Monday, June 8, 2009

Venice Biennale 2009: Portuguese Pavilion

I am back from the manic week in Venice for the opening of the Venice Biennale and I really enjoyed the Portuguese Pavilion.

Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air
João Maria Gusmão + Pedro Paiva
7th June - 22nd November 2009Curated by Natxo Checa Fondaco dell' Arte (Grand Canal)

The Portuguese artist duo made up of João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva represent Portugal in this edition, the 53rd International Exhibition of Art - La Biennale di Venezia. The works presented have been executed in close collaboration with the curator of the exhibition, Natxo Checa.

Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air, is an appropriated title from one of Joseph Priestley's better known scientific papers. In the exhibition the artists set out to isolate, stage and explore singular phenomena pertaining to science as a possible way to get to know the world. Priestley, an 18th century natural philosopher not unanimously credited with the discovery of oxygen in its gaseous state, sets the tone for their explorations."In adopting Nature and its respective manifestations as their subject matter, the artists aggregate and propose complicated blocks of ideas and knowledge that together establish a complex scientificticious phantasm. We are faced with a series of fictional scripts, literary in profile, rooted in the observation of particular phenomena and the design of a particular philosophical architecture" states the curator in his introductory text.

Setting in motion defunct as well as functional theories of science, influenced by anthropology, Greek philosophy and literature, the artists present an installation consisting of a number of 16 mm and 35 mm silent film works. As is common to their practice, an anthology of texts has been edited to accompany the exhibition.

João Maria Gusmão (Lisbon, 1979) and Pedro Paiva (Lisbon, 1977) are artists of a new generation with a recent and unusually solid career. In the last decade the duo's participation in international contexts such as the 27th São Paulo Biennial, the 6th Mercosul Biennial, Manifesta 7, PhotoEspaña 08 along with exhibitions, among others, at CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco and Kunstverein Hanover has contributed to the consolidation of their work. Upcoming exhibitions at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham and Inhotim Cultural Center, Minas Gerais.

Natxo Checa (Barcelona, 1968) is an independent curator and Director of Zé dos Bois (ZDB) Center for creation, production and diffusion of contemporary art in Lisbon. In partnership with ZDB, the artists and curator have collaborated on several projects: DeParamnésia (2001-2002), Magnetic Effluvium (2004-2006) and Abissology (2008).

I really liked the space and the tone of these artworks, silent and beautiful meditation.

To learn more:


Anonymous said...

and what about "the collectors"?

mr_dopestar said...

What do you mean by "the collectors?"

Anonymous said...

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