domenica 15 maggio 2011

The Danish Pavilion 2011

Freedom of speech is one of the key issues in the current public debate and one that is becoming increasingly contested, given the steady erosion of civil liberties in many countries today. Denmark has always been at the forefront of the public debate on issues in relation to freedom of speech, but it has also suffered the so-called "trauma of free speech".

This makes the Danish Pavilion an appropriate vehicle from which to visualise and discuss these issues. Freedom of speech is highly relevant in relation to much of what is happening in the world politically today; from press intimidation and censorship, to restrictions on the internet, as well as debates on the limits of freedom of speech, increased surveillance and forms of control. The issue of freedom of speech is highly complex, often subjective - even relative - and invariably debatable. The boundaries surrounding it cannot easily be delineated.

The exhibition Speech Matters aims to provoke a considered debate and to complicate the issue of freedom of speech, highlighting the intricacies, ambiguities and grey areas inherent to the subject, and emphasizing the fact that freedom of speech cannot be exercised or applied in any programmatic or strictly proscribed manner. Finally, the exhibition also touches on the essence of visual artistic practice, which fundamentally entails conditions of freedom of expression. Eighteen artists from ten countries have been invited to participate. The majority will be producing new work for the exhibition.

The exhibition is curated by Katerina Gregos.

The Commissioners
The Danish Arts Council's Committee for International Visual Art serves as Commissioner for the Danish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, where Denmark has taken part since 1895. In compliance with its intention to consider Danish art in an international perspective, it is the aim of the Danish Arts Council's Committee for International Visual Art that the Danish Pavilion, through innovative artistic and curatorial practices, reflects upon the position of contemporary art in a globalized art world as well as the position of the Venice Biennale in this ever-changing art world.

The Danish Arts Council's Committee for International Visual Art consists of Christine Buhl Andersen, (Chairman), Eva Koch, Mikael Andersen, Jakob Jakobsen and Gitte Ørskou.

The Danish Arts Council's Committee for International Visual Arts has appointed Katerina Gregos as curator of the Danish Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011. For the exhibition in the Danish Pavilion Katerina Gregos has chosen to explore the very timely and complex issue of freedom of speech in a group exhibition featuring contemporary artists of different generations and nationalities.
Read more about the Danish Pavilion.

The Curator
Katerina Gregos is a highly recognized international Greek-born curator based in Brussels who has served as artistic director of Argos Centre for Art & Media, Brussels, and as director and curator of the Deste Foundation, Centre for Contemporary Art, Athens, in addition to having curated a number of projects as an independent curator, internationally.
Read the curator's statement and biography.

The Artists
Agency (International, est. 1992), Ayreen Anastas & Rene Gabri (Palestine & Iran), Robert Crumb (USA, 1943), Stelios Faitakis (Greece, 1976), FOS (Denmark, 1971), Sharon Hayes (USA, 1970), Han Hoogerbrugge (the Netherlands, 1963), Mikhail Karikis (Greece, 1975), Thomas Kilpper (Germany, 1956), Runo Lagomarsino (Argentina/Sweden, 1977), Tala Madani (Iran, 1981), Wendelien van Oldenborgh (the Netherlands, 1962), Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen (Denmark, 1970), Taryn Simon (USA, 1975), Jan Svankmajer (Czech Republic, 1934), Johannes af Tavsheden, Tilman Wendland (Germany, 1969) and Zhang Dali (China, 1963).

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