The National Namibian Pavilion A Bridge to the Desert debuts at the 59. International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.
Starting point of the Pavilion will be a documentary Photo Exhibit, located in the ancient Casello delle Polveri in La Certosa, it will showcase a selection of photographs depicting the sculptures protagonists of the project The Lone Stone Men of the Desert. The exhibit also houses some Abstract Sculptures, created by RENN with recovered material collected on the island, including The Circles of Life and Metamorphosis.
The exhibition then develops through a path of installations distributed in the most evocative areas of the park, inviting visitors to a “hunt for art” on the island, similar to how it happens in the desert.
The Seek to Believe binocular series, arranged between the island’s entrance and the woods, will show you the path to follow to reach the so-called Sculptures Habitat, where in the walled woods area East of La Certosa park, are hiding some “Lone Stone Men” who traveled 11,440 km from Namibia to get until here.
The design of the pavilion, an artistic collaboration between RENN and the creative duo AMEBE, respects and aims to enhance the fundamental elements of the original work.
Installations and Artworks
The sculptures of human features called The Lone Stone Men of the Desert, subject of the photo exhibit, are the first work to attract international attention.
The first experience is therefore the Photo Exhibit, a documentary format, through which visitors are introduced to the artwork and its context.
23 original photographs of RENN provide the first contact inside the historic building of Casello delle Polveri.
Some new abstract artworks have been created on site specifically for the Pavilion, with recycled materials collected on La Certosa.
The abstract artworks are an invitation to deepen the still to be discovered corpus of RENN’s artistic production. Together with The Lone Stone Men series, these works testify the Artist’s ability to manipulate matter at all levels: from landscape to nature, from recycled material to the relationship between audience and the collective imagination.
Seek to Believe
The Seek to Believe binocular series, arranged between the island’s entrance and the woods, will show you the path to follow to reach the so-called Sculptures Habitat, where the (Art) hunt begins.
The binoculars intervention is a tribute by the creative duo Amebe in collaboration with RENN, conceived during the creation of the exhibition, in a moment when it was not yet sure whether RENN and their Artworks could have physically made it to Venice, in the middle of the pandemic and consequent obstacles.
The binoculars, all pointed south, towards Namibia, precisely at Lat. 24.2889 ° S and Long. 15.2605 ° E, want to be an emotional kaleidoscope that plays with memories, expectations and the yet unknown, to further implement that Bridge to the Desert that the Pavilion invokes.
It is an invitation to “seek to believe” or “try to believe”, because without research there can’t be discovery of a “belief” and vice versa. Lenses are artifacts that distort vision to bring the image closer, while the imagination can be a lens for the soul that brings concepts and perhaps cultures closer.
In the woods surrounded by walls in the East area of La Certosa, some “Lone Stone Men”, created in Namibia with elements originating from the desert, have traveled 11,440 km from Namibia to get here.
Entering the Woods Area you can discover the sculptures of The Lone Stone Men series created by RENN in dialogue with the natural context of the grove of white and black poplars and ash trees, experiencing the surprise of coming across their figures in an unexpected way.
The element of discovery is recreated with this path through the open areas of the island where some sculptures will be placed in dialogue with their surrounding natural context.
Happy (Art) Hunting!
- Walkway to Casello delle Polveri
- Direction to the Installations area
- Seek to Believe
- Private area
- Island trails
- Sculptures Habitat
La Certosa Island, Venice
La Certosa island is easily accessible from the fulcrum areas of the Giardini and the Arsenale, while offering a natural context free of urban contamination.
By its very nature, history and location, La Certosa represents an element of continuity with the Site-Specific nature of the works in the pavilion.
The pavilion is hosted on La Certosa, which is an island in the Venice lagoon overlooking the Giardino delle Vergini of the Arsenale, one of the two main venues of the Biennale Arte 2022. The location was selected because it met the need to identify a place that would recall the characteristics of natural park and wilderness of the desert.
In fact, the immersive installations, distributed in the most evocative areas of the park, invite visitors to a real artwork hunt allowing visitors to live a similar experience to the one lived through the Kunene desert. All this has been possible thanks to the collaboration with Vento di Venezia, who’s managing the island’s regeneration and enhancement program of the natural and cultural heritage of the site, which envisages the creation of a large park of significant environmental and historical-archeological value, open to the public and hosting cultural events, exhibitions and installations. The island, which covers 24 hectares of woods and gardens, offers a significant environmental heritage characterized by the presence of groves of white and black poplars and ash, alternating with non-native tree and shrub species.