Catalonia will be participating once again in the 2015 Venice Biennale, as part of the Collateral Events, by presenting a project curated by Chus Martínez entitled Singularity.
Martínez, a leading figure in the international art world with an impressive career behind her, is proposing a large audiovisual installation by the Catalan artist Albert Serra. This audio-visual work is divided into episodes and seeks to mediate between the 20th and the 21st centuries.
The term ‘Singularity’ refers to the moment when artificial intelligences will surpass human capacity and human control. In mathematics, singularity describes a point at which a given mathematical object is not defined or “well-behaved”, for example, infinite or not differentiable. Filmmaker Albert Serra, interested in how images act in diverse contexts, presents the audience with a filmic space investigating the range of “applications” the notion of singularity has.
In the words of the curator, “the intention of this work is to create a large visual set of circumstances that is at the same time an essay and a series of suggested ‘facts’, that brings together images of our time and which, moving on from there, envisages the way they can be overcome formally and creates others that have never been seen before”.
The choice of artist was, in her view, obvious: “Only the ‘narrative’ complexity of the work by an artist such as Albert Serra is able to achieve this goal. He has succeeded in adding to the classic images of the cinematic form the conceptual and theoretical density that one would expect of a self-aware artist who is at the same time an astute analyst of his medium, but who never loses his innocence and sense of irony, and who has managed to keep alive the tension between the more abstract and philosophical element (aided by his masterly use of the word, which we are all familiar with thanks to his cryptic plays for the Teatre Lliure, also to be found in his most recent work of fiction, Història de la meva mort) and the poetics of the most performative, primitive and gratuitous gesture.”
Albert Serra (Banyoles, 1975) is a film director and producer. His first film, Crespià, the film not the village (2003) was never commercially distributed. Later, he made Honor de cavalleria and El cant dels ocells (Gaudí Award for the best film of 2009). In 2009 he was selected to be the icon of new avant-garde cinema by the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs del Festival de Cannes. In the year 2012 he was one of the artists chosen to participate in dOCUMENTA in Kassel where he presented his movie, Els tres porquets. Last year he won the award for best movie at the Locarno Festival with his production, Història de la meva mort (2013). Most recently he was invited by two prestigious centers, Pompidou, in Paris, (2013) and Bozar, in Brussels (2014), to present a project carte blanche.
Chus Martínez (La Coruña, 1972) is currently the director of the Art Institut at the FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel, Switzerland. Her professional trajectory has led her to be the artistic director of the Sala Rekalde in Bilbao (2002-2005), the director of the Frankfurter Kuntstverein Museum (2005-2008), and the chief curator of the MACBA (2008-2011). Most recently she worked as chief curator at El Museo del Barrio in New York City and was part of the curating team of dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, Germany. In 2005 Martínez was the curator of the National Pavilion of Cyprus for the 51st edition of the Biennale di Venezia with a project by Panayiotis Michael and Konstantia Sofokleou. She also formed part of the advisory committee for the Carnegie International Exposition 2008, and she participated as the invited curator for the 29th Biennial of São Paulo in 2010.
In March 2015 Tate Modern will present the first major survey in the UK of maverick filmmaker Albert Serra. His acclaimed feature films will be screened alongside British premiere of parts of the monumental “The Three Little Pigs” project, commissioned by dOCUMENTA (13). Chus Martinez and Albert Serra will also present an anticipation of the new work commissioned for the Catalan Pavilion at next Venice Biennale.
Catalonia (at) Venice: Singularity is an initiative of the Institut Ramon Llull, the public body from the Government of Catalonia and the City Council of Barcelona created to promote Catalan Culture Abroad.
Cantieri Navali, Cantieri Navali, San Pietro di Castello 40