On the occasion of the 53rd International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, the Nordic and Danish Pavilions will collaborate with a project curated by artists’ duo Elmgreen & Dragset. The project was initiated by the Office for Contemporary Art Norway, the hosting organization for the Nordic Pavilion in 2009, and the Danish Arts Council’s Committee for International Visual Arts, commissioners of their respective pavilions, with the intention to create a ‘transnational neighbourhood’ within the Giardini, an exhibition context traditionally dedicated to national representation.
The appointment of Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset as curators was the logical result of this attempt to construct a common space within the Giardini because their joint work as artists has been characterised until today by an exploration of both public and private space, and the uses, scenographies and power relations that are at play within them. The curators have responded to this idea with an exhibition that, under the title ‘The Collectors’, offers an allegorical stage set where two interrelated fictional portraits are presented, each in connection to one of the two pavilions. Through this setting, the particular and personal of the individuals portrayed is set in contrast to the wider, open landscape of the Venice Biennale, in an exploration of the increasingly porous realms of the private and the public.
Elmgreen & Dragset have been appointed curators by the commissioners of the Danish and Nordic Pavilions. The Danish Arts Council’s Committee for International Visual Art is composed of five members, and is chaired by Christine Buhl Andersen. The Nordic Committee consists of representatives of the organizations responsible for the Nordic Pavilion, Marta Kuzma (Director, Office for Contemporary Art Norway, Oslo, Norway), Ann-Sofi Noring (Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden), and Marketta Seppälä (Director, FRAME, Helsinki, Finland). Marta Kuzma is also the Commissioner of the Nordic Pavilion in 2009.
The cooperation between the Danish Pavilion and the Nordic Pavilion for the 53rd International Art Exhibition is coordinated as a joint venture between the Office for Contemporary Art Norway and the Danish Arts Council.
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