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|| Wednesday, September 18, 2019
|MGM presents their second major collaboration with artist Joana Vasconcelos in Venice|
MGM presents What are you hiding? May you find what you are looking for by Joana Vasconcelos at San Clemente Palace Kempinski, Venice, 10 May 1 November 2019.
VENICE.- Continuing MGMs mission to support art and culture, new and recent works by internationally renowned Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos are on show for the first time in Venice. The exhibition, curated by Nina Moaddel, takes place on Isola di San Clemente where the works are being exhibited across the Palace Kempinski gardens and in the San Clemente church. Vasconcelos largest Valkyrie piece was shown in Valkyrie Octopus at MGM MACAU in 2015; the Venice exhibition therefore marks a continuation of this relationship, bringing a part of the East meets West cultural tastes between Macau, China and Portugal to new audiences in Venice.
The exhibitions title What are you hiding? May you find what you are looking for is a response to the 58th Venice Biennales title as selected by curator Ralph Rugoff, May you live in interesting times. Vasconcelos works contain references both to the popular culture of her home country and to theoretical debates in contemporary art, especially those concerned with fostering viewers interpretation of artworks. Whilst seemingly a blessing, the expression May you live in interesting times has an ironic edge, playing on the illusion that you will be happy when you reach your goals and dreams. Similarly Vasconcelos works play with the viewers perception through a sharp sense of humour that shuns dogmatism and at the same time explores issues of identity, migration and the exploitation of women. The exhibition showcases Vasconcelos work Madragoa (2015-2019) in the San Clemente Church. This large-scale floor sculpture, inspired by Lisbons buildings façades, explores the intersections of sculpture, architecture and painting. After being shown at MGM MACAU in 2015 as part of the exhibition Valkyrie Octopus, the work travels to Venice with new elements specially created for this site. This piece offers visitors the opportunity to interact by sitting on it and contemplating three different perspectives of the surroundings.
In the gardens of the Kempinski Palace there is Ill be Your Mirror #1 (2019), a giant Venetian carnival mask made of mirrors. Viewers will be invited to look through the Gulliver-like mask, from the inside or from the outside, without ever losing sight of ones own image. Ill be Your Mirror was recently displayed at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao in a solo show by Vasconcelos. Also featured in the gardens is Betty Boop PA (2019), Vasconcelos most iconic work and part of the artists famous shoes series. The high-heeled shoe is crafted out of saucepans and brings together two paradigmatic tropes of a womans private and public image. The work proposes a revision of the feminine in todays world.
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