a guest professor at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia and since 2003 at the Zurich University of the Arts.

In addition to her participation in the documenta in Kassel in 2002 and in Athens and Kassel in 2017, Maria Eichhorn has participated in the Biennale di Venezia several times (2015, 2001, 1993) as well as in numerous other international biennials, for example in Guangzhou (2008), Berlin (2008, 2004), Sevilla (2006), Istanbul (2005, 1995), Łódź (2004), and Yokohama (2001) and in the Sculpture. Projects in Münster 1997. She has been exhibiting her work in prestigious institutions since 1986. From 2018 to 2019, the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich presented an extensive monographic show of her work entitled Zwölf Arbeiten / Twelve Works (1988—2018). Solo exhibitions featuring Maria Eichhorn have also taken place at the Chisenhale Gallery in London (2016), the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery in Vancouver (2015), the Kunsthaus Bregenz (2014), the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven (2007—2010), the Lenbachhaus in Munich (2003), the Kunsthalle Bern (2001), the Portikus in Frankfurt am Main (1999), the Kunsthaus Zürich (1997), and elsewhere. Eichhorn’s work has moreover been on view in numerous group exhibitions, for example at the MACRO—Museo d‘Arte Contemporanea di Roma (2021), the Jewish Museum in New York (2021, 2016), the IVAM—Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (2019), the Swiss Institute in New York (2018, 2009), the Museum Ludwig in Cologne (2016, 2010), the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (2015), the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin (2015), the mumok—Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig in Vienna (2015, 2013), the Jeu de Paume in Paris (2013), the Centre Pompidou in Paris (2009), the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London (2009), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2008), the Hamburger Bahnhof—Museum für Gegenwart in Berlin (2008, 2002, 2001), the Museo de Arte Carillo Gil in Mexico City (2003), the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2000, 1992), the Castello di Rivoli—Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Turin (1996), the Serpentine Gallery in London (1995), the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid (1994), the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney (1993), and the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome (1991). 

Maria Eichhorn’s publications include the Film Lexicon of Sexual Practices / Prohibited Imports (2019); Maria Eichhorn Werkverzeichnis / Catalogue Raisonné 1986—2015 (2017); 5 weeks, 25 days, 175 hours (2016); In den Zelten 4 / 5 / 5a / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 9a / 10, Kronprinzenufer 29 / 30, Beethovenstraße 1 / 2 / 3 (1832 bis/to 1959) > John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10 (seit/ since 1959), Berlin (2015); Die Zeitkapsel im Wasserfall der Steinach / The Time Capsule in the Waterfall on the Steinach River (2012); The Artist’s Contract: Interviews with Carl Andre, Daniel Buren, Paula Cooper, Hans Haacke, Jenny Holzer, Adrian Piper, Robert Projansky, Robert Ryman, Seth Siegelaub, John Weber, Lawrence Weiner, Jackie Winsor (2009); Between Artists (with John Miller, 2008); Maria Eichhorn Aktiengesellschaft (2007); von 12,37 bis 36,08 = 24,94 von 100% (2007); CAMPUS: Politische Mündigkeit / Political Responsibility / Emancipazione politica (2005); Restitutionspolitik / Politics of Restitution (2004); and Das Geld der Kunsthalle Bern / Money at Kunsthalle Bern (2001/2002). In 2017,  Maria Eichhorn launched the website  Among the awards Maria Eichhorn has received for her work are the George Maciunas Prize (1992), the Arnold Bode Prize of the City of Kassel (2002), and the Paolo Bozzi Prize for Ontology of the University of Turin (2018). From 2018 to 2020 she was a Georg Simmel grant recipient as well as a fellow at the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study in the Humanities “Law as Culture” of the Bonn University, which, in cooperation with the Department of Art History, housed her Rose Valland Institute. 

Since 2020, Eichhorn has been a research fellow of the Berlin Artistic Research Grant Programme. In 2021 she will receive the Käthe Kollwitz Prize of the Academy of Arts in Berlin.