Artists’ projects for national pavilions at the Venice Biennale, the 56th edition of which opens on May 9, are generally kept tightly under wraps, but ARTnews can reveal some exclusive images of Fiona Hall’s project for the Australian Pavilion.
The Australian pavilion is more hotly anticipated than usual this year, because the building itself is brand new. Hall’s work will appear in a new structure by the architectural firm Denton Corker Marshall. The black box-like building is the first new national pavilion to appear in the Giardini (the garden that houses the national pavilions) in the 21st century.
In the photographs in the slideshow below, the work for Hall’s pavilion project, a multimedia installation entitled “Wrong Way Time,” is being packed up and prepared for the trip to Venice. Press materials for the project say it “examines environmental degradation, capitalism, politics, among other critical topics and links them together in a menagerie of sculptural works that evoke humanity’s deep-seated concern over the state of contemporary life.” Which sounds a bit portentous. Hall’s past work has included an illustration of Dante’s Inferno composed partly of shredded sardine tins, so anything is possible. It looks, from these photos, like sardine tins are on the menu again, as are clocks, currency symbols, and a tribal-looking sculpted head. Consider these photos a hint.