Gareth Harris: Curators concerned over Northern Ireland’s lack of representation at the Venice Biennale

High-profile international curators have expressed concerns that Northern Ireland will again not be represented at this year’s Venice Biennale (1 June-24 November). The last time the region featured in the Italian exhibition was in 2009 with a show of works by Susan MacWilliam, but government funding cuts have since prevented Northern Ireland from participating.

“It is simply a case of lack of available funding,” says Suzanne Lyle, the head of visual arts at Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the government-funded agency that backed the pavilion. “In the grand scheme of things, the funding required to stage a pavilion at Venice is modest but delivers real benefit… hopefully 2015 will see the restoration of the Northern Ireland pavilion, perhaps as a joint venture with the organisers of the Irish Pavilion,” says Eamonn Maxwell, the curator of the Irish Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011.

Declan Long, a lecturer at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, and a judge for the 2013 Turner Prize, adds: “The Venice Biennale still constitutes the major meeting point for the international art world… it's a tremendous shame that this impressive series of shows at the Venice Biennale has been discontinued, at least for now.”

Published Thu, 23 May 2013 10:00:00 GMT

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