Viva Arte Viva!, Venice biennale

 

 

Anri Sala, “All of a Tremble”, 2016

 

 


Viva Arte Viva is organised in 86 National Pavilions at the Giardini, at the Arsenale and in the historic city centre of Venice.The Exhibition also includes nine trans-pavilions distributed in the Arsenal and the Central Pavilion, project curated by Christine Macel. Each of them focuses on one theme: the pavilion of artists and books, of joys and fears, of the common, of the earth, of traditions, of shamans, the dionysian pavilion, of colours, of time and infinity. The 86 pavilions of participating countries, each with its own curator, which will once more bring to life the pluralism of voices, have followed the guidelines suggested by Christine Macel and have accepted the invitations to participate in joint programs.

 

 

 

Vajiko Chachkhiani, `Living Dog Among Dead Lions´, 2017

 

 


Lots of proposals capture the attention of the public in the Biennale, from a crashed van into the floor (by Erwum Wurm) to a cabin where rain cannot stop (Vajiko Chachkhiani). Visitors will find artworks that show the importance of earth, traditions or the collective, like the Chilean video artist Juan Downey (Chile, 1940- New York, 1993), that reveals against eurocentric gaze by making the members of the Yanomani tribe create his video, using one of his cameras. Or spaces where huge installations can be observed, such as the textile artist Sheila Hicks (Nebraska, 1934) one, that fill with wool the back of the pavilion. Other proposals connect with sensorial field, like the one by Anri Sala (Albania, 1974), that reflects on sculptural properties of sound through the synaesthetic relationship between it and the vision. His piece consists on a music box that decorates a whole wall with random patterns while it sounds. In addition, there are poetic performances like `One thousand and One Night´, where Edith Dekyndt (Belgium, 1960) rebuilt a dust square in the floor without stopping. He has to be aware of a projected light over it in order to bring them into line one with each other.

 

 

 

Juan Downey, `The Laughing Alligator´, 1979

 

 

 

Among the national pavilions in Giardini is the Spanish one, with the proposal `¡Únete! Join Us!´, by Jordi Colomer, where he reflects on the public space and how to make it ours. It is a vindication of collective and spontaneous nomadism, symptom that refugees and displaced people suffer nowadays. His proposal consists on a miniature city in the previous room and a series of video pieces that show migrations and cities on movement.

 

 

 

Edith Dekyndt, `One thousand and One Night´, 2017

 

 

 

It has to be emphasized that most of the artists are participating for the first time (103 of 120), the same as countries like Antigua and Barbuda, Kiribati and Nigeria. The German artist Franz Erhard Walther (Fulda, 1939), known for his huge and participative sculptures made of fabrics, has been awarded as the best artist in the official exhibition. This artist is currently exhibiting his artwork in Velázquez Palace, in Madrid, until the 10th of Septembre.

 

 

 

Jordi Colomer, `Join Us! Únete!', 2017

 

 

 

The Venice Biennale offers during the months is taking place selected collateral events promoted by non-profit national and international institutions. They present their exhibitions and initiatives in palaces, museums, churches and public spaces. The city will host plenty of artistic proposals during the 57th Exhibition.

 

 

 

James Lee Bryars, `Gold Tower´, 2017

 

 

 

The cultural agenda gradually recovers after the health-crisis halt and art lovers are eager to enjoy the rich cultural offer that the different spaces and museums throughout our geography have to offer. In addition, one must remember that these centres have made an enormous effort to adapt to the demands that the new situation imposes and have created abundant online-accessible content to overcome confinement. We bring you a selection of content that can be visited both in person and through the web. There is no excuse for not enjoying contemporary art again.

Olafur Eliasson, “En la vida real (In real life)”, 2019

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao continues with its exhibition dedicated to Olafur Eliasson and offers numerous resources to understand not only the exhibition but also the work of the centre in the assembly and installation process. The website allows us to expand content with interviews with the artist, the download of the audio guide and the vision of the curator Lucía Aguirre, who offers us different video-pills on the pieces in the exhibition.

"Olafur Eliasson: in real life" brings together a part of this artist's work since 1990 through sculptures, photographs, paintings and installations that play with reflections and colours. Likewise, the integration of elements such as moss, water, ice, fog... put the visitor in a situation that confuses the senses and tries to challenge the way we perceive our environment and move in it.

Regina de Miguel, “Isla Decepción”, 2017

The Botín Centre in Santander hosts the exhibition "Collecting processes: 25 years of Itineraries" which brings together the work of 25 of the 210 scholarship recipients who, to date, have enjoyed the Botín Foundation Plastic Arts Scholarship, started in 1993. With the works Lara Almárcegui, Basma Alsharif, Leonor Antunes, Javier Arce, Erick Beltrán, David Bestué, Bleda and Rosa, Nuno Cera, Patricia Dauder, Patricia Esquivias, Karlos Gil, Carlos Irijalba, Adrià Julià, Juan López, Rogelio López Cuenca, Renata Lucas, Mateo Maté, Jorge Méndez Blake, Regina de Miguel, Leticia Ramos, Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Teresa Solar Abboud, Leonor Serrano Rivas, Jorge Yeregui, David Zink-Yi, the exhibition is a good example of up-to-date and young contemporary art contributed by artists with very diverse profiles.

Clemente Bernad. Series “Ante el umbral”, Madrid, 2020

The Reina Sofía Museum wanted to create a visual chronicle of what the confinement and the tragic numbers of infected and deceased have meant for the lives of many of us: a tale of pain, nostalgia and uncertainty made by the photographer Clemente Bernad. This exhibition, curated by Jorge Moreno Andrés, is entitled “Before the threshold”, a title that expresses the strange sensation that occurs when faced with something new and unknown, something that we cannot control or avoid, and that we all must go through. The alteration imposed on our lives unexpectedly is reflected in the streets, transformed into places of solitude and abandonment where life has been paralysed.

Mario Merz / No title, Triplo Igloo, 1984 MAXXI Collection

At the IVAM, the exhibition "What is our home?" brings together works from the IVAM collection and the MAXXI centre in Rome to propose a reflection on the space we inhabit seen from a personal and social perspective. It is about investigating the value that these spaces have as a home or refuge, as well as part of a city or community.

The exhibition, curated by José Miguel G. Cortés, also wants to delve into the feeling of those who feel like foreigners anywhere, because they do not identify with the habits or customs of the society, they do not fit into these social patterns, and home becomes the only shelter space that can adapt to their identity needs.

Martha Rosler, frame from “Backyard Economy I-II”, 1974 © Courtesy of Martha Rosler, 2020

Es Baluard Museu is committed to video creation and performance and hosts the monographic exhibition “Martha Rosler. How do we get there from here?” dedicated to this New York artist who pioneered the use of video as a mechanism for social and political analysis. This exhibition includes various works, from video to photography and several publications, which synthesise her main lines of discourse. Her concern for public policies and the social equality of women has led her to actively participate in numerous social movements in La Havana, New York, Mexico DC or Barcelona, and these experiences are present in one way or another in her work.

With the curatorship of Inma Prieto, a selection has been made within the abundant production of this artist, which presents one of the most coherent careers in towards-the-new-Millenium contemporary art.

Image from file, via meiac.es/turbulence/archive/acceso.html

The MEIAC - Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo, host the works of the prestigious international digital art archive "Turbulence", a platform dedicated to network and hybrid art. In view of the inevitable closure of this institution, the MEIAC has offered to host all this valuable content collected since 1996. The uploading of the file also served as an opportunity to restore numerous pieces and convert formats so that files that had become obsolete remain readable by new systems. A huge job of conservation and updating that can be enjoyed online today. The archive is made up of hundreds of digital works from around the world that can now be visited remotely.