Sign in to digital edition
Friday 25 Apr 2014
Increasingly porous geopolitical boundaries and the ever-more cosmopolitan background of artists are allowing contemporary curators to make bold choices in Venice’s national pavilions. At this year’s Biennale, France and Germany are swapping buildings. Christine Macel, the French curator, and her German counterpart, Susanne Gaensheimer, say the idea had been discussed as far back as ten years ago, but this year is the 50th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty, or Treaty of Friendship, between the two countries, and therefore a fitting occasion for the gesture.
Germany Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Macel believes “a new global culture has emerged within the art world thanks to globalisation”. But are they suggesting the national pavilion model is outdated or even embarrassing? Gaensheimer says not, “as long as you think of national identity as a chance to represent the complexities of a country”. Accordingly, of the four artists representing Germany, only Romuald Karmakar is German, while the other three, Ai Weiwei, Santu Mofokeng and Dayanita Singh, are not, although they “all have a strong relationship to Germany”, says Gaensheimer.
French Pavilion. Courtesy of 'the life of h. ernest chen"
Anri Sala, who has both Albanian and French nationality and is partly based in Berlin, is representing France. The Institut Français, which commissioned the pavilion, says Sala’s double nationality was of little importance, but that “the quality of his work took precedence”. Similarly, only one out of 12 artists in the Kenyan pavilion is a Kenyan national, while the Syrian pavilion, in disarray, counts at least ten Italian artists out of a total of 16, one of whom is Giorgio de Chirico. Meanwhile, Tuvalu, which is taking part for the first time, is represented by the Taiwanese artist Vincent Huang.
Anri Sala (right) and Maribel Verdú during the presentation of the MACBA Collection
Fri, 24 May 2013 10:03:00 GMT
All comments are moderated. If you would like your comment to be approved, please use your real name, not a pseudonym. We ask for your email address in case we wish to contact you - it will not be
made public and we do not use it for any other purpose.
Subscribe to The Art Newspaper...
Advertise in The Art Newspaper Network...
Sign up to receive the weekly email newsletter...
Search through The Art Newspaper Archive...
Contact the team at The Art Newspaper...
© The Art Newspaper