With Paradiso Lussemburgo, Filip Markiewicz presents a mental image of Luxembourg combined with a reflection on contemporary identity. Through its title, Paradiso Lussemburgo evokes both the Paradise of Dante, the movie Cinema Paradiso by Giuseppe Tornatore and tax havens.
As the artist points out: “What interests me is, on the one hand, the mythological aspect, close to the fable, and on the other hand, popular appearance. The various waves of immigration recorded since the beginning of the twentieth century in Luxembourg have led to the country being seen as a sort of haven for integration. Again, there is a strong allusion to the image of Luxembourg given by some foreign media, the tax haven, a theme addressed here head-on but also with a certain irony.”
The work takes the form of a vast «total» theatre that fully occupies six rooms of the pavilion. At once museum, creative laboratory, a place of cultural entertainment combining dance, performance, DJing, reading, architecture and music, Paradiso Lussemburgo presents Luxembourg, in the European and global context, as a national sample in which the various nationalities and cultures constituting the same identity, are combined. It is a journey to the outer limits of a plural and complex identity, in a way that is both critical, political and fantastical.
A neon sign quotes Oscar Wilde “The world is a stage but the play is badly cast”. Paradiso Lussemburgo will be displayed here in six acts in the six rooms of the Ca’ del Duca pavilion.
As an access vestibule to Paradiso Lussemburgo, Antichamber condenses the themes of this stacked installation into nineteen drawings: Luxembourg and its provincial life, finance, globalization, icons of power, performance, Fortress Europe. Story-board of Paradiso Lussemburgo. The rug is printed with cinema references: The Shining by Stanley Kubrick and a suspended drum in reference to Volker Schlöndorff’s film The Tin Drum. Fiction vs reality.
Limbic Theater is the entry of the mythical Luxembourg into the European context. It involves stage effects (karaoke is available to spectators), advertising (“We don’t want to die for the truth” - large format poster-style drawings) and geopolitics (maps, 3D photomontage prints based on Google Sketchup). The relationship between the limbic system and the human brain plays a role in various emotions (fear, memory, aggression, pleasure). The walls are rebuilt.
Journey to the limits of identity
A film projected on three screens, Journey to the Limits of Identity relates, in a detached manner, the European saga of a Luxembourg couple on a quest for the absolute. Between Warsaw and Luxembourg. Adam and Eve lost in a new Paradise? Bonnie and Clyde pacified? One character split into two genders? “Paradise is when the adverts begin”, says one of the characters in the film.
Luxembourg as a postcard of romantic calm peaceful nature resonates here with other less affable rural landscapes, areas of poverty and socio-economic adversity. The bathtub evokes a mixture of American Beauty by Sam Mendes, Psycho by Hitchcock and The Death of Marat by David, presenting dirty water, contrary to any prospect of purgation. The lyrics “This is the next century where the universal is free…” from the song The Universal by Blur are written on the wall.
Three models: the Palace of Culture in Warsaw - “History Silence”-, the European Parliament in Luxembourg - “Festung Europa” - and Luxembourg City Cathedral - “All is forgiven”, “Imagine No Religion” (in addition to the working model of the Luxembourg pavilion in Venice). European history is condensed with the Luxembourg Catholic tradition at the centre of the European system. The “small country” of tradition is at the heart of international contemporaneity and ideological battles. Forgiveness on a banknote of Luxembourg francs from 1943: “Sorry”.
Exit paradise via the disco club. Drums, a dancefloor adorned with psychedelic images and news channels, a private party video projected on the back wall in which the couple from the film Journey to the Limits of Identity can be seen, while a pop-rock soundtrack between nostalgia and kitsch reels off musical creations by the Doors, Bonnie Tyler, Abba, Pink Floyd, Blur, 50cent and David Bowie... “We have disco in order not to die of the truth...”.
Inauguration of the Pavilion
Thursday, 7th May 2015, from 6.30 pm. LUXEMBOURG PAVILION, Ca’ del Duca, Corte del Duca Sforza, San Marco 3052, Venezia. The opening reception is organized with the kind participation of LE FREEPORT Luxembourg.
Performance: Silence is louder than a Revolution
Thursday, 7th May 2015, 6.45 pm -7.15 pm. Leila Schaus, actor ; Luc Schiltz, actor ; Tania Soubry, dancer ; Nuno Brito, drums ; Filip Markiewicz, direction & guitar.