German Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition Venice Biennale “can be read as a parable for the metamorphosis of visual media, from pictures as classical recordings to the generation, processing, and projection of images. It can also be seen as a statement about the changing use of images, which blurs the boundaries between document, testimony, and fiction.” Florian Ebner
The exhibition encourages its visitors to reflect upon the material and political nature of images in the digital age, in a globalised world. With this emphasis in mind, the curator Florian Ebner issued an invitation to the artists Olaf Nicolai, Hito Steyerl and Tobias Zielony, who live and work in Berlin, and the Cairo-based artist duo Jasmina Metwaly / Philip Rizk.
Olaf Nicolai puts the roof on show as the setting for a seven-month-long action. His protagonists perform a mysterious activity, a shadow economy enacted under a glistening sun.
Hito Steyerl’s video installation Factory of the Sun shows a world in turmoil and a world of images on the move.
Tobias Zielony’s documentary essay deals with the situation of African migrants and refugees in Germany. Instead of travelling to Lampedusa, Zielony dedicates himself to the activist scene in Berlin and Hamburg.
The video installation by Jasmina Metwaly / Philip Rizk, Out on the Street, is an experimental chamber play in filmic form. The artist duo invited Cairenes, both employed and unemployed, to an improvised studio on the roof of an apartment block, where they were encouraged to tell their own stories of relational power dynamics based on the premise of a factory that has been privatized and wound up.
9 May – 22 November, 2015
Pavilion at Giardini
Artists: Olaf Nicolai, Hito Steyerl, Tobias Zielony, Jasmina Metwaly / Philip Rizk
Curator: Florian Ebner
– Jasmina Metwaly / Philip Rizk, am Filmset von / on film set of Out in the Streets, 10 Jan. 2014. Courtesy Jasmina Metwaly & Philip Riz
– Jasmina Metwaly, Remarks on a Square, Medan Version, 2012, Video still. Courtesy Jasmina Metwal
– Olaf Nicolai, Warum Frauen gerne Stoffe kaufen, die sich gut anfühlen, 2010, Ausstellungsansicht / exhibition view Galerie EIGEN + ART Berlin Photo: © Uwe Walter, Berlin; VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2014 Courtesy Galerie EIGEN + ART Leipzig/Berlin
– Hito Steyerl, How Not To Be Seen. A Fucking Didactic Educational.MOV File, 2013, Video still Courtesy Hito Steyerl
– Tobias Zielony, Laser, 2014, C-Print, 140 × 210 cm Courtesy Tobias Zielony & KOW, Berlin
– Tobias Zielony, Via, 2014, C-Print, 140 × 210 cm Courtesy Tobias Zielony & KOW, Berlin