April 30, 2019 - Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain - Marco Godinho: Written by Water
April 30, 2019

Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain

Marco Godinho, Left to their own fate #2, 2019. Research material. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Marco Godinho.

Marco Godinho
Written by Water
Luxembourg Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
May 11–November 24, 2019

Luxembourg Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Sale d’Armi, 1st floor

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Marco Godinho was selected to represent Luxembourg at the 58th Venice Biennale with his project Written by Water.

In line with the main themes that guide his artistic approach, Marco Godinho’s work for the Luxembourg Pavilion looks at the relationships that mankind entertains with the sea. Always in search of new horizons, the Portuguese-born artist is a nomadic explorer of the geographical, political and philosophical margins and boundaries of the world in which he lives.

Throughout the centuries, the sea has fascinated humans and given birth to countless legends and projections, prompting men and women to embark on daring exploratory journeys that have durably changed and defined our perception of the world. Yet beneath the romantic veneer of an epic space that kindles the imagination lurks a more complex geopolitical dimension.

The beginning of the 21st century will forever be marked by the waves of migration from South to North. Written by Water is an odyssey that takes the reverse path of today’s migratory routes across the Mediterranean, the cradle of modern society and birthplace of founding narratives that underpin our common heritage. In his installation for the Luxembourg Pavilion, Godinho creates an organic landscape imbued with its own temporality. Here, the sea appears as a world in perpetual motion in which the thoughts and memories associated with it become unspecified nomadic variables, a space onto which spectators can project their own stories cued by the elements assembled by the artist.

In the eponymous subproject, composed of notebooks that the artist has temporarily submerged in the water of the Mediterranean sea, the traditional form of the written travel accounts makes way for a flowing narrative charged with evocative potential. Its author is the sea itself, whose recollections are left to naturally "inscribe" themselves onto the pages of the artist’s notebooks. Only the sea knows what each of these soaked, undulating pages suffused with a distinctive individuality contains.

Another integral part of Godinho’s installation, A Permanent Sea inside Us examines personal stories in connection with the mindscape of the sea. For many people, the sea is merely a distant reality or fiction, with which they have never entertained an actual relationship, and probably never will. For them, it remains a myth or something impossible. Others, in turn, know it all too well for having placed their hopes and fate in it. What kind of portrait emerges from all these personal stories? How can we (re)think the sea based on these multiple individual abstractions?

Written by Water invites viewers into a kind of analogue deep-learning experience. It is through their introspection and immersion in these volatile "living memories" assembled by the artist himself that these seemingly lost stories will be perpetually rewritten.

New venue
For the Venice Biennale 2019, the Luxembourg Pavilion joins the Arsenale. Leaving the Ca’ del Duca, the private home that had been hosting its exhibitions since 1999, it has moved to the first floor of the Sale d’Armi. Thanks to this new location, the Luxembourg Pavilion sits right in the throbbing heart of the Biennale.

Opening reception
Thursday, May 9, 2019, 2:30pm–4:30pm. Arsenale, Sale d’Armi, 1st floor

Luxembourg pavilion
Commissioner: Ministry of Culture, Luxembourg
Organiser: Casino Luxembourg - Forum d'art contemporain
Curator: Kevin Muhlen
Assistant curator: Stilbé Schroeder

In agreement with: Luxembourg - Let's make it happen
With the support of: SJL Jimenez Lunz - Law Firm Luxembourg 

Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain
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