Monday, May 13, 2019

Venice: Biennale Arte 2019 – Awards – May You Live In Interesting Times

La Biennale di Venezia - 58 International Art Exhibition

May You Live In Interesting Times

Curator - Ralph Rugoff - Chaired – Paolo Baratta

The Jury: Stephanie Rosenthal – President – Germany - Defne Ayas - Turkey/The Netherlands - Cristiana Collu – Italy - Sunjung Kim – Korea - Hamza Walker - USA

Photograph by Neon Realism – courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

Golden Lion for Best National Participation
Sun and Sea (Marina)

Lina Lapelyte - Vaiva Grainyte and Rugile Barzdziukaite
Commissioner - Rasa Antanavicıute - Curator - Lucia Pietroiusti

For the experimental spirit of the Pavilion and its unexpected treatment of national representation. The jury was impressed with the inventive use of the venue to present a Brechtian opera as well as the Pavilion’s engagement with the city of Venice and its inhabitants. Sun and Sea (Marina) is a critique of leisure and of our times as sung by a cast of performers and volunteers portraying everyday people. 

  Photograph and Copyright – Manfredi Bellati

A special mention was awarded to the following National Participation
Mondo Cane

Jos de Gruyter
and Harald Thys
Commissioner - Federation Wallonie-Bruxelles 
Curator - Anne-Claire Schmitz

Unsparing in its humour, the Belgian Pavilion offered an alternative view of the under-recognised aspects of social relations across Europe. The uncanny staging of a series of fictional characters in the form of mechanised puppets based on folkloric stereotypes allow the Pavilion to act on several registers, while creating two if not more parallel realities.

 Photograph – courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

Golden Lion - Best Participant
May You Live In Interesting Times 
Arthur Jafa

(b. 1960 USA, lives and works in Los Angeles)

For his 2019 film The White Album, which, in equal measure, is an essay, a poem and portraiture. Jafa uses appropriated and original footage to reflect upon the issue of race. Just as the film critiques a moment fraught with violence, in tenderly portraying the artist’s friends and family, it also speaks to our capacity for love.

President of the Regione Veneto, Luca Zaia Arthur Jafa
President of La Biennale di Venezia, Paolo Baratta

Photograph – courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

Silver Lion - Promising Young Participant
May You Live In Interesting Times
Haris Epaminonda

(b. 1980 Republic of Cyprus, lives and works in Berlin)

For her carefully constructed constellations of images, objects, text, forms, and colours that are built out of fragmented memories, histories and imagined connections; for showing us that the personal and the historical can be compressed into a powerful yet loose web of multiple meanings.

Haris Epaminonda

Special Mention
Teresa Margolles

(b. 1963 Mexico, lives and works in Mexico City and Madrid) 

For her sharp and poignant works that deal with the plight of women grossly affected by the narcotics trade in her native Mexico, and for creating powerful testimonies by shifting existing structures from the real world into the Exhibition halls. 

Special Mention
Otobong Nkanga
(b. 1974 Nigeria, lives and works in Antwerp)

For her ongoing and inspired exploration across media into the politics of land, body and time. 

 Photograph – courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

Golden Lion - Lifetime Achievement
 Jimmie Durham
Paolo Baratta, Jimmie Durham and Ralph Rugoff


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