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latifa echakhch

ILLUMInations, 54th Venice Biennale

54th Venice Biennale
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illuminations, central international exhibition of the 54th venice biennale


“La Biennale is one of the world’s most important forums for the dissemination and ‘illumination’ about the current developments in international art. The title of the 54th Exhibition, ILLUMInations literally draws attention to the importance of such developments in a globalised world. I am particularly interested in the eagerness of many contemporary artists to establish an intense dialogue with the viewer, and to challenge the conventions through which contemporary art is viewed.

The work of Venetian painter Tintoretto will play a prominent role in ILLUMInations. In many contemporary artists (the ones who interest me most), I find the same search for light, both rational and febrile, that animates some of Tintoretto’s later works. Tintoretto too was worried about overturning the conventions of his time, through a near reckless approach to composition that overturns the well-defined, classical order of the renaissance. I am interested in the light in those paintings, which is not rational but ecstatic. Tintoretto’s presence will establish an artistic, historical and emotional relationship to the local context.

The term ‘nations’ in ILLUMInations applies metaphorically to recent developments in the arts all over the world, where overlapping groups form collectives of people representing a wide variety of smaller, more local activities and mentalities. In addition, I am in favour of a Biennale with the Pavilions, because they represent an extraordinary opportunity for dialogue among the artists. The Arsenale offers me an opportunity to bring together the works of artists who use the space as a medium through the creation of ‘para-Pavilions’.

Sometimes the Pavilions of the Biennale are considered anachronistic; on the contrary they can be a tool to reflect upon the issue of identity. I wish to reinforce the sense of unity between the International Exhibition and the National Participations, by asking the artists from every country and the artists of ILLUMInations to answer 5 questions regarding this theme”.