The Scotland + Venice partnership is delighted to announce details of the 2015 presentation with artist Graham Fagen, a Collateral Event of the 56th International Art Exhibition – Venice Biennale. Commissioned and curated by Hospitalfield in Arbroath, Scotland, the exhibition will be held at Palazzo Fontana located in the Cannaregio district of Venice.
Graham Fagen is one of the most influential artists working in Scotland today. Throughout his career, Fagen has regularly incorporated elements of his own national, cultural and social identity into his work. Often using the artifice of theatre for the development of a narrative, Fagen will use the 16th-century palazzo as an historic backdrop for his presentation, choreographing an entirely new body of work across four rooms of the palazzo to create a path through which visitors can effectively become performers within the piece.
Drawing on his long-term commitment to collaboration, Fagen will bring together internationally renowned composer Sally Beamish, the musicians of Scottish Ensemble, reggae singer and musician Ghetto Priest and music producer Adrian Sherwood to realise an ambitious installation. Sound that draws on very different musical traditions—Scottish folk song, classical music and reggae—will pervade the rooms of Palazzo Fontana.
An illustrated publication which documents the breadth of Fagen’s career, including his presentation for Scotland + Venice 2015, will be published by Hospitalfield to coincide with the opening of the exhibition in Venice. Texts include contributions from Penelope Curtis, Director of Tate Britain, and Katrina Brown, Director of The Common Guild, alongside an interview with Scottish novelist Louise Welsh and Graham Fagen, with an introduction from Lucy Byatt, Director of Hospitalfield.
Scotland + Venice is a partnership between Creative Scotland, the National Galleries of Scotland and the British Council. Representatives of these organisations sit on a Steering Group that oversees the successful delivery of the project.
Graham Fagen studied at The Glasgow School of Art (1984–88, BA) and the Kent Institute of Art and Design (1989–90, MA) and is senior lecturer at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design. In 1999 Fagen was invited by the Imperial War Museum, London to work as the Official War Artist for Kosovo. Since then, Fagen has exhibited widely both in the UK and abroad. Previous exhibitions include The Golden Age, Institute of Contemporary Art, London (1999), The British Art Show (2000), Zenomap, Scotland and Venice at the 50th Venice Biennale (2003), Bloodshed at the Victoria & Albert Museum and Art of the Garden, Tate Britain (2004), Busan Biennale, South Korea, Still Life, Art and Industry Biennial, New Zealand (2004). In 2011 Fagen was the International Artist in Residence at Artpace, San Antonio, concluding with a solo exhibition, Under Heavy Manners, and with theatre director Graham Eatough, he created The Making of Us, a performance, installation and film for Glasgow International 2012.
Recent exhibitions include Cabbages in an Orchard at the Glasgow School of Art (2014); participation inGENERATION: 25 Years of Contemporary Art from Scotland (2015) at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, and In Camera (2015) with Graham Eatough at the Panorama, La Friche, Marseille. Fagen is represented by Matt’s Gallery, London and Galerie Micky Schubert, Berlin.
Hospitalfield: An Artist’s House, located in Arbroath, Scotland, holds a programme of residencies, commissions and curated projects which aim to negotiate and inspire an interplay between the heritage and history of the site and contemporary cultural ideas and practices. From the semi-rural location on the east coast of Scotland we work with a range of partners to ensure that Hospitalfield plays a significant role within the national cultural ecology and wider international network. The 19th-century Scottish artist Patrick Allan-Fraser (1813–1890), inspired by his term of presidency at the Royal Academy in Rome, left his estate in Trust to become a residential art school. The model has necessarily changed over time and Hospitalfield are currently working on the first phase of a 21st-century Future Plan, led by architects Caruso St John.
Scotland + Venice 2015 events:
Artist’s talk at Hospitalfield, Arbroath
23 April, 18:30–20:30h
Artist’s talk at the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh
20 May, 18:30–20h
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm
Access for the public via Strada Nuova, Calle Fontana