Venezia, Venezia

Venezia, Venezia

Chilean Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Milan, 1946: Lucio Fontana visits his studio on his return from Argentina. © Archivi Farabola

April 26, 2013

Venezia, Venezia: an immersive installation by Alfredo Jaar
June 1–November 24, 2013

Biennale Preview: May 29–31

Vernissage: Wednesday, May 29, 5pm

Pavilion of Chile
55th International Art Exhibition
la Biennale di Venezia

Alfredo Jaar has developed a critical practice of call and response through alert and advanced invocations to sites of crisis. Whether about violence and poverty, exile and migration, or other conditions of global or ideological conflict, his work prompts observation and thinking that unsettle conventions and complacency.

Representing Chile at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia in its temporary pavilion situated in the Arsenale, Jaar’s evocative installation Venezia, Venezia guides visitors along an arching passage—like one of Venice’s iconic bridges—of striking visual and somatic encounters of aridity and liquidity.

The passage begins with a confrontation of a photographic image of the Argentine-born Italian artist Lucio Fontana, following his return to Milan in 1946, unsteadily poised amidst the catastrophic evidence of the Second World War. Beyond this image of a pandemonium of dust and destruction, steps lead to the physical embodiment of a historic utopia and a conceptual opportunity for reconstruction.

Through a subtle orchestration of space and time, light and darkness, movement and stasis, and the partially revealed and provocatively withheld, the environment of the Pavilion of Chile becomes a psychic and epochal encounter of the errancy of images and the vulnerabilities of historical accountability.

Jaar’s situated installation critically examines the history of international representation to invoke expansive questions about the volatility and tension of continuously transforming contemporary global contexts. In the past few years, water has surfaced as the tragic siren of sudden deluge and inundation, as well as the discursive symbol of imminent revitalization or renewal. Venezia, Venezia is a magical and poetic spatio-temporal passage that presents to us a difficult summons for critical reflection, ethical vigilance, and genuine response.

The artist
Alfredo Jaar was born in Santiago, Chile in 1956. He has lived in New York since 1982. He has shown extensively around the world. He has participated in the Venice Biennale (1986, 2007, 2009), São Paulo Bienal (1985, 1987, 2010), and Documenta in Kassel (1987, 2002). His recent major solo exhibitions include the Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne (2007); Hangar Bicocca, Milan (2008); and a retrospective at three Berlin institutions: Berlinische Galerie, Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst and Alte Nationalgalerie (2012).

The curator and commissioner
Venezia, Venezia is curated by Madeleine Grynsztejn, the Pritzker Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and commissioned by the National Council of Culture and the Arts.

The publication: Venezia, Venezia
A major publication, edited by Adriana Valdés and published by Actar (Barcelona), collects essays by eighteen major authors from around the world and from different fields of work and thought. Their contributions consider Venezia, Venezia in its critical context, as well as recent global developments and the volatile conditions of contemporary art practice.

The authors
Vicenç Altaio (Spain, lives in Barcelona)
Elvira Dyangani Ose (Spain, lives in London)
Luigi Fassi (Italy, lives in Graz)
Andrea Giunta (Argentina, lives in Austin)
Madeleine Grynsztejn (USA, lives in Chicago)
Hou Hanru (China, lives in San Francisco)
Salah Hassan (Sudan, lives in Ithaca)
Mary Jane Jacob (USA, lives in Chicago)
Geeta Kapur (India, lives in New Delhi)
Sarat Maharaj (South Africa, lives in London)
Federica Martini (Italy, lives in Lausanne)
Vittoria Martini (Italy, lives in Torino)
Antonio Negri (Italy, lives in Venice and Paris)
Patricia Phillips (USA, lives in Providence)
Mari Carmen Ramírez (Puerto Rico, lives in Houston)
Jacques Rancière (France, lives in Paris)
Rasha Salti (Lebanon, lives in Beirut)
Adriana Valdés (Chile, lives in Santiago)

For press enquiries, please contact:

Italian press office: Alessandra Santerini, Milan
Alessandra Santerini: alessandrasanterini [​at​] / T +39 335 68 53 767
Giovanni Sgrignuoli: giovanni.sgrignuoli [​at​] / T +39 328 96 86 390

International press office: Sutton PR, London
Ana Vukadin: ana [​at​] / T +44 (0)20 7183 3577
Melissa Emery: melissa [​at​] / T +44 (0)20 7183 3577

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Chilean Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
April 26, 2013

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