Glasstress Gotika, a joint project of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia and Berengo Studio, Venice, Italy, is a collateral event of the 56th Venice Biennale.
Curated by Dr. Dimitri Ozerkov, director of Hermitage 20 / 21 Project for Contemporary Art and of the Contemporary Art Department in the State Hermitage Museum and Adriano Berengo of Berengo Studio, Glasstress Gotika is an exploration of the effect that Gothic and medieval ideas have had on the modern conscience and contemporary art. The exhibition combines historical medieval glass and objects from the Hermitage’s collection that have rarely if ever been seen by the public and contemporary art works created in glass by internationally renowned artists who were invited by the curators to work with the glass masters in the furnaces of Murano. The artists, who are from over 20 countries, were asked to respond to the gothic concept in their creations in glass.
Glasstress Gotika will be exhibited in two venues: at the historic Palazzo Franchetti on the Grand Canal and in an old glass furnace in Murano, home of the permanent exhibition space of the Fondazione Berengo.
Glasstress will also present “Life Bank”, a site-specific project by Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen, who in collaboration with the Slow Food Movement will transform the old Banca di Venezia at the top floor of the Palazzo Franchetti into a “Gothic garden” dedicated to bio-diversity with a monumental installation featuring ancient seeds and interactive, multi-sensory spaces. Glasstress will feature over 50 renowned artists from all over the world who have created works with the maestros of Murano, many working in glass for the first time.
In 2016, Glasstress Gotika will be presented in the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg in the company of Russia’s greatest treasures in glass.