The Belgian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale will present the work of the Belgian artist Vincent Meessen, together with international guest artists. The artist’s project, Personne et les autres, selected to represent Belgium at the 56th Venice Biennale, moves away from the traditional format of a solo show and opens up to include multiple positions and voices, thus challenging the traditional notion of the national representation in Venice. Working in close collaboration Meessen and Brussels-based curator Katerina Gregos have developed a thematic exhibition and invited a dozen international artists to participate. The exhibition includes artists from the Americas, Africa, and Asia as well as Europe, whose work - like Meessen’s - probes the history and afterlife of colonial modernity.
The project takes the history of the Belgian Pavilion and the international context of the Biennale (both derived from the colonial exhibitions and world expositions) as the points of departure. It aims to challenge the Euro-centric idea of modernity by examining a shared avant-garde heritage and artistic/intellectual cross-pollination between Europe and Africa, looking into the hybrid forms that were produced as a result of colonial encounters. At the same time it examines the impact of colonial modernity on our contemporary subjectivities. Personne et les autres also revisits and pays tribute to the legacy of Internationalism, and the global emancipatory movements during the time of independence in respective African countries, whilst at the same time interrogating the notion of artistic radicalism and its meaning today.
Curator: Katerina Gregos
Photography / Video
Born in 1978 in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Lives and works in Brussels and Lubumbashi. Sammy Baloji explores the cultural, architectural and industrial heritage of the Katanga region in Congo. In order to question official versions of the Belgian colonial history, he has researched in various key archives – for example the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren in Belgium.
Chantal Akerman - Filmmaker, Professor and artist
An introduction to one of the most significant and enigmatic directors in world cinema.
Carsten Höller was born in Brussels in 1961. Using his training as a scientist in his work as an artist, Carsten Höller's primary concerns relate to the nature of human perception and self-exploration.
Ricardo Brey’s work Every life is a fire (2009 - ongoing) is selected to be part of the 56th International Art Exhibition - All the World’s Futures curated by Okwui Enwezor .
Mekhitar Garabedian (1977, Alep, lives and works in Gent) presents his work in the Pavilion of the Republic of Armenia. Garabedianʼs works for the Armenian Pavilion all investigate how the past—personal and collective memory and history—remains in the present.
The Ruya Foundation for Contemporary Culture in Iraq (Ruya) is pleased to announce its plans for the National Pavilion of Iraq at the 56th Venice Biennale in May 2015. The exhibition, Invisible Beauty, will be curated by Philippe Van Cauteren, Artistic Director of S.M.A.K. (Museum for Contemporary Art) in Ghent. It will feature five contemporary artists from across Iraq and the diaspora.
Artists Francis Alÿs, Song Dong and Rinus van der Velde have been selected by curator Hans De Wolf to represent the Ministry of the Flemish community.
De Wolf has developed a controversial and humorous exhibition, constructed around some of the most fundamental misunderstandings between Western tradition and the Far East. Traditionally, in the West, the idea of authorship has always been highly protected and linked with the notion of genius. Today, many artists operating in the avant-garde have transcended those ideas, a trend that started perhaps with Duchamp. What is not yet clear is the question of whether we have already come to terms with all possible consequences of this new situation, a question which became all the more obvious since a new kid appeared on the block: the Chinese artist.
Free University Brussels (VUB) in collaboration with The Peggy Guggenheim Collection organize an international conference
Belgian Artists Koen Vanmechelen, Hans Op de Beeck, Johan Creten, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Thomas Lerooy and Wim Delvoye have been selected to expose in Glasstress 2015 Gotika
The State Hermitage Museum and Berengo Studio are delighted to announce a joint exhibition Glasstress 2015 Gotika which explores how medieval ideas and communication methods have imperceptibly crept into our modern conscience despite our technological advances and how the Gothic concept influences contemporary art.
Flanders Arts Institute collaborates for the 56th Venice Biennale with Pro Helvetia for the development of discursive programs with the support of the Flemish Minister for Culture.
This exhibition of contemporary art, in co-operation with Mons 2015, presents work by a group of artists who are interested in the phenomena of exchange, transfer between cultures and artistic practices. The title reflects the ideas of Edouard Glissant, a great thinker of hybridity and globalisation, who has already been campaigning for the 'Relation' for years, a mutual connection and equality between people, between the community and nature, between the imaginary, the symbolic and the real.
Castello 925+Plus Gallery invite Chaïb-Sedduk Contemporary Art Projects (CSCA) to celebrate a new international collaboration for the opening of the new space by creating a unique installation for Venice Biennale 2015 introducing Robert Suermondt with an “Intimate Performance”.
The Vanhaerents Art Collection is pleased to announce Heartbreak Hotel, its first major exhibition outside Belgium. Set to take place on the occasion of the 56th Venice Biennale, Heartbreak Hotel will be on view at the Zuecca Project Space, one of Venice’s leading cultural institutions, from May 6 through September 15.
Belgian Artists Michaël Borremans, Lucia Bru, Jean-Marie Bytebier, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Raoul De Keyser, Jan Dries, Ann Veronica Janssens, Renato Nicolodi, Hans Op de Beeck, Koen Van den Broek, Koen Vanmechelen, Jef Verheyen have been selected to expose in PROPORTIO.
Wiels proposes a program based on their recent exhibitions.