“Body Language”

“Body Language”

Office for Contemporary Art Norway

May 5, 2015

The first cross-pavilion artists’ talk at the Venice Biennale
8 May 2015

Talk: 2–3pm
Reception: 3–4pm

Teatro Piccolo Arsenale
(alongside entrance to Arsenale)


A discussion between the artists Joan Jonas (United States Pavilion), Camille Norment (Nordic Pavilion) and Pamela Rosenkranz (Swiss Pavilion)

Moderated by Tim Marlow, Director of Artistic Programmes, Royal Academy of Arts, London

Introductions by Jan Dalley, Arts Editor of The Financial Times, and Katya García-Antón, curator of The Nordic Pavilion and Director of Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA)

Media sponsor: The Financial Times

This conference is free of charge. No accreditation required.
Space is limited. Click here to register.
“Body Language: The Idea Behind the Artists’ Talk”
The first ever cross-pavilion collaboration at the Venice Biennale takes place between the United States, Nordic and Swiss Pavilions in the Giardini and has developed through the collaboration of commissioners Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA), the MIT List Visual Arts Center and Pro Helvetia, Switzerland. This novel collaboration has involved the three pavilion curators Katya Garcia-Anton (Norway), Paul Ha / Ute Meta Bauer (USA), and Susanne Pfeffer (Switzerland), as well as the directors of the commissioning organisations: OCA, Norway (Director Katya García-Antón), the MIT List Visual Arts Center, USA (Director Paul Ha), and Pro Helvetia, Switzerland (Director of Visual Arts Marianne Burki and Director of Biennial Projects Sandi Paucic).

In this discussion—the first of its kind at the Venice Biennale—three different generations of artists will give a unique insight to their artistic practice and thought from the perspective of different periods, contexts and experiences. Their thoughts will bridge artistic synergies across pavilions within the Giardini, as well as cast their own light across wider issues explored in the Venice Biennale.

Many artists today continue to be drawn, as they have been for centuries, by the power of the body (male or female) to crystallise questions and debates around beauty, power, mythology, story telling, the gaze and the human condition.

Three artists, three generations
The work of artists Joan Jonas, Camille Norment and Pamela Rosenkranz contributes some of the most provocative thinking around the body in art and society today. Together they will address some of the most vital artistic questions of our times—the changing place of our body in the world, and why artists continue to consider it as a recurring tool and motif.

Jonas, Camille Norment and Pamela Rosenkranz are all deeply concerned with the human body in their work, and they also articulate distinct artistic standpoints that bring the strength of their perspectives as women to the fore. Joan Jonas reflects upon the position of the body, and often her own body, in relation to landscape, storytelling and mythology; Camille Norment considers sound as a powerful mediator of the body and a constructor of cultural identities; and Pamela Rosenkranz works with the body in relation to the technological advances of our world, which are literally dissolving its presence within it.

The 56th edition of the Venice Biennale is curated this year by Okwui Enwezor. His project All The World’s Futures sets out to explore the relation of art with the state of affairs in the world today, and to explore this through what he has termed “its shadow histories.” There can be no shadow without a body to cast it, and the voices of Jonas, Norment and Rosenkranz will no doubt contribute to the entanglement of histories and shadows, which bring such urgency to these questions.
Joan Jonas (b. 1936 New York)
A pioneer of video and performance art, and acclaimed multimedia artist, Jonas’s work typically spans video, performance, installation, sound, text and drawing. Since 1968 her practice has explored various ways of seeing, the rhythms of ritual, and the authority of objects and gestures.

A new performance by Joan Jonas, They Come to Us without a Word II, will take place on July 20, 21, and 22 at the Teatro Piccolo Arsenale in Venice, with new music by Jonas’s long-time sound collaborator, American jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran. Details are available at  joanjonasvenice2015.com.

Camille Norment (b. 1970 Silver Spring, Maryland)
Oslo based, Norment’s work spans performance, installation, drawing and sound. In particular, Norment performs and composes on the legendary the glass armonica, an instrument invented by Benjamin Frankin that can sound enchanting or excruciating, depending on the pitch and vibration of the glass. She creates sonic spaces that integrate social, musical and psychological elements to broaden perspectives on how sound is intricately connected with the body, how it marks our experience and affects our collective consciousness. Raising questions around alienation and emancipation, Norment reflects upon the power of dissonance to carve out a space for new, affirmative thinking.

Camille Norment’s project Rapture performance schedule is as follows: May 6, 3pm and May 7, 5pm: performance by the Camille Norment Trio; and May 8, 5pm: performance by Camille Norment and David Toop. See here for more information on future performances by Camille Norment throughout the run of the Venice Biennale.

Pamela Rosenkranz (b. 1979 Sils Maria, Switzerland)
Rosenkranz’s work reflects on technological change and the associated transformations in contemporary philosophy, science, global economy and consumer behaviour. She investigates the voluble understanding of what it is to be human today, and of what is natural during the Anthropocene (the geological term given to our current times, during which changes in geology, climate and other so-called natural factors previously thought to define the planet, have been replaced by the impact of human activity). Moreover Rosenkranz goes further to consider the artist to be a product of reduction, boiled down to physical interactions of neurochemical processes, where any form of subjectivity becomes another material to work with.

The United States Pavilion is curated by Paul C. Ha and Ute Meta Bauer. Paul Ha is the Director of the MIT List Visual Arts Center and the Commissioner for the U.S. Pavilion.

Ute Meta Bauer, is currently the Director of the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, and previously the Founding Director of the Program in Art, Culture, and Technology (ACT) at MIT.

The Nordic Pavilion (this year solely commissioned by Norway) is curated by Katya García-Antón, the Director of Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA), with the collaboration of Antonio Cataldo, Senior Programmer OCA, Norway.

The Swiss Pavilion is curated by Susanne Pfeffer, Director of the Friedericianum Kassel, Germany.
Tim Marlow is Director of Artistic Programmes at the Royal Academy. He is an award-wining radio and television broadcaster who has presented over 100 documentaries on British television. He has lectured, chaired and participated in panel discussions on art and culture in more than 40 countries.

Jan Dalley is the Arts Editor of the Financial Times.
For media enquiries on the conference and on Camille Norment, Nordic Pavilion, contact:
Sarah Greenberg, Evergreen Arts: sgreenberg [​at​] evergreen-arts.com

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Office for Contemporary Art Norway
May 5, 2015

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