Capital Production Circle

‘56th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia’, 2015

Outset is proud to have supported a productions for the 56th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia All the World’s Futures curated by Okwui Enwezor, Director, Haus der Kunst, Munich.

The Slave’s Lament
Four channel video and audio
A collateral exhibition of the 56th International Art Exhibition.

Drawing on his long-term commitment to collaboration across multiple art forms and disciplines, Graham Fagen brings together internationally renowned composer Sally Beamish, the musicians of Scottish Ensemble, reggae singer and musician Ghetto Priest and music producer Adrian Sherwood to realise an ambitious four channel audio-visual installation displayed across a ‘quartet’ of TV monitors in the final room of the historic Palazzo Fontana. Inspired by the work of Scottish poet Robert Burns, the installation features a classical re-interpretation of the poet’s haunting elegy, ‘The Slave’s Lament’, the only work by Burns that emphasises and references the hurt of the displaced and enslaved. Sound combining different musical traditions – Scottish folk song, classical music and reggae – pervades the rooms of palazzo, creating a melancholic and ambiguous body of work within the surroundings of one of the world’s most prestigious visual art exhibitions.

Iron, found objects and video
The Israeli Pavillion at the 56th International Art Exhibition.

Lattice is an installation which imitates the conventional logic employed in the Israeli urban sphere, where lattices serve as an improvised extension of the interior, a temporary storage space where objects are indiscriminately piled up. Displacing the lattice from the exterior to the interior, Tsibi Geva disrupts its functional role, instead revealing it as a signifier that serves to create a separation between private and public, interior and exterior, concealment and exposure. Amongst the bicycles and flowerpots, an old TV broadcasts the video Lattice, 2002, which Geva created in collaboration with Boaz Arad and Miki Kratsman. This work documents the slow rhythm of everyday life of residents in Jaffa’s Ajami neighborhood. In this manner, the work blurs the distinction between the wandering gaze and the fixed, controlled gaze; between the position of the observer and the position of the one being observed; between the viewer trapped within the exhibition space and the individuals who are excluded from it, remaining free to wander throughout the outdoor sphere.

My East is Your West
Mixed media installation
A collateral exhibition of the 56th International Art Exhibition.

Born out of the desire to reposition the complex climate of historical relations between India and Pakistan, My East is Your West presents these two countries as a singular region within the context of the Venice Biennale. In view of their practices, and as one artist from each country, Gupta and Rana work together to create a unique presentation that expresses the integral essence of a people divided, a history which spans antiquity, colonial modernity and a cosmopolitan present entangled in conflict. Titled after a light installation by Shilpa Gupta, My East is Your West is housed in the 17th-century Palazzo Benzon on Venice’s Grand Canal.

Shilpa Gupta’s new series of work, Untitled, 2014-15 brings together over four years of ongoing research into the India-Bangladesh borderlands. Through works ranging from installation, video, photography, drawings, text-based pieces and performance, she intricately surveys the human condition from this territory and the transitory flows of goods and bodies that trespass security infrastructure, legislation and economic barriers. In Transpositions, 2013-15, Rashid Rana presents an immersive setting which negotiates between the actual and the remote, blurring the boundaries between acts of image-making and the inhabiting of a world.

Why look at Animals? AGRIMIKÁ
Mixed media installation
The Greek Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition.

Maria Papadimitriou’s installation is a shop, a vestige of the past, that sells animal hides and leather, transferred from Volos to the central but ‘ruined’ landscape of Greek pavilion. The AGRIMIKÁ are animals that coexist with humans, but resist domestication. We, humans, see in animals the reflection of our own features, behaviors, and manners. This awareness permits separation by contrasting the human with the animalistic. As the beast ends up as embodying the divergence from the human norm, the image of a democratic society is deconstructed, and part of it degraded: rights no longer exist for all and in the same measure. This presentation of the relationship of humans and animals becomes a contemporary allegory of the dispossessed and the resistant and sparks concerns ranging from politics and history to economics and traditions, ethics and aesthetics, fear of the foreign and the incomprehensible. The archive research for AGRIMIKÁ is the result of collaboration with students from the Department of Architecture, Thessaly University.

Not Suitable for Work. A Chairman’s Tale
Mixed media installation
The Estonian Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition.

Not Suitable for Work. A Chairman’s Tale is a fragmented fictive opera, which follows a Soviet Estonian collective farm chairman on trial for acts of homosexuality in the 1960s. The exhibition brings together archive materials from Soviet Estonia and the elegant aesthetics of opera. A Chairman’s Tale is based both on rumours and the criminal file of war hero, family man, and kolkhoz chairman Juhan Ojaste, 1921–90. Due to his involvement in homosexual acts, Ojaste was expelled from the Communist Party and later sentenced to one and a half years in a labour camp. Following the loss of his social status as well as his dignity, family and job, Ojaste moved to a new town, where, as an ex-convict, he was offered only low-status jobs. A Chairman’s Tale aims to connect the social debate on LGBTI rights with the broader issue of the violation of fundamental human rights, as common in the past as in the present.