South African contemporary artist Kendell Geers will launch Venice’s first permanent contemporary art zone, the Giudecca Art District, alongside international artists including Yoko Ono and the British feminist art collective October! Collective, whose film Body as Home, which was also made in Cape Town, will be the flagship installation at the opening of the district in May 2019.
Aleksandra Karpowicz, founding member of the October! Collective, filmed her explosive work Body as Home in four cities, London, New York, Warsaw and Cape Town, where she captured a local, a visitor and herself walking naked down the streets of the four cities, in order to explore the concept of “home” in regard to geographical location and personal identity.
Coinciding with the opening of 58° Venice Biennale, the Giudecca Art District will celebrate both established artists – such as Kendell Geers and Yoko Ono – as well as exposing lesser known artists from all over the world. Other artists and art personalities taking part in the launch will be Waseem Marzouki, a Syrian artist who fled the 2011 war; Vilma Jurkute, Director of Alserkal Avenue, Dubai (UAE); Harro Schmidt from Kunsthalle Faust, Hannover (DE); and Tomasz Wendland from Mediations Biennale Poznań (PL).
The island already has an established reputation in the contemporary art world having hosted exhibitions by both Ai Weiwei and Marina Abramovic in recent years. It has also housed a number of the national pavilions over the years, and this year Iceland and Estonia will have their pavilions on the island.
More about the Giudecca Art District (GAD)
Coinciding with the opening of 58° Venice Biennale, on 9 May 2019 the Venetian island of Giudecca will see the official launch of the Giudecca Art District (GAD), founded by General Director Pier Paolo Scelsi and Artistic Director Valentina Gioia Levy.
Building on the Giudecca’s significant contemporary art legacy and the island’s history as a liminal space, the newly established Giudecca Art District will be home to a permanent curatorial programme, linking new and existing spaces on the Giudecca Island, with a remit to promote emerging and established artists, and working with international curators and art institutions. Made up of a network of art professionals, GAD will provide a platform for contemporary art research and discussion through an extensive talks programme featuring some of the most influential figureheads in contemporary art internationally.
Take Care of Your Garden
During the 58° Venice Biennale, the Giudecca Art District will host independent projects, exhibitions and cultural events under the umbrella of the 2019 curatorial programme titled Take Care of Your Garden. Cultivating a New Humanism.
Take Care of Your Garden will run from May until December 2019, featuring a series of curatorial projects, performances, talks, video projections, and outdoor installations, in collaboration with galleries, institutions, foundations and cultural centres worldwide. The title of Take Care of Your Garden is inspired by one of the most famous quotes from Voltaire’s Candide, and focuses on what it means to be human in today’s hyper-globalised world. For the official launch of the Giudecca Art District on Thursday 9 May 2019, there will be a series of performances, including Body as Home by the October! Collective.
The launch event will be followed by two days of talks, performances, and video screenings, investigating themes such as body and identity; globalisation and humanitarian issues; the intersection of art, science and technology.