Today the Arts Council of Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa released new details about its plans for the 2019 Venice Biennale, which will have artist Dane Mitchell presenting work at the Palazzina Canonica and in several other locations throughout the floating city. The Palazzina is located a stone’s throw from the Arsenale, which one of the venues for the main biennale show and was once home to the offices for the Istituto di Scienze Marine, a partner on the exhibition.
The news release for Mitchell’s show—titled “Post hoc,” which will open on May 11, along with the rest of the Biennale—begins with a doozy of an intriguing paragraph:
Dead words. Extinct species. Ghost towns. Former nations. Destroyed art works . . . What do these things have in common? They are a few of the countless phenomena that existed but are now no more. These disappearances are at the heart of Dane Mitchell’s project . . .
Mitchell is known for spare, conceptually grounded sculptures that deal with how objects and images exist in the world and are perceived, and he’s a regular on the international art circuit, having been included in the 2016 Biennale of Sydney, the 2012 Gwangju Biennale, the 2012 Liverpool Biennial, and the 2010 Busan Biennale, among others.
Here’s a bit more on the project:
The New Zealand pavilion will act as the repository and base for an automated broadcast of the vast lists of things which have disappeared, become extinct, obsolete or been destroyed, with industrially produced cell tree towers (designed to be camouflaged as trees) acting as the transmitters of information.
The pavilion is being organized by Zara Stanhope, who is the curatorial manager for Asian and Pacific art at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art in Australia, and Chris Sharp, an independent curator who runs the closely watched Mexico City space Lulu with artist Martín Soto Climent. Stanhope carries the title of lead curator, and Sharp has the title of project curator.
Other artists to rep New Zealand since it began showing in La Serenissima in 2001 include Lisa Reihana (in 2017), Simon Denny (2015), Francis Upritchard (2009), and Michael Stevenson (2003).