Lee Mingwei, Rasheed Araeen, David Medalla

The 57th Venice Biennale

13 May – 26 Nov 2017
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    • Rasheed Araeen
      From Zero to Infinity

      'From Zero to Infinity' is a large-scale interactive sculpture by Pakistani artist, Rasheed Araeen. It consists of brightly-coloured wooden lattice cubes and rectangles arranged in different positions –stacked on top of, alongside, and joining at tips with one another. These, in Araeen’s words, “modular, combinational structures” introduce a more egalitarian spatial model in contrast with hierarchical sculptural compositions.

      'Zero to Infinity' was initially conceived in a written proposal to the Institute of Contemporary Art in London in 1968.

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    • Lee Mingwei
      The Mending Project

      'The Mending Project' is a participatory project in which viewers are invited to bring along a garment or object in need of repair. In the artist’s words, “I used very simple elements—thread, color, sewing—as points of departure for gaining insights into the relationships among self, other and immediate surroundings. It also constituted an act of sharing between myself and a stranger.”

      Lee will mend the item of clothing using thread from the cone-shaped spools installed on the walls, the viewers can stay and watch as the artist mends the article. When the mending is done, the article will be placed on a long table alongside other mended objects, all of which are attached with their thread ends. Threads will not be cut until the end of the installation when the participant comes back to collect their item of clothing, creating a web of threads across the space.

      “The act of mending took on emotional value as well, depending on how personal the damaged item was, e.g., a favorite shirt vs. an old but little-used tablecloth. This emotional mending was marked by the use of thread which was not the color of the fabric around it, and often colorfully at odds with that fabric, as though to commemorate the repair. Unlike a tailor, who will try to hide the fact that the fabric was once damaged, my mending was done with the idea of celebrating the repair, as if to say, ‘something good was done here, a gift was given, this fabric is even better than before.’”

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    • David Medalla
      A Stitch in Time

      'A Stitch in Time' is a participatory project that Medalla conceived in the 1960s when he gave two of his ex-lovers handkerchiefs, a packet of needles and several spools of thread at the Heathrow airport, asking them to embroider whatever they pleased.

      This ensuing series in the 57th edition of the Venice Biennale continues to explore the themes of time, circulation and chance encounters. David Medalla invites people to sew a piece of personal belonging that represents their experience onto a scroll-like fabric. The resulting embroidered cloth forms a collective portrait of time. The artist was quoted as saying "the thing I like best about this work is that whenever anyone is involved in the act of stitching, he or she is inside his or her own private space, even though the act of stitching might occur in a public place.”

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    • Lee Mingwei
      When Beauty Visits

      'When Beauty Visits' is a performance project taking place inside the Giardini.

      Prior to the biennale, Lee collected stories from friends and strangers about their meetings with beauty. As the biennale commenced, the artist recruited a performer dressed in a white robe to stroll around the garden where an empty wood chair is placed with a stone atop it. The performer leads a member from the audience with whom she feels a special connection to sit down on the chair. After exchanging greetings, the performer leaves only to return a moment later with a tray bearing a letter. She hands the letter to the guest, and tells him that it is an artwork from the artist and that he should open it “whenever beauty visits”. The stone is put back on the chair after the guest departs.

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    • David Medalla and Adam Nankervis
      Mondrian Fan Club

      The Mondrian Fan Club was founded by Medalla and Nankervis in new York city in 1992, establishing a collaboration between the two artists living and moving nomadically around the world who, when meeting in different locals globally created, and continue to create, collaborative performances, installations, drawings and photographic impromptus, in homage to the artist Piet Mondrian.

      Medalla and Nankervis´s interventions travel time and space in an invocation of the meeting points where the two artists have converged, and shared, and collaborated by inspiration of the environment in which they inhabit.

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