The preparations for the 58th Venice Biennale are underway, and we are eagerly looking forward to finding out which artists will represent national pavilions at this globally prestigious visual arts manifestation. Curated by the American Ralph Ruggof, currently the Director of the famous Hayward Gallery in London, the event will offer a decisive curatorial concept, both relevant to the art currents and socially and politically charged.
After presenting the first batch of artists selected to represent their countries, we bring you ten more recently announced artists whose participation provides a glimpse into one of the most anticipated art events of 2019.
Featured image: Biennale di Venezia 2017, Pavilion of Lebanon by Dage via flickr.
A Turner Prize winner, Laure Prouvost was elected as a representative of France by the French minister of Europe and foreign affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian and culture minister Françoise Nyssen after she was nominated by a selection committee.
A multidisciplinary artist whose international career reflect the dynamism of the French art scene, Prouvost deals with both intimate and universal subject matter in her work. Through her practice, she proposes alternative visions of the world, intertwining contemporary realities with fictional landscapes.
Featured image: Laure Prouvost, GDM – Grand Dad’s Visitor Center, exhibition view at Pirelli Hangar Bicocca, Milan, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan. Photo by Agostino Osio.
Using found and handmade materials, Kris Lemsalu creates sculptures, installations and performances which merge animals and humans, nature and culture, and abjection and beauty. Her participation at Venice Biennale was announced by The Center for Contemporary Arts, Estonia, alongside the news that the Estonian Pavilion will be located on the island of Giudecca, where it will be housed in an industrial building.
Her project for Venice Biennale titled FUNTAIN is described as a hybrid "real and fairy-tale fantasy world", moving away from some of the fatalistic themes she’s explored in past works. As Krist Gruijthuijsen, the director of the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, explained, Lemsalu was elected for her "deep sense of place and her intention to create a whole piece of work from the pavilion area and its context.”
Featured image: Kris Lemsalu, Car2Go, 2016. Courtesy the artist; Koppe Astner, Glasgow; Temnikova & Kasela Gallery, Tallinn
A Glasgow-based artist known for an intimate, layered practice which combines moving image, printed image, sculpture and writing, Charlotte Prodger will represent Scotland with a project commissioned and curated by Linsey Young with Cove Park, an artist residency program about 45 miles northwest of Glasgow. For the Biennale, Prodger will create "a new single-channel video work that will build on her sustained exploration of 'queer wilderness'."
The artist explains she understands landscape and queerness as inherently linked and is looking forward to exploring the "the fluid borders of identity—especially the perceived edges of gender and geography" in her Biennale work.
The artist is currently nominated for this year's the Turner Prize.
Featured image: Charlotte Prodger - BRIDGIT (video still), 2016. Courtesy the artist, Hollybush Gardens, London and Koppe Astner, Glasgow
An artist-in-residence program and art and education space based on the Curonian Spit, the Nida Art Colony will represent Lithuania with an opera performance titled Sun & Sea. Performed by its authors, Lina Lapelyte, Vaiva Grainyte, and Rugile Barzdžiukaite, the opera is set in "a makeshift beach area, set up indoors to resemble as closely as possible a real-life, crowded beach: like a counter-monumental, anti-baroque theatre."
The project is curated by Dr. Lucia Pietroiusti, the public programs curator of the Serpentine Galleries in London and was commissioned by Jean-Baptiste Joly, the founder and artistic director of the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany.
Featured image: Nida Art Colony, Open Studios 2018, project by Heike Schäfer.
The Icelandic-born and Brooklyn-based artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir, aka Shoplifter, is known for exploring the use and symbolic nature of hair, as well as its visual and artistic potential, describing it as an original, creative fiber by which people distinguish themselves as individuals. Dying it with Kool-Aid, she creates sculptures and installations which flow through and climb spaces, like vines, fungus, or some alien creature.
Staged in a temporary space outside of the main Biennale grounds, the Icelandic pavilion will be organized by Birta Guðjónsdóttir, the chief curator of the National Gallery of Iceland in Reykjavik.
Featured image: Shoplifter Installation at National Gallery of Iceland, via Wikimedia Commons.
Artists Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz, who create installations, films and performances which challenge notions of gender and question the norms which govern our representations and our life in society, will represent the Swiss Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. It will be curated by Charlotte Laubard, the Geneva-based Franco-Swiss art historian who combines artistic, historical, and interdisciplinary approaches in her work and is a renowned, international exhibition organizer.
As the curator explains, the strength of their work is that it moves beyond mere criticism of deconstruction, inventing "other ways of being in the world, ones no longer split by categories of identity and binarism." The program of the Swiss Pavilion will consist of a series of lectures, talks and cultural events, and, over several long weekends.
Featured image: Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz. Photo by Bernadette Paassen.
A Portuguese-Luxembourgish artist, Marco Godinho has been elected by Luxembourg’s jury to represent the country's Pavilion with a hope of producing an “ambitious and unprecedented artistic project and widen his artistic field in the years to come.”
Godinho's best-known work is Forever Immigrant from 2012, a wall-installation of thousands of ink stamps blotted into a swirling, wind-like pattern and all reading “forever immigrant.” The artist has also tackled topics of national identity and immigration, from collaged maps to text-based pieces.
Featured image: Marco Godinho - Forever Immigrant, photo Jarosław Bartołowicz.
Selected by the M+ museum and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, the Los Angeles–based, Hong Kong-born artist Shirley Tse will represent Hong Kong pavilion with a new site-specific installation. Working in sculpture, installation art and photography, Tse often explores what she describes as “models of multi-dimensional thinking and negotiation,” or the means by which literal and abstract ideas merge.
"This will be the perfect opportunity to showcase the geographical reach of Hong Kong contemporary art beyond the city’s borders to an international audience, and to re-introduce Tse’s work to the Hong Kong public,” the curator, Christina Li explains.
Featured image: Shirley Tse. Courtesy West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.
Brought together by Benno Tempel, Remy Jungerman and Iris Kensmil will represent the Dutch Pavilion with a joined presentation dealing with a notion of national identity. Titled The Measurement of Presence, the presentation is developed as a tribute to conceptual artist Stanley Brouwn, who passed away last year.
Remy Jungerman will make an installation which brings together the power of the ancestors of the greater Dutch world, while Iris Kensmil will make an installation of portraits on a mural painting, which will be inspired by the work of modernist artists like Mondrian and Malevich.
Featured images: Remy Jungerman, Installation view of Contemporary Pattern & Decoration at Longwood Art Gallery; Iris Kensmil at Club Solo.
At the Turkish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Inci Eviner will present a new installation curated by Zeynep Öz. Known for producing works that range from paintings to videos and performances, Eviner often addresses the workings of power and the politics of representation, especially with regards to the female body.
Forming a complex set of relations between video technologies and painting tradition, the artist proposes a different kind of perception.
Featured image: Inci Eviner, Installation View of Looping on Thin Ice at PearlLam Galleries.
Read Other Interesting Stories
The names of the national pavilion representatives for the rescheduled 59th edition of Venice Art Biennale are already coming in! Here is the list so far.
A female Italian curator to become a Venice Biennale Artistic Director for the first time ever! Read about Cecilia Alemani here.