The Artists' Pavilion at 55th Venice Biennale

The Artists' Pavilion at 55th Venice Biennale The Artists' Pavilion at 55th Venice Biennale

Artquest, Axisweb and engage collaborated on The Artists' Pavilion - a social space for visual artists during the Venice Biennale preview days.

The Pavilion provided a focus on artists - without whom the Biennale would not exist - during the exhibition preview days (29-31 May 2013), shifting the focus from the glitzy parties and billionaire collectors for which it is increasingly known.

A series of talks and events at the Pavilion provided an alternative to the glamorous and frenetic activity of the Biennale preview days, transforming the building into a humble refuge for visiting artists.

As part of the Pavilion, Artquest commissioned London-based screenprinter Erica Donovan to make a new work. Donovan transformed the window of The Artists' Pavilion into the façade of an English beach hut, constructing and photographing a model that was scaled up on Contravision to fill the window. Her humorous intervention drew on the convention of national pavilions representing aspects of their culture, and responds to Venice from a particularly 'British holiday' perspective.

Artists were invited to drop into the Pavilion at any time during 29-31 May to take part in the Axisweb Venice Confessions videos and share their survival strategies and coping mechanisms for the art world's most frantic three days of parties, art and networking.

The Pavilion was housed in a café and games arcade, complete with slot machines and billiard room. The arcade has a large window space, which will house the commission, that looks out onto via Garibaldi, in prime sight of visitors to the Biennale.


1pm Thursday 30 May - Artists' talk
The artist collective Blauer Hase, founded in Venice in 2007 by Mario Ciaramitaro, Riccardo Giacconi, Giulia Marzin, Daniele Zoico, proposes experimental forms of cultural production and experience. Members reflected on the guerilla events and exhibitions that take place in Venice when the Biennale is not taking place.

1pm Friday 31 May - Artist talk
Ann Jones, curator of the Arts Council Collection, in conversation with Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva, artist representing Macedonia at the 2013 Venice Biennale, about the place of the Biennale in an artist's career and where such high-profile opportunities come from.

5pm Friday 31 May - Drinks Reception 
for Axisweb, engage and Artquest members and friends. A chance to mingle with UK and international artists, find out the best things to see during your visit, and hear from Artquest commissioned artist Erica Donovan about her commission for the Pavilion.

Other projects for artists during the Biennale included:

Venice Agendas
by artist-led group workinprogress 
A series of breakfast talks and debates focussing on performance art and the alternative scene: its history, legacy and future. 

a-n offered subscribers Go and See grants of £300 towards travel to the Biennale preview days
Available to subscribers to a-n + AIR 
Deadline: 5pm 13 April 2013 

More about 55th Venice Biennale on Axisweb