Ermanno Rivetti: A holy vision

The Holy See was the last pavilion to announce its artist line-up for this year’s Biennale at a press conference on 14 May. The artists representing the Vatican are the Milan-based multimedia collective Studio Azzurro, the Czech photographer Josef Koudelka and the Australian-born painter Lawrence Carroll. The show is centred around the first 11 chapters of Genesis, and the artists will address the themes of creation, destruction and rebirth, respectively. The media was awash with rumours prior to the official announcement, with some believing that the Holy See had spent €2m on Lucio Fontana’s Via Crucis, 1947, from Galleria Niccoli, in Parma, for its pavilion—a move that would have been at odds with Pope Francis’s efforts to curb the Vatican’s financial excesses. Instead, the pavilion costs €750,000 and was paid for entirely by sponsors.

A multimedia presentation inspired by Genesis is seen in this handout picture released by the Vatican on May 14, 2013. Courtesy of StudioAzzurro/Vatican Museum

The Holy See might, however, find itself accidentally in competition with Robert Crumb, the US countercultural cartoonist, whose eccentric visual chronicle of the Book of Genesis will feature in Massimiliano Gioni’s “Encyclopaedic Palace” exhibition.

Robert Crumb, The Book of Genesis, 2009

Published Fri, 24 May 2013 10:02:00 GMT

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