May 1, 2017 - Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - Jordi Colomer: ¡Únete! Join Us!
May 1, 2017

Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Jordi Colomer, ¡Únete! Join Us! (still), 2017. Video. Courtesy of Jordi Colomer.

Jordi Colomer
¡Únete! Join Us!
May 13–November 26, 2017

Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Curated by Manuel Segade

¡Únete! Join Us! invites visitors to become participants in an exploration of nomadism and collective agency. Transhumance, wanderings, journeyings, strayings, displacement: these themes are key to the exhibition, whose reference point is rooted in urban utopias that use movement as part of a radical rethinking of social imagination.

“The imperative mode in ¡Únete! Join us!, addressed to each individual person, is not simply an appeal but truly expects something from the viewer. This bid for allegiance, in the hope that visitors decide to take part, goes beyond the decision to enter the exhibition hall: it is a relational expectation," notes curator Manuel Segade.

Marking a return to his early sculptural and theatrical interest, Jordi Colomer’s exhibition at the Pavilion of Spain is conceived as an installation of installations. Precarious sculptures and transitory architectures form a theatre within the pavilion, encompassing its audience as they walk through the space and turning them into actors, mobilising the space with their presence. The installations offer a path via several video narratives; a journey of occasions, unexpected encounters, playful improvisations and collective gestures that reveal how a community turns an urban landscape into a potential site for exchange, capable of affecting reality.

“A contemporary urban landscape represents displacement and various themes involving movement—political, social and physical—while also moving between the public and the personal,” says Segade.

The fictional premise in the video pieces is a group of people moving across different sites and guided by three women: the actress Laura Weissmahr, the writer and singer Lydia Lunch and the dancer Anita Deb. Their continuous migration unfold semantics of displacement: decidedly low-resource settings reflect on the uncertainty and ambivalence of a mobile, unstable, border-crossing citizenry. Colomer states: “There’s a certain meaning of the term stage scenery as a provisional architecture that is portable, of open-use, capable of being interacted with. My characters act within the city in that sense."

Halfway between a portable pavilion and a wanderer’s wagon, a moveable contraption connects the spaces in the itinerary conjuring a Kafkaesque Babel where nomadic motion is also linguistic commotion, a vernacular displacement inflecting and translating a de-territorialized community’s activities.

On the occasion of the exhibition a catalogue designed by Alex Gifreu will be published by La Fabrica, deepening the discussions on Jordi Colomer’s body of work and placing the central issues of ¡Únete! Join Us! into context including texts by: Manuel Segade; Jordi Colomer; Andrea Valdés, independent writer; Bruce Bégout, Chair Professor of Philosophy at Bordeaux Montaigne University; Beatriz Colomina, Director of Graduate Studies and founder of the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University; Manuel Cirauqui, curator at Guggenheim Bilbao; Francesco Careri, artist, researcher and professor in the Architecture Department at Roma Tre University; Antoni Muntadas, artist.

Pavilion of Spain at the Venice Biennale
Spain has always played a prominent role in the history of the Venice Biennale. Its pavilion in the Venice Giardini was designed in 1922 by Javier De Luque and renovated in 1952 by Joaquin Vaquero Palacios. Since 1950, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation has been responsible for coordinating the country’s exhibitions in the Spanish Pavilion, and, throughout this time, it has strived to promote Spain’s rich artistic heritage and talent. Acción Cultural Española (AC/E - Spain’s Public Agency for Cultural Action) has been involved in the support of contemporary creation at the Venice Biennale, both in the production of the Spanish Pavilion and in the international selection. Artists invited to exhibit and intervene at the Spanish Pavilion have included Eduardo Chillida, Antoni Tàpies, Susana Solano, Santiago Sierra, Miquel Barceló, Dora García and Lara Almárcegui.

Press conferences
Madrid: Thursday, May 4, 12pm
Venice: Wednesday, May 10, 12:15pm

Official opening: Wednesday, May 10, 1:30pm

Press contact:
Pickles PR
Júlia Frate Bolliger
julia [​at​] / T +49 17625155891

Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
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¡Únete! Join Us!
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