June 2, 2007 - ART for The World - Joseph Kosuth at the 52nd International Art Exhibition, Collateral Event
June 2, 2007

Joseph Kosuth at the 52nd International Art Exhibition, Collateral Event

JOSEPH KOSUTH, THE LANGUAGE OF EQUILIBRIUM, 2007. NEON MOUNTED ON WALL. DIMENSIONS VARIABLE. © JOSEPH KOSUTH

JOSEPH KOSUTH
The Language of Equilibrium

Curated by Adelina von Fürstenberg

52nd International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia
Collateral Event
Opening: June 6, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Monastic Headquarters of the Mekhitarian Order
Island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni, Venice
A project by ART for The World, Geneva – Milan
In collaboration with Hangar Bicocca, Milan
Under the patronage of the City of Venice

The Island of San Lazzaro is the location for a project by Joseph Kosuth, entitled The Language of Equilibrium, collateral event of the 52nd International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia. At the invitation of Adelina von Fürstenberg, the founder of ART for The World, Joseph Kosuth has intervened on different parts of the island, along the external perimeter wall to the observatory, from the promontory to the bell tower. The Language of Equilibrium is a project by ART for The World, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI), based in Geneva and Milan, in collaboration with Hangar Bicocca, Spazio d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan, which will host a large solo show by Joseph Kosuth in 2008. Joseph Kosuth described the project as follows: This project, in yellow neon, has as its basis language itself. It is a work which is both a reflection on its own construction as well as on the history and culture of its location. This work is comprised of words from the Armenian, Italian and English language. Language here is used as a signifier of the history of the project of the Mekhitarian order. Yellow neon is chosen for this work because of the symbolic understanding of yellow at the time of the founding of the monastery as meaning ‘virtue, intellect, esteem and majesty’ (Böckler, 1688). The two supportive components of the work, based on the word ‘water’, are comprised of words arrived at through a view of their history and use. One aspect of this installation shows this relationship. The other part reflects the role of these words in the ‘Haygazian Pararan’, or Armenian Dictionary (1749) written by Abbot Mekhitar, founder of the order. The structure of this installation has two elements, which are integrated on four diverse architectural locations: the bell tower, the northwest wall, the promontory, the observatory. These four locations reflect both the diversity of the island’s architecture as well articulate the history and culture of the island. The work reflects the cultural and social history of the evolution of language itself, how the history of a word shows its ties to cultures and social realities quite distinct and disconnected. It is only in the present when a word is used, as it is with a work of art being experienced, that all that which comprises the present finds its location in the process of making meaning. Here, in this work, language becomes both an allegory and an actual result of all of which it would want to speak.

The island of San Lazzaro is the headquarters of the Mekhitarian Order, founded in Constantinople in the first years of the 18th Century by the Abbot Mekhitar of Sebaste, who settled together with his monks on the island in1717 after escaping persecution. Mekhitar understood the implicit potential of the written word for the preservation of Armenian culture threatened by the vicissitudes of history. The monastery therefore not only has a rich library, consisting of over 140,000 volumes, but until 1993 it also contained an active printing office capable of publishing texts in thirty-six languages, making San Lazzaro a global reference point for Eastern and in particular Armenian culture. It is thanks to this printing office that the first translation of the Bible into Armenian was made, including a guide to grammar and a dictionary of classical Armenian. These books are archived in the library along with 4,500 precious manuscripts, including many illuminated works by Armenian miniaturists and by the Greek and Syrian holy fathers.

Artist: Joseph Kosuth Title: The Language of Equilibrium Curated by Adelina von Fürstenberg Venue: Monastic Headquarters of the Mekhitarian Order, Island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni, Venice
A project by ART for The World, Geneva-Milan In collaboration with Hangar Bicocca, Milan Courtesy Galerie Gmurzynska, Zug and Zürich With the support of Fluxum Foundation – Cynthia & Patrick Odier, Geneva
Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte, Madrid
Joseph Kosuth is represented by Galerie Almine Rech, Paris – Galleria Lia Rumma, Milan and Naples – Galerie Sprueth Magers, Munich – Sean Kelly Gallery, New York

The catalogue of the exhibition will be published by Electa in co-operation with Galerie Gmurzynska and will come out on the occasion of the 64th Venice Film Festival
Info:
Opening: June 6, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Press Conference: June 8, 5.30 p.m., Teatro Piccolo Arsenale, Calle della Tana 2168/B, Venice Exhibition dates: June 10 November 21, 2007 Opening time of the Monastic Headquarters of the Mekhitarian Order: everyday from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. How to reach the Island of San Lazzaro: vaporetto n. 20 (from San Zaccaria to San Lazzaro h. 3:10 p.m. / from San Lazzaro to San Zaccaria h. 4:45 p.m. or 5:25 p.m.)

ART for The World
T. 39 02 36524881/ 41 22 7891557
info@artfortheworld.net
www.artfortheworld.net Press office:
Mara Vitali Comunicazione Lucia Crespi
T. 39 02 73950962, cell. 39 338 8090545, arte@mavico.it
Marie Claude Esnault
T. 33 618583102, info@artfortheworld.net

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