55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. Sarah Sze – U.S. Pavilion


Sarah Sze: Triple Point
Commissioners/Curators: Carey Lovelace, Holly Block. Venue: Pavilion at Giardini


Sarah Sze: Triple Point, the official U.S. representation at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, is organized by The Bronx Museum of the Arts and is presented by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. The exhibition is produced with the collaboration of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice (Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York). Lead foundation support has been provided by the Ford Foundation, with additional support from the JL Foundation, Charina Endowment Fund, Bobbie Foshay, Agnes Gund, The Ronald and Jo Carole Lauder Foundation, The O’Grady Foundation, Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, Gwen and Peter Norton, The Isambard Kingdom Brunel Society of North America, Cynthia Sears and Frank Buxton, Nancy and Stanley Singer, Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg, The Ahmanson Foundation, The Broad Art Foundation, Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson, Charlotte and William Ford, Suzanne and David Johnson, The Mohn Family Foundation, Melissa and Robert Soros, Toby D. Lewis Philanthropic Fund, Words of the World Fund, Jennifer McSweeney, Willow Bay and Robert A. Iger, Sue and Joseph Berland, Columbia University School of the Arts, Alison and John Ferring, The Kwon Family Foundation, Sarah Peter, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc., Altour, Melva Bucksbaum and Raymond Learsy, Joanne Cohen, Ellyn and Saul Dennison, Joel and Zoë Dictrow, Mandy and Cliff Einstein, Joanne Gold and Andrew Stern, Vicky Hughes and John Smith, MiYoung Lee and Neil Simpkins, Cynthia H. Polsky, The Poses Family Foundation, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, Jeanne Greenberg and Nicolas S. Roahtyn, Allegrini, Castello di Roncade, Nardini Distillery, Podernuovo a Palazzone di Paolo e Giovannni Bulgari, Solé Water, and individuals.  Special support of digital engagement and education programs is provided by Bloomberg.

Sarah Sze has exhibited at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Serpentine Gallery, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Sze’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Malmo Könsthall, Sweden; Asia Society, New York; and the Cartier Foundation, Paris. Her work has also been featured internationally at the 48th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, 10th Biennale de Lyon, 5th Liverpool Biennial, 25th São Paulo Biennial, 1st Berlin Biennial, the 2000 Whitney Biennial, and the 1999 Carnegie International. She has also received critical acclaim for public commissions at New York City’s High Line; Massachusetts Institute of  Technology, Cambridge; and the Public Art Fund, New York. Born in Boston in 1969, Sze received a BA from Yale University in 1991 and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in 1997. She is a 2003 MacArthur Fellow.

55thInternational Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. Azerbaijan Pavilion


Azerbaijan, Republic of

Rashad Alakbarov, Sanan Aleskerov, CHINGIZ, Butunay Hagverdiyev, Fakhriyya Mammadova, Farid Rasulov
Commissioner: Heydar Aliyev Foundation.

Curator: Hervé Mikaeloff.

Venue: Palazzo Lezze, Campo S. Stefano, San Marco 2949

The Heydar Aliyev Foundation is the largest non-governmental organization in Azerbaijan; it was established in 2004 and since then it implements large-scale programs and projects both in the country and abroad. The main goal of the Foundation is safeguarding national and spiritual values, wide promotion of Azerbaijani culture, implementation of various programs and projects ensuring the development of science, education, healthcare and social sphere, as well as promoting the international image of the country worldwide.

Hervé Mikaeloff was appointed curator of the Azerbaijan Pavilion and has selected the six artists Rashad Alakbarov, Fakhriyya Mammadova, Butunay Hagverdiyev, Sanan Aleskerov, Farid Rasulov and CHINGIZ to represent Azerbaijan at the 55thInternational Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia.

The concept of the exhibition, proposed by the curator Hervé Mikaeloff is to show the great importance of tradition and rich ornamental culture of Azerbaijan, with its rootsdating back to the thick of the centuries and today continuing its life in the works of modern art. According to curator: “In Azerbaijan, daily life represents a constant source of inspiration for creation especially through decorative arts. Since modern art, artists have used ornamentation and decorative patterns to fuel their research of surface, space and new forms.

Nowadays, a new generation explores and updates this traditional art through a contemporary vision, raising the essence of ornament in relation with the perception of the national cultural heritage as a major artistic question.

For this pavilion, six artists interpret their country great ornamentallegacy by using different mediums and perspectives”.

Farid Rasulov explores the decoration through the notion of space. He uses carpets as a sort of ready made to show a duality between modern design and oriental atmosphere.

Rashad Alakbarov creates unexpected shadows through complex installations. Some objects exposed to a light source cast shadows of traditional decorations called shebeke.

Butunay Hagverdiyev paints letters but instead of using words to communicate, he creates an abstract image composed of letters. Some events are described oppositely by different sources.

Chingiz erases history and write it all over again by using symbols of the twentieth century on a blank me­dium.

Fakhriyya Mammadova followed and photographed a young bride during her wedding. The spectator observes, as a guest, the different steps of his important traditional ceremony.

Sanan Aleskerov is well-known for his observation of changes in cities and landscapes. His polaroid series shows a really personal vision of ornaments and landscapes in his country.

55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. Vincent J.F. Huang, Destiny Intertwined – Tuvalu Pavilion


Destiny Intertwined
Vincent J.F. Huang
Commissioners: Apisai Ielemia, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tapugao Falefou, Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Tourism, Environment & Labour.

Curators: An-Yi Pan, Szu Hsien Li, Shu Ping Shih.

Venue: Forte Marghera, via Forte Marghera 30, Mestre


Taiwanese Artist Vincent J.F. Huang uses dark humour to raise awareness of the Climate Crisis engulfing the small paradise island of Tuvalu

The tiny island of Tuvalu located in South Pacific, the smallest member of Commonwealth of Nations, will take place in the prestigious Biennale Arte 2013 from 1st June-24th November for the first time this year. Taiwanese artist Vincent J.F. Huang will create artworks that allow audiences to consider the global climate change issues we face today. A series of ‘black humor’ installations will be on display, namely a colossal oil pump installation, which will transform into a killing machine that will slaughter natural species; a live coral reef aquarium with the remnants of human civilisation submerged within it and an unusual spectacle of animal ‘refugee’ sculptures that have become endangered by global warming. The Tuvalu Pavilion titled ‘Destiny.Intertwined’ serves as a metaphor for the Developed World and Third World and how ultimately as humans, we all end up with the same fate.

The 6 metre high interactive oil pump installation ‘In the Name of Civilization’ will be situated at the Forte Marghera-a symbolic fortress dating back to the Napoleon period which was built for the protection of the city of Venice. The installation invites audiences to ‘fill up gas’ whilst contemplating the dying iconic New York ‘Wall Street Bull’-hanging from its noose above it, and the sea turtle, hopelessly waiting to be decapitated. Huang uses these ‘animal victims’ to point out that, under capitalism’s unlimited pursuit of economic development, Earth’s natural resources have been plundered, leading to effects that will not only devastate the ecosystem of a Third World Country such as Tuvalu, but will bring inevitable disasters to the capitalist driven economy of the First World too.

The prestigious Venice Arts Academy will be partnering with the Tuvalu Pavilion this year and will house Huang’s artworks and sculptures. Through the collaboration, the Director of the Venice Arts Academy, Carlo Di Raco, hopes to inspire young artists in the academy to reflect on the circumstances within their very own city. The MOSE project in Venice, designed to protect the city from flooding and stop the every-increasing danger and damages from natural disasters shares similarities with Huang’s work and his unique presentation of the Tuvalu perspective.

The ‘Modern Atlantis Project’ uses an aquarium tank to house coral reefs which are growing on the surface of the water. Miniature sculptures of iconic landmarks represent the civilised and capitalist society that are now found submerged within the tank. The corals are free to flourish until the resources in the aquarium are fully consumed, leading to a coral bleaching event. By re-creating a modern day Atlantis city, Huang shows- all that is known to civilized mankind will one day be flooded by rising sea levels and human’s unrelentingly desire for infinite growth will inevitably lead to the extinction of our one Earth.

The final artwork ‘Prisoner’s Dilemma’ considers the dwindling natural resources of Earth and the notion that mankind will soon face apocalypse- even the grandiose ‘Statue of Liberty’ falls to her kneels and prostates, in front of portraits of deceased terracotta penguins, in utter remorse. Huang calls the USA to ‘account’ for ‘policing’ the world, yet rejecting to commit equal action on climate change. The artwork is a severe warning to audiences that animals such as penguins will one day become committed to funerals as sacrifices- if mankind continues to plunder nature out of greed.

Having spent about 10 years creating eco-art, Huang is no stranger to working in unexpected contexts and enjoys creating eco-projects that are designed to provoke, stimulate and cause reaction. Over the years he has dedicated his art to promoting awareness and preventing global warming receiving widespread international media attention. Huang says

“I was drawn to Tuvalu because of its tragic situation- a non-industrialized country that produces nearly zero carbon emissions-how is it fair that it should be the first country in the world to sink below sea level as a consequence of emissions from developed countries? I hope through art to send a message to the highly industrialized nations that they need to consider their technological advancement can also bring about environmental crises and cause dire natural calamities.”

55th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia. Bill Culbert – New Zealand Pavilion

new zelBill Culbert has been commissioned by Creative New Zealand Arts Council of New Zealand, Toi Aotearoa to exhibit at the 55th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia.

Front Door Out Back
Bill Culbert

Commissioner: Jenny Harper. Deputy Commissioner: Heather Galbraith.

Curator: Justin Paton.

Venue: Santa Maria della Pietà, Castello

Culbert will show site-specific works for the New Zealand Pavilion at the Istituto Santa Maria della Pietà (La Pietà). The lagoon-facing venue offers five exhibition spaces, including an outdoor courtyard and a spacious corridor where Vivaldi once taught violin. For the first time the main entrance will be on the Riva degli Schiavoni.
“Bill makes marvelous work, constantly re-investigating how light works and revitalising how we think of it,” says New Zealand’s Venice Biennale Commissioner, Jenny Harper. “Venice is a wonderful platform for us to celebrate his individual achievements and to continue to present the richness of this country’s visual arts practice. It will be fascinating to see how he responds to a venue that is both spatially and historically rich.”

Culbert (b. 1935) is a pioneer of the use of electric light in art, making works that harness the qualities of this most intangible of mediums from as early as the 1960s. Over a career that spans almost six decades, he has pushed the frontiers of art through a rigorous, inventive and economic use of materials. Light is both medium and subject matter in his sculptures, installations and photographs, the means of mounting a philosophical enquiry into the art object and its materiality. Culbert’s sculptural installations make striking use of found and new materials. From suitcases pierced with fluorescent tubes, to chandeliers of repurposed furniture, through to arrays of reclaimed plastic containers, his artworks illuminate the qualities of common things and their surrounding environments.

Culbert has had more than 100 solo exhibitions since 1960, showing across New Zealand, England, Europe, the United States, and Australia. His work is owned by numerous public and private collections around the globe and can currently be seen in exhibitions at the Château de Servières, Marseilles, France (19 January to 23 February 2013), and in the Hayward Gallery, London’s group exhibition, ‘Light Show’ (30 January – 28 April 2013). Culbert is based in Provence, France and London, England.

New Zealand at Venice 2013
Commissioner: Jenny Harper, Director, Christchurch Art Gallery
Deputy Commissioner: Heather Galbraith, Head of the School of Fine Arts, College of Creative Arts, Massey University Curator: Justin Paton, Senior Curator, Christchurch Art Gallery

The curator of New Zealand’s 2013 Venice Biennale exhibition is Justin Paton, senior curator, Christchurch Art Gallery. Paton is one of the country’s foremost curators and an award-winning writer and television presenter on the arts.

Bill Culbert
Culbert started out as a painter, graduating from London’s Royal College of Art in 1960 and soon after exhibiting in the UK’s most prestigious galleries and museums. Gradually the marks in his canvases became apertures, opening his painting into three dimensionality, and by 1968 Culbert had begun began experimenting with electric light, using shadows, camera obscura, photography and fluorescence as media.
In 2012 Culbert’s work was seen in solo shows at Sue Crockford Gallery, Auckland and Laurent Delaye, London, and in group shows at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney and the Auc|kland Art Gallery Toi o Tamak and a substantial selection of his early paintings and experimental light works appeared in a survey of British and Brazilian Concrete Artists at the Centro Brasileiro Britânico in São Paulo, Brazil. His sculptures can currently be seen in London in the Hayward Gallery’s group exhibition, ‘Light Show’,

New Zealand’s arts development agency, Creative New Zealand, funds and administers New Zealand’s presence at the Venice Biennale. Creative New Zealand acknowledges the support of Christchurch Art Gallery and Massey University in the realisation of the 2013 exhibition.
New Zealand has exhibited at the Venice Biennale since 2001 with exhibitions by Peter Robinson and Jacqueline Fraser (2001), Michael Stevenson (2003), et al. (2005), Judy Millar and Francis Upritchard (2009), and Michael Parekowhai (2011).

Website: , www.nzatvenice.com

55th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia. Akram Zaatari – Lebanese Pavilion


Letter To A Refusing Pilot
Akram Zaatari
Commissioner: APEAL.

Curators: Sam Bardaouil, Till Fellrath.

Venue: Pavilion at Arsenale

Akram Zaatari will be presenting a major new work, titled Letter to a Refusing Pilot, in the Lebanese Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, the exhibition marks the debut of Zaatari’s most aesthetically ambitious and politically nuanced project to date, and creates a dialogue between two works, a new 45-minute video and a looping 16mm film, in an immersive environment conceived as a stage awaiting an actor, or a cinema awaiting a spectator.

In the summer of 1982, a rumor made the rounds of a small city in South Lebanon, which was under Israeli occupation at the time. It was said that a fighter pilot in the Israeli air force had been ordered to bomb a target on the outskirts of Saida, but knowing the building was a school, he refused to destroy it. Instead of carrying out his commanders’ orders, the pilot veered off course and dropped his bombs in the sea. It was said that he knew the school because he had been a student there, because his family had lived in the city for generations, because he was born into Saida’s Jewish community before it disappeared. As a boy, Akram Zaatari grew up hearing ever more elaborate versions of this story, as his father had been the director of the school for twenty years. Decades later, Zaatari discovered it wasn’t a rumor. The pilot was real.

Pulling together all of the different strands of Zaatari’s practice for the first time in a single work, Letter to a Refusing Pilot reflects on the complexities, ambiguities, and consequences of refusal as a decisive and generative act. Taking as its title a nod to Albert Camus’ four-part epistolary essay “Letters to a German Friend,” the work not only extends Zaatari’s interest in excavated narratives and the circulation of images in times of war, it also raises crucial questions about national representation and perpetual crisis by reviving Camus’s plea: “I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice.”

Akram Zaatari
Akram Zaatari is an artist whose work is tied to collecting and exploring photographic practices in the making of social codes and aesthetic forms. Regarding the present through a wealth of photographic records from the past, Zaatari co-founded the Beirut-based Arab Image Foundation in 1997, and he has been working on the extensive archive of Hashem el Madani’s Studio Shehrazade, in the Lebanese port city of Saida, since 1999. The author of more than 40 films and videos—including The End of Time (2013), Tomorrow Everything Will Be Alright (2010), Nature Morte (2008), In This House (2005), This Day (2003) and All Is Well on the Border (1997).

Zaatari investigates notions of desire, pursuit, resistance, memory, surveillance, the shifting nature of political borders and the production and circulation of images in times of war. His works have been featured in dOCUMENTA (13) (2012), the Istanbul Biennial (2011), and the Venice Biennale (2007), among others, and he has shown his films, videos, photographs and other documents in institutions such as the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Tate Modern in London, Kunstverein and Haus der Kunst in Munich, Le Magasin in Grenoble, MUSAC in Leon, MUAC in Mexico City and Videobrasil in Sao Paulo.

Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath
Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath co-founded Art Reoriented, a multi-disciplinary curatorial platform operating from Munich and New York in 2009. Their past and ongoing exhibition, research and publication projects include collaborations with several museums and cultural institutions such as MoMA in New York, Mathaf in Doha, INHA and IMA in Paris, IVAM in Valencia, the Gwangju Museum of Art and the Today Art Museum in Beijing.

Integral to Bardaouil and Fellrath’s practice is the critique of institutionalized exhibition structures. Through their work, they question the way artworks have been appropriated by reductionist narratives and politicized modes of representation. They excavate art historical materials for the purpose of repositioning them in the more dynamic framework of contemporary artistic production.



55th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia – Paraguay Pavilion

parParaguay Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 

Title of the Exhibition : The Encyclopedic Palace of Paraguay

Exhibitors : Pedro Barrail, Daniel Milessi, Diana Rossi, Felix Toranzos

Commissioner : Elisa Victoria Aquino Laterza – Assistant Commissioner: Nori Vaccari Starck

Curator : Osvaldo Gonzalez Real Technical

Curator in Venice : Tiziano Inguanotto, Studio Arbur ltalia ( http://www.arburitalia.com – Architecture )

Venue: Palazzo Carminati, Santa Croce 1882 ( San Stae ) , Venice 30135.


The Government of Paraguay is taking part in the 55th International Art Exhibition for the fi rst time, and is doing so with works of four P araguayan artists under the title of “The Encyclopedic Palace of Paraguay”. It consists of works from various trends of contemporary art related to the main theme of the 55th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia – curated b y Massimiliano Gioni.

Pedro Barrail presents his work, “View of Point”, with an intervention in the main room where the paraguayan exhibition will take place. It comes to tackling the virtual space of the canvas with the real space of the room of the Palaz zo Carminati. The internal facade would be erased by its own image, which will have printed in the center a red dot: ” You are not here “. This situation would be the metaphor of Paraguayan cultural isolation and of its wandering in the surrounding world: “a real maze of advertising images and entertainment media‘. The work is inspired by the writings of Jose fi na Pl á . In one of her poems, she spe aks of a “Landscape with no exit ” such as the photographs, an unknown place, inhabited by dreams and silence, while we fl ee to nothingness.

The proposal of Daniel Milessi, “Yasururu Sororo” (invasion?) refers to the his tory of successive invaders of Guarani country (now Paraguay) through the Game of War, a video which presents a revisionist conception of history, from colonial days to the present. This game, where nobody wins, is institutionalized: usurers, bankers, and exploiters, supported by the political class in action. Something very important, from an aesthetic point of view, is the discovery by Milessi of the similarity between the design pattern of a native carpet and the videogames in – 8 – bit. Therefore, the visua l communication more suitable for Paraguayans would be: the video – games, part of the pop culture and the popular iconography. In fact the work is a video/animation/performance.

Diana Rossi was inspired by a prehistoric fossil, found recently in Paraguay. This is an installation that represents the anteater (“yurumi”) totemic animal of t he indigenous tribe Ache – Guayak í of Paraguay. For them this mammal is considered genitor, sacred ancesto r and icon of the ancient inhabitants of this land. It is made on the basis of “object – trouvé” such as bones, henhouse wires, discarded leather, Coke bottles, etc. The work also recalls the genocide committed against this indigenous tribe in 1973, during t he long Paraguayan dictatorship and conducted by landless peasants and soldiers. The survivors were interned in a kind of concentration camp run by Christian missionaries. The children of the massacred were sold as slaves. The idea of Diana is to pay tribu te to the memory of the disappe ared from the tribe Ache – Guayak í .

The work of Felix Toranzos is characterized by a proposal that intends to continue in time, the architectural design, octagonal, called in greek “Horologion”, of the Andronico of Cirro (late first century B.C.) and that appears after 2000 years repeated in the dome of the National Museum of Fine Arts of Asuncion, Paraguay. This Museum has no physical space of its own in the country and is still looking for a final destination. This “Palace of the Winds”, which is also a clock of the elapsed time through history, has been transformed, thanks to the creativity of the artist, in a series of panels, printed with geome tric figures of hermetic renaissance inspiration sealed by the purest Pythagorean tradition, where the geometry and the numbers are divine. The search for lost times is retrieved, in this way, through art.

Elisa Victoria Aquino Laterza Commissioner

55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. Katrín Sigurðardóttir – Island Pavilion


Katrín Sigurðardóttir
Commissioner: Dorotheé Kirch.

Curators: Mary Ceruti , Ilaria Bonacossa.

Venue: Lavanderia, Palazzo Zenobio, Collegio Armeno Moorat-Raphael, Fondamenta del Soccorso, Dorsoduro 2596

For the Pavilion of Iceland at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia in 2013, Katrín Sigurdardóttir has designed a large-scale sculptural intervention for the Lavanderia—The Old Laundry at Palazzo Zenobio. The artist has created a floating platform covered by an ornate, baroque-inspired design, measuring approximately 90 square meters. The outline of the architectural structure takes its form from the footprint of a typical 18th century pavilion. It intersects both interior and exterior spaces of this auxiliary building in the garden of the Palace, with two sets of stairs for access by visitors. The project is born from a career-long exploration of distance and memory and their embodiments in architecture, urbanism, cartography, and landscape. Sigurdardóttir’s work often includes highly detailed renditions of places, both real and fictional, that incorporate an element of surprise. The piece will travel to the Reykjavík Art Museum and then to the SculptureCenter in Long Island City, New York. Sigurdardóttir will adapt the sculpture to the new architecture of each location, yet it will maintain its original footprint as well as the cut-out memory of the walls of the previous sites.

Upon entering the work, visitors will first climb the stairs leading from the garden to the platform, and then bend down to pass through the truncated doors of the building. The work extends beyond the confines of the Lavanderia’s walls on three sides and allows the public to navigate diverse interior and exterior spaces. Visitors can also climb stairs to the roof of the building and look down on the sculpture’s large footprint and intricate patterns. The size of this architectural piece dwarfs the building, and thus takes on a familiar theme in Sigurdardóttir’s oeuvre, the playful manipulation of scale. Notably, Iceland lacks its own pavilion in the Giardini, and therefore the floating, disembodied structure of Sigurdardóttir’s sculpture takes on a special significance. The outline of the form becomes a metaphor for the outline of the national space.

Sigurdardóttir has worked with two curators in realizing the exhibition, Mary Ceruti, Executive Director and Chief Curator at SculptureCenter, and Ilaria Bonacossa, Director of Villa Croce, Contemporary Art Museum in Genova since 2012.

The Icelandic Art Center oversees the Pavilion of Iceland at la Biennale di Venezia in collaboration with the Reykjavík Art Museum, which will house Sigurdardóttir’s exhibition in Iceland after the project in Venice ends. The choice of the representative of Iceland at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia was in the hands of a panel of experts, which consisted of: Dorothée Kirch, Director of The Icelandic Art Center, Ólöf Kristín Sigurdardóttir, Director of Hafnarborg The Hafnarfjordur Centre of Culture and Fine Art, and Hildur Bjarnadóttir, artist. Visiting members in the committee were Ragnar Kjartansson, artist, and Ólafur Gíslason, art historian.

Biographies for the Pavilion of Iceland at la Biennale di Venezia

Katrín Sigurdardóttir
Katrín Sigurdardóttir was born in Reykjavík in 1967 and has lived and worked between Iceland and the United States for 25 years. Since her first solo exhibition in San Francisco in 1992, her works have been shown extensively in Europe and the Americas, and are included in numerous public and private collections. She has had notable solo exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2010); MoMA PS1, New York (2006); FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon, France (2006); Sala Siqueiros, Mexico City (2005); Fondazione Sandretto, Turin, Italy (2004); and The Reykjavík Museum of Art (2004, 2000).

Dorothée Kirch
Prior to being appointed director of the Icelandic Art Center in March 2010 Dorothée Kirch (b. 1974 – German) worked as a freelance curator and cultural worker. Projects included exhibitions, events and documentaries all in the field of contemporary visual arts. She worked and lived in New York and Berlin before returning to Reykjavik. Kirch graduated with a BA in studio arts from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2001 and an MBA (Master of Business Administration) from Reykjavik University in 2005.

Ilaria Bonacossa
Ilaria Bonacossa is the Director of Villa Croce, Contemporary Art Museum in Genova since 2012. After ten years as curator at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Torino, she co-founded Art at Work in 2009: a collective that commissions and develops contemporary art projects through an innovative working platform that operates in both public and private institutions, as well as for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. She has written about art for international institutions and magazines.

Mary Ceruti
Mary Ceruti is Executive Director and Chief Curator at SculptureCenter. Located in Long Island City, New York, SculptureCenter is dedicated to experimental and innovative developments in contemporary sculpture. Ceruti has organized numerous solo and group exhibitions, as well as special projects, and commissions by emerging and established artists.

55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia – oO — Lithuanian Pavilion

litoO — Lithuanian Pavilion at the 55th International
Venue: Palasport “Giobatta Gianquinto” (Palasport Arsenale)
Calle San Biagio 2132, Castello – Venezia

Artists: Liudvikas Buklys, Gintaras Didžiapetris, Jason Dodge, Lia Haraki, Maria Hassabi, Phanos Kyriacou, Myriam Lefkowitz, Gabriel Lester, Elena Narbutaitė, Morten Norbye Halvorsen, Algirdas Šeškus, Dexter Sinister, Constantinos Taliotis, Kazys Varnelis, Natalie Yiaxi, Vytautė Žilinskaitė

Curator: Raimundas Malašauskas
Commissioners: Aurimė Aleksandravičiūtė & Jonas Žakaitis
Production Manager: Francesca Bertolotti
Assistant: Justė Jonutytė
Graphic Designer: Goda Budvytytė
Website:  http://oo-oo.co/ by Mindaugas Uba


You are here because
of what is about to happen, somebody changing her name to ZoOm, Horace Goldin cutting a metaphor in half, symmetry shimmering, more emails to follow;
of that conversation we once had on the street. You called it a cafe though. In fact it is a fat city1;
of these two pairs of 3D glasses you were wearing that night. “8D!” I said.
you’ve received Antanas Gerlikas’ dream that carried a compressed version of Lithuania’s invocation at the 55th Venice Biennale;
you thought that Darius Miksys’ childhood could be the best tool to re-engineer your own childhood or to restart it right away with new chances2;
Tulips&Roses transformed from a gallery in Brussels to a flying carpet with editorial capacity;
Spotted Raphael, the iridescent satellite of oO, is tweeting from the intersections of life and time. Trust me—it is spotless;
you came to the Hypnotic Show in Kassel summer of 2012;
you are fact checking 2013, or are about to steal a cell phone;
you are here. 1. This same approach to awareness is akin to what I call the ‘geunculus’, the way in which we map events, objects and surroundings that are close to us, or of which we have had a strong or repeated experience as being enlarged. It is the way we map our world and memories into our mind, just as our senses are mapped into the “homunculus”, a part of the brain that registers sensory inputs. If I think of my home and how it relates to my street and city, the door knob and key slot is actually quite huge, the door is big, the path leading to the street is smaller, the street on which I live is still smaller and the city itself spreads out even smaller, as my experience of it is less personal and less thorough. 2. Speaking of ‘contingency managers’. Beware of ideas that grow on you. Cactus-shaped experiences. Fully developed half-lines. Hairy divisions. Or better: a hairy fact with two legs. Being checked. Two countries growing on a wall. Myths, monsters, clocks, true feelings, pretty new dresses, dancing and all that. Yes, we have met already.


circa 1972
Perhaps a secret urge to blossom brings the cactus in Vytautė Žilinskaitė’s tale close to a ball lightning. The latter emerges to Darius Mikšys around the same time in his kitchen. No one is injured; there are no survivors either.

Foundations of the Palasport Arsenale, designed by Enrichetto Capuzzo, are laid in Venice.

Completed Palasport Arsenale is named after Giobatta Gianquinto, a native Venetian, a criminal lawyer, member of Italian Communist Party and mayor of Venice from 1946 to 1951.

The perimeter of the Palasport site is extruded upwards by a windowless, in-situ, cast concrete wall—a modernist architectural gesture towards its historic context. The seemingly cold concrete building is actively used by the local community.

(“You know what, guyth? Letth play. Letth let that thneaky little goat chathe uth thith time!”)

Algirdas Šeškus, then an active photographer, takes a series of shots of gymnastic exercises performed on the morning program of the Soviet Lithuanian TV. “I am not certain whether it was morning or evening then,” he admits today.

11 MARCH 1991
The Republic of Lithuania proclaims its independence and several years later applies for EU membership.

mid ’90s
Algirdas Šeškus drops the ‘work’ from the ‘art work’; and concentrates on his bioenergetics healing practice.

Kazys Varnelis, an explorer of the infinite optical universe, paints The Last Shot, his conscious decision to quit painting.

29 OCTOBER 2010
Kazys Varnelis dies.

22–23 SEPTEMBER 2011
A dream containing several elements of oO appears to Antanas Gerlikas (“I met Gintaras Didžiapetris in a vast red brick building with a mirror-like perspective. […]“).

Raimundas Malašauskas lands in Nicosia to test the premises of two national pavilions as one exhibition called oO. Stelios Votsis, one of the most revered and groundbreaking artists in Cyprus, dies the next morning.

Gabriel Lester conceives oO’s display architecture, which is to be constructed from modular walls shipped to Venice from a number of museums in Europe. Elena Narbutaitė later names the architecture Cousins.

Krõõt Juurak changes her name to KroOt—her name becomes a venue to be rented out to other artists.

1 MARCH 2013
Enrichetto Capuzzo, the architect of Palasport Arsenale, dies.

MARCH 2013
European Central Bank proposes Cyprus to impose a levy on its bank deposits. An unprecedented case in European financial history. Oo shakes down to its core—one of the two countries is on the brink of collapse.

5 APRIL 2013
An agreement to merge the Lithuanian and Cypriot pavilions with the sports activities of the Venetian schools at Palasport Arsenale is reached.

30 MAY 2013
An exhibition called oO (or Oo) opens at Palasport Arsenale in Venice. Three tales from the ’70s by Vytautė Žilinskaitė are released in two languages as an exhibition catalogue.

Dexter Sinister launches ‘a work that is not there yet’ as a part of an oO sequencer tied to the future.

16 JUNE 2013
A festival of calisthenics takes place at the Palasport Arsenale. 120 girls (ages 4—12) perform in the scenography of Cousins. Daily activities of basketball, football and other sports play out in the company of the exhibition.

27 JUNE 2013
“Two postmen are missing, it’s chaos” fires the June 27th issue of Il Gazzettino on the table of the cafe (precise location to be announced) in Venice.

55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. Creation, Un-Creation, Re-Creation: Holy See Pavilion

Venue: Pavilion at Arsenale

The Holy See is participating for the first time ever with its own pavilion at Venice’s 55th Biennale D’Arte, an international arts festival held every two years in the lagoon city. At a news conference in the Vatican on Tuesday, the President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, and other speakers described the reasons for the Holy See’s participation and spoke of the theme chosen for its exhibit.
Susy Hodges reports.

Listen to the report whose text is written below:  here

“In his intervention, Cardinal Ravasi said the council that he heads holds contemporary art at the heart of its interests because it is one of the most important cultural expressions of recent decades.

The Cardinal told Vatican Radio that the Holy See wishes to rebuild an interrupted dialogue, or what was a kind of non-consensual divorce, that took place between art and faith, especially in the last century. It’s for this reason, he continued, that we want to try to create an authentic dialogue between religion and contemporary art that has new and dramatic forms of expression. Cardinal Ravasi described this upcoming participation in Venice’s Biennale festival as an attempt to reconnect those very ancient and close links between art and faith in the world of culture.

Curated by Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums, the pavilion “In the Beginning” will focus on the Book of Genesis. It will be located in the Sale d’Armi, a newly-renovated section of the Arsenale. The theme of creation will be addressed by the Milanese new media collective Studio Azzurro with an interactive installation. Photos by the Paris-based Czech photojournalist Josef Koudelka will represent “uncreation,” and Lawrence Carroll, an American painter based in Venice, Calif., will encapsulate re-creation through his use of recycled materials.

55th International Art Exhibition. La Biennale di Venezia. Stefanos Tsivopoulos – Greek Pavilion



Stefanos Tsivopoulos

Commissioner: Hellenic Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports.

Curator: Syrago Tsiara. Venue: Pavilion at Giardini


Stefanos Tsivopoulos will represent Greece at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia with his work History Zero, which will be unveiled at the Giardini during the preview on 29 May 2013. The project is curated by Syrago Tsiara, Director of the Thessaloniki Center of Contemporary Art, Greece, and has been commissioned by the Hellenic Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports.

History Zero comprises a film of three episodes alongside an archive of text and images. The film questions the value of money and the role money plays in the formation of human relationships by depicting the experiences of three very different individuals; an elderly art collector suffering from dementia, an immigrant trawling the streets for scrap metal, and an artist taking snapshots of the city.

At the center of the installation will be an archive of examples and evidence from various models of alternative, non-monetary exchange systems. Rather than simply documenting these models, the archive stands as a political statement proposing a reformation towards autonomous communal patterns and forms of survival and resistance.

History Zero, specially commissioned for the Biennale, comes at a critical moment in contemporary Greek and European history. The artist views the culmination of the multi-layered crisis as an opportunity to interpret an alternative visualization of the future.History Zero implies not the end, but a point of departure, of recovery and growth: the beginning of something new. By approaching our relationship with money poetically, from a philosophical perspective, the artist proposes dynamic ways to reaffirm solidarity, cooperation and co-responsibility in response to the present crisis. The combination of the archive and films brings together the diverse culture surrounding economic exchange whilst challenging the social, political and performative aspect of alternative currency models.

Based in Amsterdam and Athens, Stefanos Tsivopoulos’ work refers to the past, collective and individual memory, the genius loci, or protective spirit, of a place, and notions of public discourse. His work also deals with the technology of the image, television aesthetics and the historical authenticity of cinema.

Stefanos Tsivopoulos
Born in 1973 in Prague, Stefanos Tsivopoulos lives and works in Amsterdam and Athens. He studied fine arts at the Superior Academy in Athens, the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam. Solo exhibitions include ISCP, New York (2011); Heidelberg Kunstverrein (2010); Smart Project Space, Amsterdam (2010); and Art Forum, Berlin (2009). Group exhibitions include Manifesta 8, Murcia (2010); Witte de With, Rotterdam (2010); BFI Southbank, London (2009); ev+a, Limerick (2009); Athens Biennale (2007); and Thessaloniki Biennale (2007). Tsivopoulos is represented by Prometeogallery di Ida Pisani, Milan, and Kalfayan Galleries, Athens.

Syrago Tsiara
Born in Larissa in 1968, Syrago Tsiara lives and works in Thessaloniki. She is a curator, art historian and Director of the Thessaloniki Center of Contemporary Art, part of the State Museum of Contemporary Art – Costakis Collection. Tsiara studied Art History at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Social History of Art at the University of Leeds and completed a PhD on public art and national memory in Greece. She was a curator of the 2nd Thessaloniki Biennale, Praxis. Art in times of Uncertainty (2009). Shows which she has curated at the Thessaloniki Center of Contemporary Art includeMasquerades: Femininity, Masculinity and Other Certainties (2006); Disquieting Muses (2011); and Places of Memory – Fields of Vision (2012). Tsiara taught public art, historical avant-gardes and art theory at the University of Thessaly (2004–2007).

55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia
The 55th International Art Exhibition will take place in Venice from 1 June to 24 November 2013 at the Giardini and at the Arsenale (Preview: 29–31 May 2013), as well as in various venues across the city. The Biennale’s title chosen by its Director, Massimiliano Gioni, is Il Palazzo Enciclopedico / The Encyclopedic Place.

Film production
HAOS film Athens

Exhibition architectural design
Eva-Maria Stadelmann, Bernd Schmutz, Frank Joachim Wössner

Technical development, exhibition production and audiovisuals
Anything is Possible; Robert Clarijs & Joep Münstermann

Catalogue design and visual identity
NODE Berlin Oslo

Catalogue essays
Katerina Gregos, Gregory Sholette, Syrago Tsiara, Stefanos Tsivopoulos

Hellenic Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, Culture and Sport

Irene Panagopoulos
Faliro House Productions
Kalfayan Galleries, Athens, Thessaloniki
Prometeogallery di Ida Pisani, Milan