The Biennale di Venezia is a major event in the contemporary art world. Founded in 1893, the first “biennal national artistic exhibition” took place in 1895, she is now held every two years in Venice, gathering together la crème de la crème of the contemporary art scene. Along the years, the countries willing to participate builded their pavillons at the Giardini (park and houses), now some countries are also exhibiting at the Arsenale (dedicated to young artists and nations that don’t have a permanent pavillon) and at other venues in the city. With the time, the Biennale that was well known for her unconditional position on the contemporary art market lost a bite her focus regarding to the sale part, leaving the spotlight to the very commercial Art Basel.
This year, it is a young multidisciplinary artist, Gilad Ratman, who is going to represent Israel in Venice. Ratman was born in Haifa, he studied at the Bezalel Academy for Art and Design in Jerusalem were he is teaching now, but also got an M.F.A. from Columbia University School of the Arts, New York. Represented by the Braverman Gallery in tel Aviv, he already had few impressive internationals solo exhibitions. He has been chosen to present “The Workshop (2013), a multi-channel site-specific installation at the Israeli Pavilion at this year’s 55th International Art Exhibition (…) The Workshop (2013) documents the journey of a community of people from Israel to Venice, through a non-linear presentation of video, installation, sound and a physical intervention in the fabric of the Pavilion itself. (…) The Workshop’s site-specificity reflects on the Biennale as a utopian model of nations’ connectivity. Ratman shows a world where transit can take place across national borders in hidden networks—free, undetected and unidentified. For this—operating in small communities in a utopian, pre-social and even pre-linguistic stage, as the ones recurrent in Ratman’s work—is essential”*. Ratman offer us a contemporary ode to freedom.
Curated by |Sergio Edelsztein, Director and Chief Curator, Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv.
When | From June 1st to November 24th
Exhibition Venues | Venice: Giardini and Arsenale
Braverman Gallery | Website
Venice Biennale | Website
* Selected text by e-Flux, 30.3.13