Venice - Exhibition

Slip of the Tongue

Punta della Dogana

12 Apr 201510 Jan 2016

Danh Vo has been invited to collaborate with Palazzo GrassiPunta della DoganaPinault Collection not only as an artist but also as a curator, working with the collection in conjunction with a number of invited artists. Indeed, it is the first time that the foundation invites an artist as a curator at Punta della Dogana in Venice.

In the Roman Empire, the curator was the civil servant and public administrator of public utilities such as transport, hygiene, policing, sewer and drainage systems, aqueducts, navigation, roads, games, even accounting. They had the responsibility of “repairing” things in a culture that values reuse and recycling over tabula rasa. In the Middle Ages, their mundane activities acquire a spiritual meaning, at a time when “solicitude” can be applied to both the souls of the people and their worldly affairs. Without a doubt, these practices have provided the framework for the duties of the modern-­‐day curator.

The vicissitudes of conservation, circulation, trade, dismemberment, dispersal, tinkering, restoration, collecting and exhibiting are not specific to the care for the “well-being” of works of art. They are intrinsically part of their stories, composing a history in transition that is sometimes broken by ruptures and shaped by destruction.

Venice is an environment that is particularly appropriate for an exhibition that looks into such challenges, which are part of our cultural histories. It is significant that the Charter of Venice was signed here in 1964. This international treaty on heritage was instigated, among others, by Italian art historian Cesare Brandi, who also founded the Central Institute for Restoration of Rome. Indeed, according to Brandi, “Any intervention that seeks to restore a product of human activity” [is] “an act of criticism” and a methodological inquiry. In this line of thought, the exhibition foregrounds what happens to the objects beyond their fabrication or creation.

Hence, the historical core of the exhibition consists of pieces from Venetian institutions such as the Accademia Gallery and the Institute of Art History of Giorgio Cini Foundation. These works of art bear scars attained during their various preservation processes, which ultimately changed their shape. At times, brutal remodeling was inflicted. There are, for example, fragments of paintings that were mutilated or reduced in order to be “adapted” to a new setting. Or the miniature paintings that are the products of the cutting of choir books illuminated by artist monks. Following the suppression of monastic orders in the Napoleonic era, the London market had a voracious appetite for these selected pages.

Slip of the Tongue addresses these historical mishaps. The title of the exhibition is borrowed from the artist Nairy Baghramian (born in 1971), who has been in active conversation with Danh Vo. Three of her installations are presented. Indeed, the exhibition can also be seen as an attempt at mapping friendship, as several other artistic interlocutors are included in the exhibition as well as in its production. Its beating heart consists in two extraordinary ensembles by American artist Nancy Spero. First of all, the magnificent Codex Artaud, which consists in 34 fragile rolls made of strips of paper covered with a hybrid form of writing-drawing-painting; they can be read as an attempt by the American artist to “restore” the fury and frustration that reached the point of incandescence in the language of French author Antonin Artaud. In Cri du Coeur (2004), her last monumental installation, Spero “adapts” the intimate pain of mourning by conjuring thousands of people who are, at the same time, hit by the disaster of war or environmental catastrophes, all anonymous and unnamed individuals with whom she establishes a link.

Each of the objects and works of art (around 120) presented in the exhibition “Slip of the Tongue” seem to partake in this idea that the activity of the artist is aimed at the preservation and afterlife of objects rather than of their interpretation. These notions constitute also a thread between the selected works of the Pinault Collection – by Bertrand Lavier, Tetsumi Kudo, Lee Lozano… The conversation begins and continues among the 35 artists invited by Danh Vo, to which a photograph by Robert Manson gives an emblematic twist. It shows a grasshopper and the hand on which it stands, supporting it, both fixed in their mutual attention.

  • Robert Manson Travaux des champs et animaux de la ferme, c. 1950 Pinault CollectionRobert Manson Travaux des champs et animaux de la ferme, c. 1950 Pinault Collection
  • Danh Vo Beauty Queen, 2013 Photo: Charlotte du Genestoux Pinault CollectionDanh Vo Beauty Queen, 2013 Photo: Charlotte du Genestoux Pinault Collection

Related Artists

Leonor Antunes

Leonor Antunes

Julie Ault

Nairy Baghramian

Giovanni Bellini

Constantin Brancusi

Marcel Broodthaers

Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys

Hubert Duprat

Elmgreen & Dragset

Elmgreen & Dragset

Luciano Fabro

Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Petrit Halilaj. Photo by Enver Bylykbashi

Petrit Halilaj

David Hammons

David Hammons

Roni Horn

Peter Hujar

Tetsumi Kudo

Bertrand Lavier

Zoe Leonard

Francesco Lo Savio

Lee Lozano

Robert Manson

Piero Manzoni

Sadamasa Motonaga

Jean Luc Moulène

Henrik Olesen

Henrik Olesen

Pablo Picasso

Sigmar Polke

Sigmar Polke

Carol Rama

Charles Ray

Auguste Rodin

Cameron Rowland

Carlo Scarpa

Andres Serrano

Nancy Spero

Sturtevant

Alina Szapocznikow

Paul Thek

Danh Vo

Danh Vo

David Wojnarowicz

Martin Wong


Peter Fischli & David Weiss

Curators

Danh Vo

Danh Vo

Special Events

Destination: Venice
Where: Teatrino di Palazzo Grassi
Type: Lecture
Admission: Free

“Cuttings” with Giulio Manieri Elia, Director of Gallerie dell’Accademia and Alessandro Martino, Istituto di Storia dell’Arte, Giorgio Cini Foundation

Destination: Venice
Where: Teatrino di Palazzo Grassi
Type: Talk
Admission: Free

“Fragments” with Danh Vo and Caroline Bourgeois, curators of the exhibition, the artists Nairy Baghramian, Bertrand Lavier and Jean-Luc Moulène. Moderator: Patricia Falguières.

Destination: Venice
Where: Teatrino di Palazzo Grassi
Type: Lecture
Admission: Free

with Christopher Lyon, author of “Nancy Spero: The Work” and Elisabeth Lebovici, journalist and art historian.

Destination: Venice
Where: Teatrino di Palazzo Grassi
Type: Lecture
Admission: Free

“Display and Carlo Scarpa”
with Patricia Falguières, art historian and Philippe Duboy, architect and art historian

Destination: Venice
Where: Teatrino di Palazzo Grassi
Type: Talk
Admission: Free

“Display”
with Danh Vo and Caroline Bourgeois, curators of the exhibition, artists Nairy Baghramian, Bertrand Lavier and Jean-Luc Moulène. Moderator: Patricia Falguières.

Contacts & Details

OPENING:
mon, wed, thu, fri, sat, sun 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

CLOSING DAYS:
tue

ADMISSION:
15 €; reduced 10 €

ESTABLISHED:
2009

OWNER/DIRECTOR:
Baronchelli Mauro, Bethenod Martin


T: +39 041 271 9039 M: info@palazzograssi.it W: Punta della Dogana
ADDRESS:
Campo della Salute 2 Venice, 30124 Italy