Angel Vergara is the artist chosen to represent the French Community of Belgium in the 54th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale. Angel Vergara has used different media such as drawing, video, installation and performance, allowing him to explore and broaden the limitations of painting both from an esthetic and socio-political perspective. His more recent works make use of film and video and it is through this stream of images that he creates live paintings, a painting that is created in sync with the flow of images on the screen.
For the Venice Biennale, Angel Vergara has devised a special project, which will occupy the entire space of the Belgian Pavilion. This project is inspired by the theme of the Seven Deadly Sins.
Artist Luc Tuymans is the curator of this project and will accompany Vergara in this venture. A leading figure in the Flemish arts scene, Luc Tuymans lives and works in Antwerp. Internationally renowned, he is considered to be one of the most influential contemporary artists of his generation.
In the current Belgian political context, the pairing of Angel Vergara with Luc Tuymans has a strong symbolic value: it strengthens Belgium’s presence at the Venice Biennale compared to the usual alternation of the French and Flemish communities at the Belgian Pavilion in the gardens of the venue.
Feuilleton, by Luc Tuymans, Curator
“Angel Vergara’s idea of asking an artist to curate this project, and moreover an artist from a different linguistic community, motivated me because it is a strong signal in terms of both the current political situation and Belgium’s presence at the Venice Biennale. Once Angel had developed the content of his project, my interest and my desire to work with him grew considerably.
Although my method of working may seem a lot more traditional than Angel’s, there are similarities between our work in terms of the content. Like Angel, I have never worked in a purely formal manner but rather have been inspired by my fascination in and research of the power of media images in a wider socio-cultural context.
This exhibition created by Angel Vergara is principally a reflection based around the theme of the Seven Deadly Sins, such as desire, anger, sloth… Using this theme as a leitmotif applied to contemporary society is a way of infecting a sort of virus into the range of trivial images that the media floods us with.
On the seven screens of the large frieze that forms the centerpiece of Angel’s project, the images appropriated by the artist are projected over and over again before finally being attacked by the paintbrush and paint, as if highlighting the powerlessness of this very gesture.
By combining painting and media images, numerous fundamental questions about the Image and Western iconography are raised.
In the pavilion’s center, various paintings on glass will be displayed. In the two spaces next to the entrance there will be TV screens broadcasting images of performances and installations, along with extracts of Vergara’s previous exhibitions in order to contextualize the work of this artist.
The title of this project is Feuilleton, a word containing a multitude of connections and infinite possibilities.”
The official representation of Belgium at the 54th International Art Exhibition – Biennale di Venezia is financed by The French Community of Wallonia-Brussels and Wallonie-Bruxelles International.
54th International Art Exhibition
Biennale di Venezia
Curator Luc Tuymans