The Swiss pavilion of the 57th Venice Biennale pays homage to Alberto Giacometti

In 2017, the Swiss pavilion’s exhibition for the 57th Venice Biennale, from 13 May to 26 November, will be curated by Philipp Kaiser and will pay homage to Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966). Titled “Women of Venice”, this group exhibition will focus on the contemporary legacy of the sculptor who systematically declined invitations to represent Switzerland in Venice.  Alberto Giacometti, born in Borgonovo in the Grisons canton, defined himself as an international artist and always refused to be associated with a national identity. Even when the new Swiss pavilion was constructed by his brother, architect Bruno Giacometti, in 1952, Alberto, invited to show his works there, suggested that another artist be featured instead of him. In 1956, he finally agreed to present, in the French pavilion, a set of sculptures called “Women of Venice”. Alberto Giacometti was awarded the Grand Prix for Sculpture in Venice in 1962, several years before his death, as a sign of international recognition of his...

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A few details on the 57th Venice Biennale

The 57th Venice Biennale is continuing to take form. Gal Weinstein will be representing Israel, Zad Moultaka will be representing Lebanon, while Tamara Chalabi and Paolo Colombo will be curators of the Iraqi pavilion. Born in Ramat Gan in 1970, Gal Weinstein lives and works in Tel Aviv. He took part in the Sao Paulo Biennale in 2002, and has held solo exhibitions in Israel’s largest museums as well as the San Francisco Art Institute. The curator of the Israeli pavilion, Tami Katz-Freiman, and Gal Weinstein, were selected by a committee comprising Mira Lapidot and Meir Aharonson. Through painting, photography, installation, sculpture and video, the artist turns his attention to research and scientific procedures relating to natural phenomena as well as chaos in the physical world. Meanwhile, Tamara Chalabi and Paolo Colombo will be curators of the Iraqi pavilion. Tamara Chalabi is president and cofounder of the Ruya Foundation, and Paolo Colombo, art advisor at the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition, called “Archaic”, will question the duality of the notions of history and antiquity, matching artefacts from the region with modern art works and productions by contemporary Iraqi artists. Turning to Lebanon, this country will be represented by Zad Moultaka. This artist and composer will be presenting a multimedia work in Santa Maria della Misericordia Church in the Cannaregio district. Emmanuel Daydé will be the exhibition’s curator. Zad Moultaka blends “musical invention with visual research in an approach where technology takes inspiration from the archaic,” says Emmanuel Daydé. His work explores the themes of separation, time immemorial and memory of the moment. The artist has given a few specifications on his project and ambition: “In these times when the Middle East is crumbling before our eyes, foundering in fratricidal wars, every act, every thought must be moved...

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James Richards to represent Wales at the 57th Venice Biennale

Welsh artist James Richards has been selected to represent his country at the 57th Venice Biennale. The news was announced by the Art Council of Wales. James Richards creates installations from videos, sounds and images borrowed from other artists or from archives, producing lively immersive spaces. He lives and works in Berlin. During the 2013 Venice Biennale, one of his works was shown at the Encyclopaedic Palace curated by Massimiliano Gioni. In 2012, James Richards won the Jarman Award, a prize recognising a video work, and he was also nominated for the Turner Prize in 2014. The artist declares that he is “surprised” and “excited” by the news, while also impatient to start working on a new work for the event. The 57th Venice Biennale will be opening from 13 May 2017 to 26...

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Wendelien van Oldenborgh to represent the Netherlands at the next Venice Biennale

The Mondriaan Fonds has announced that Wendelien van Oldenborgh will be representing the Netherlands at the 57th Venice Biennale. Residing and working in Rotterdam, Wendelien van Oldenborgh has been selected for her artistic project named “Cinema Olanda”, comprising three films that explore different facets of the Dutch postcolonial past, and the impact of this past on today’s society and on contemporary Dutch identity. The artist’s work reflects on current political issues. The exhibition will be curated by Lucy Cotter and will be held in the Rietveld Pavilion. The selection committee for the Dutch pavilion comprised of Lorenzo Benedetti, Nathalie Hartjes, Aernout Mik, Mirjam Westen and Brigit Donker, chairperson of the jury (and director of the Mondriaan Fonds). The artist is enthusiastic about her nomination: “This will be a wonderful moment to share the current transformations in Dutch society with an international...

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Rachel Maclean to represent Scotland at the 2017 Venice Biennale

Artist Rachel Maclean has been selected to represent Scotland at the 57th Venice Biennale. Rachel Maclean lives and works in Edinburg. Curatorship has been entrusted to Alchemy Film and Arts, based in Hawick, in partnership with the Talbot Rice Gallery and the University of Edinburgh. The work of Rachel Maclean uses different mediums such as film, printmaking and photography. Known for her construction of whimsical narrations that question identity, social conventions or politics, she herself plays the roles of characters in her works. As she says: “My work slips inside and outside of history and into imagined futures, creating hyper-glowing, artificially saturated visions that are both nauseatingly positive and cheerfully grotesque.” Richard Ashrowan, artistic director at Alchemy Film and Arts, offers a few details on Rachel Maclean’s artistic project: “Rachel Maclean is a powerfully original artist filmmaker, and we look to celebrate the dynamic creativity emerging within artists’ film and moving image practice in Scotland today forward to working with her on a striking new film and exhibition presentation at...

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