June 3, 2005 - Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - MUNTADAS
June 3, 2005


Antoni Muntadas
12 June - 6 November 2005
​Press Preview: 9 June 2005, 10:45 a.m.
Opening: 10 June 2005, 12:45 p.m.

Spanish Pavilion, 51st Venice Biennale
Giardini della Biennale


For the Spanish participation in the 51st edition of the Venice Biennale, artist Antoni Muntadas will transform the Spanish Pavilion into the pavilion ON TRANSLATION.

Muntadass project for the pavilion is a critical reflection on cultural production and its implications. For Muntadas, the kinds of national representation which the Biennale reproduces are problematical and obsolete. The pavilion ON TRANSLATION proposes a reconsideration of the forms of identification and categorisation in which the Biennale has evolved.

Since 1995 Muntadas has developed a lengthy, ongoing series of some 35 projects to date, with the overall title ON TRANSLATION. In different ways, these projects investigate contemporary globalised culture, with its plethora of often ambiguous codifications, interpretations and transformations, and the linguistic, political and economic issues which underlie them.
On Translation: I Giardini (2005), which occupies the central space of the Spanish Pavilion, has been conceived especially for the Biennale, focusing on the Giardini of Castello as an emblematic space. For Muntadas, the Biennale constantly transforms the Giardini and functions as an all-encompassing filter for a translation of physical space, and of our reading and understanding of it in terms of context, place, territory and site.

In this way, the installation presents a hybridised and ambient space, appropriating the kind of usage and behaviour we might more usually expect to find in waiting rooms, information centres, real estate agencies and airport lounges. In this way, the central area of the Pavilion is both translation and echo of the irreversible and ongoing transformation of the old, Napoleonic Giardini towards its current status as theme park.

Further works from the On Translation series, selected in dialogue with the curator, Bartolomeu Marí, occupy the rooms which surround the central space. These include On Translation: Stand By (2005), On Translation: Listening (2005) and On Translation: On View (2004), each of which emphasise Muntadass theme, and refer to the indeterminate contexts and places we share in the rituals of contemporary urban life. Muntadas is also showing new versions, made especially for the Biennale, of On Translation: La mesa de negociación II (1998 / 2005), referring to specific aspects of communication systems and cultural consumerism, and On Translation: Warning (1999 / 2005). This last work is a leitmotif for the entire series, using images and slogans to incite the audience to involvement and participation, while showing up the forms of mediation and manipulation.

The combined works selected here are completed by On Translation: The Interview (2002); On Translation: The Bookstore (2001); On Translation: El Aplauso (1999); On Translation: The Internet Project (1997) and On Translation: The Bank (1997).

On the occasion of the Biennale the catalogue Muntadas/ On Translation: I Giardini will be published in Spanish and English. Texts by Marc Augé, Raymond Bellour, Eugeni Bonet, Francesca Comisso, Bartomeu Marí, Maria Vittoria Martini, Muntadas, Angela Vettese and a conversation between Muntadas and Mark Wigley. Nº of pages: 450. Design by Eumogràfic. Distribution by ACTAR

Commissioned by: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation, General Directorate for Cultural and Scientific Relations

Supported by: Sociedad Estatal para la Acción Cultural Exterior (SEACEX) and Generalitat de Catalunya, Departament de Cultura.
Press contact:
International Press Officer
Carolina Grau
E-mail: Carolgrau@aol.com

National Press Officer
Alberto Chavez
E-mail: alberto.chavez@aeci.es

For further information, links and images please view: www.mae.es/bienalvenecia05

Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
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