May 26, 2007 - German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - Isa Genzken at the German Pavilion La Biennale di Venezia 2007
May 26, 2007

Isa Genzken at the German Pavilion La Biennale di Venezia 2007

Photo: Jan Bitter

German Pavilion
La Biennale di Venezia 2007
Isa Genzken

Curator: Nicolaus Schafhausen

Preview 7 – 9 June 2007
Exhibition 10 June – 21 Nov. 2007

Given the long and changeful history of the Venice Biennale since 1895, the German Pavilion is not an easy site for an exhibition. For Isa Genzken, this formed the horizon of an installation developed especially for Venice, an installation that attends to the architecture, stages it, and comments on it. Like all her works, this new one resists all visual language that could be appropriated by national attributes of any kind, and yet Isa Genzken uses motifs that point toward a West German post-war history typical of her own generation.

The ideals of modernism and their re-coding in popular culture, as expressed especially in North American art and everyday culture, undergo a metamorphosis in Genzkens contribution to the Biennale di Venezia in which splendor and squalor, euphoria and disillusionment are closely intertwined. The title Oil consciously plays with different levels that, while naming a concrete substance a global and increasingly contested resource also chose the abstractness of metaphor. Oil is an expression of the times in which we live, reducing complexity to a tangible image: taking on various slogans and stylizing these into a dystopian outlook for the future and an expression of freedom.

… that is what the whole world is about. Whether theres war or not, thats what its all about. Energy and oil. Youve simply got to understand this. Isa Genzken (Isa Genzken Oil, Engl. version, pg. 157.)


Isa Genzken “Oil”, German Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2007, Nicolaus Schafhausen (ed.)

This official publication for the German contribution at the 52nd Venice Biennale focuses on Isa Genzken’s site-specific work for the pavilion. The authors offer a range of different approaches to her work a diversity necessary for an understanding of the complexity inherent in the artist’s practice. Texts by Liam Gillick, Juliane Rebentisch, Vanessa Joan Müller and Willem de Rooij, and a conversation between Isa Genzken and Nicolaus Schafhausen.

220 pages with 120 full-page and double-page color illustrations Format 32 x 24 cm (vertical), hardbound with dust jacket.

Language versions: German/Dutch, English/Italian, English/Arabic, English/Chinese, English/Spanish On sale at the German Pavilion and Electa bookshop, Venice Biennale, and distributed internationally.

Published by DuMont Kunst und Literatur Verlag.

The core team of the German Pavilion

Nicolaus Schafhausen, Witte de With, Rotterdam – commissioner/curator
Sophie von Olfers, Witte de With, Rotterdam – assistant curator
Roger Bundschuh, Bundschuh Architekten, Berlin – architecture
Markus Weisbeck, Surface Gesellschaft für Gestaltung, Frankfurt – graphic design
Sven Bergmann, Bonn – press and PR
Paul van Gennip, Witte de With, Rotterdam – production
Natasa Radovic, Venice; Julia Moritz, Venice; Laura Preston, Rotterdam – assistance

German Pavilion
Venice Biennale 2007
c/o Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art
Witte de Withstraat 50
3012 BR Rotterdam
The Netherlands
Tel. 0031 (0)10 4110 144

For further information please contact Sophie von Olfers:, tel. 0031 (0)10 4110 144

For press information please contact Sven Bergmann:, tel. 0049 (0)179 5341 563

The German Pavilion at the 52nd International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia 2007 is commissioned and sponsored by the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, and co-organised by the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa, Stuttgart).

The main sponsor of the German Pavilion is Deutsche Bank.

Media partners are DW-TV Deutsche Welle and Vogue Germany. The pavilion is technically realised by the production team of Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam.

German Pavilion

German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
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