Canadassimo: the Canada Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale

Canadassimo: the Canada Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale

Canada Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

BGL, Canadassimo, 2015. © Ivan Binet. Courtesy BGL, Parisian Laundry, Montreal, and Diaz Contemporary, Toronto. Work in progress for the Canada Pavilion for the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, 2015.

April 4, 2015

9 May–22 November 2015

Media preview: 6 May, 1:30–3:30pm
Vernissage: 6 May, 4pm

Canada Pavilion
Giardini del Castello
Twitter / #BGLbiennale

Starting 9 May, BGL—the art collective composed of Jasmin Bilodeau, Sébastien Giguère and Nicolas Laverdière—is inviting visitors to embark on a surprising journey at the Canada Pavilion during the 56th International Art Exhibition—la Biennale di Venezia. Marie Fraser is the curator of the huge immersive installation titled Canadassimo, while Marc Mayer, Director of the National Gallery of Canada, is the commissioner of the Canada Pavilion. Canadassimo is supported by Royal Bank of Canada, Presenting Sponsor, Aimia, Major Sponsor, and the National Gallery of Canada Foundation.

With Canadassimo, the Canada Pavilion, in the Giardini di Castello, has been utterly transformed: a structure of scaffolding expands the exterior, while the inside is filled with a multitude of curious objects. 

“Often described as provocative and critical, BGL’s practice employs humour and extravagance to explore the world of objects, while simultaneously raising social and political issues related to nature, contemporary lifestyles, economics and the art system. As well as sculptures and performances, the collective’s works include huge installations that plunge spectators into unexpected situations, prompting them to question their own behaviour and to revise their view of reality. Canadassimo offers a strange path through the Canada Pavilion, which has been completely transformed. Beneath the scaffolding that partially obscures the building’s façade—creating the impression that the exhibition is still under construction—is the entrance to a dépanneur, one of the small neighbourhood convenience stores found across Quebec that sell tinned goods and other household essentials. Beyond this typically chaotic and shabby shop is a loft-like living space: though far more organized, this area is evidently the preserve of a recycling enthusiast. Next comes what BGL has dubbed ‘the studio,’ a place crowded with countless objects of all kinds, including stacks of tin cans covered with dribbles of paint. Having made their way through this bizarre living/working domain, spectators can relax for a while on a terrace that offers a marvellous view over the Giardini.”
–Marie Fraser, in the 56th International Art Exhibition la Biennale di Venezia catalogue
For more information about BGL, the curator Marie Fraser or Canada’s participation in the 2015 Venice Biennale, visit the webpage dedicated to the Canada Pavilion

The National Gallery of Canada is grateful to Royal Bank of Canada, the exhibition’s presenting sponsor, and Aimia, its major sponsor, and also acknowledges the generous support of the Gallery’s Contemporary Art Circle Patrons, its donors, its volunteers from across Canada, and the Distinguished Patrons of the National Gallery of Canada Foundation. These benefactors help ensure Canada’s presence in Venice to showcase some of its most celebrated artists in this storied international context. To learn more about the National Gallery, visit

For all media enquiries, please contact: 
Alessandra Pozzi: T +39 3385965789 / press [​at​]
Anna Chiara Ferrero: T +39 3332180184 / annachiaraferrero [​at​]
Studio Pozzi Milano: T +39 0276003912

Canada and in America
Josée-Britanie Mallet, Senior Media and Public Relations Officer, National Gallery of Canada
T +1 613 990 6835 / bmallet [​at​] 

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Canada Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
April 4, 2015

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