“Xavier Veilhan”

Xavier Veilhan: Studio Venezia, an immersive experience

The artist lives and works in Paris but it is in Venice that he welcomes us today. At the heart of the French Pavilion, where he is representing his country at the 2017 Biennale. A Venetian interview… Xavier Veilhan was born in 1963 in Lyon. He studied at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, then the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin. Since the end of the 1980s, he has developed a multidisciplinary practice composed of sculptures, paintings, installations, but also videos and performances, in which music plays a key role. His work is also a reflection on modernity – its history and forms – and the very definition of an exhibition space. His work Studio Venezia is representing France at the 57th International Art Biennale of Venice.   Studio Venezia is an immersive experience that picks up on the essence of your work through its relationship to music, but also sculpture, with constructivist forms and a link with Italian futurism. Does this project synthesize many years of work? Yes, of course, but at the same time, I see it more pragmatically. It’s as if I brought together preassembled elements or the pieces of a puzzle. As if the project were there to conceptually serve scattered experiences that had perhaps been a little overlooked, like one-off performances that the public didn’t so much see as being the core of my work. Even if I went about these projects rather discreetly, I’ve realised that they’ve fed my work a great deal, intellectually, but also through the meetings and discoveries that they’ve triggered. This has enabled me to join different networks, as with the films that have travelled to festivals. Live performance opens up doors I didn’t know existed and leads to certain things coming round again, in the way that Pedro...

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Six exhibitions to see in Venice during the Biennale

From 13 May to 26 November, a dense programme has been scheduled at Venice for the 57th Biennale. From Xavier Veilhan’s “Merzbau musical” to Mark Bradford’s social project, we take a little look at the openings not to miss. This year, the Venice Biennale is being steered by a Frenchwoman, Christine Macel, curator of the department of contemporary and prospective creation at the Centre Pompidou. The event’s theme, “Viva Arte Viva”, covers the capacity of artists to “invent their own universes” and “inject vitality into the world we live in”, in the words Paolo Baratta, president of the Venice Biennale foundation. This faith in art and the future is a deliberate choice on Baratta’s part after a beautiful but austere 2015 vintage, curated by Okwui Enwezor (“All the World’s Futures”). The Italian city will be welcoming numerous exhibitions and national pavilions simultaneously. Much to see, to hear, and to reflect on…   French Pavilion: a new-generation recording studio This year, the French Pavilion at the Venice Biennale is being overseen by Xavier Veilhan, and shouldered by curators Lionel Bovier (director of the MAMCO in Geneva) and Christian Marclay (artist and musician). Veilhan, as successor to Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, is setting up a project called “Merzbau musical” which plays on the volumes and decors of the French Pavilion’s space, drawing inspiration from a recording studio. The exhibition’s title is a nod to Kurt Schwitters whose “Merzbau” consisted of a habitable construction of variable dimensions, composed of salvaged objects. Schwitters’ project, initially intended to be named “Cathédrale de la misère érotique” (Cathedral of Erotic Misery), started in Hannover, then continued in Oslo and New York, throughout the artist’s life. In the French Pavilion, Xavier Veilhan places at the public’s disposal all types of musical instruments – some existing, others invented for the...

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Venice Biennale 2017: new artists

The 57th edition of the Venice Biennale, to take place from 13 May to 27 November 2017, has announced its new selected artists. While France will be represented by Xavier Veilhan, five artists have been chosen to illustrate their respective countries: Hammad Nasar, will be representing the United Arab Emirates through an exhibition on play. Spain will be represented by Jordi Colomer, while artist Sharon Lockhart will defend Poland through a project on adolescence. Manuel Ocampo will represent the Philippines and James Richards will be participating on behalf of...

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Elmgreen & Dragset present the Galerie Perrotin

Visible for one day only, on 24 September, the work Elmgreen & Dragset présentent la Galerie Perrotin au Grand Palais will be set up on the spot where the the gallery will be holding its stand at the next edition of the FIAC. Elmgreen & Dragset have chosen works by the gallery’s artists (Sophie Calle, Chung Chang-Sup, Bernard Frize, John Henderson, Gregor Hildebrandt, JR, KAWS, Heinz Mack, Takashi Murakami, Jean-Michel Othoniel, Paola Pivi, Claude Rutault and Xavier Veilhan) in black, white and earthy tones – the same shades as at their last exhibition, “The Well Fair”, at the Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art in Beijing. Indeed, in January this year at the UCCA, the duo launched a fictive contemporary-art fair displaying 88 works which they themselves created. A two-photograph edition will be created, showing the gallery’s stand before the fair’s opening, then after the...

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The Cité Radieuse listed as UNESCO world heritage

In Marseille, the Cité Radieuse (whose first stone was laid in October 1947, and which was inaugurated in October 1952) was included on UNESCO’s world heritage list at the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee on 17 July in Istanbul. 17 architectural sites in seven countries were recognised as masterpieces of creative genius. The Cité is one of ten listed French sites. Ora Ito, the French designer who created the MAMO art centre on the Cité’s roof, in its former gymnasium, welcomed the news with emotion. For four years now, Ora Ito has been inviting renowned international artists to dialogue with the building: Daniel Buren, Xavier Veilhan, Dan Graham and currently Felice...

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