Representations are being defined for the next Venice Biennale. We now know that Mark Bradford will be representing the United States while Erkka Nissinen and Nathaniel Mellors will be representing Finland.
As far as Finland goes, the exhibition will be called “The Aalto Natives”, curated by Xander Karskens. The exhibition foresees creating an immersive environment featuring multimedia installations, a sculpture and a talking egg. The work of Erkka Nissinen, living between New York, Helsinki and Amsterdam, consists in creating absurd comical universes by using video, installations and puppets. Meanwhile, Nathaniel Mellors works in Amsterdam and Los Angeles, and also explores absurd situations, as in Ourhouse (created in 2010, still ongoing), a drama series presenting an eccentric English family.
On the American side, artist Mark Bradford has been chosen to represent the United States. Curatorship of the American pavilion will be going to Christopher Bedford, director of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University (Massachusetts). The details of his artistic project are as yet unknown although there is talk of a work with a political and social dimension. It has been over ten years since an African-American artist was last chosen to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale, after Sam Gilliam in 1972, Robert Colescott in 1997, Fred Wilson in 2003. In an interview with The New York Times, the artist declared: “The black body is always a heavy politicized body, in America in particular, and so carrying that burden is kind of a birthright for me. I’m thinking a lot about what matters to me right now. And I think this is a time to put that on the table.”