Sunday 5 April 2015

Shonibare, others design golf holes for 56th Venice Biennale

When the 56th Venice Biennale, opens in May, a mini golf spot jointly created by Yinka Shonibare, Eyal Weizman, John Akomfrah, Yara El-Sherbini, Ellie Harrison, Candice Jacobs, Hetain Patel, Doug Fishbone and Lindsay Seers will provide leisure for visitors. Conceptualised by artist, Fishbone and christened Leisure Land Golf, it is being designed by the artists ahead of May 6 to July 26 when it will be open at 40 Castello, in Venice, Italy.

The designs for Leisure Land Golf

 In 2013, the Fishbone installed a mini golf at the Arnolfini, in Bristol, U.K with contributions from others such as Jake and Dinos Chapman and David Shrigley.

Fishbone disclosed to Artnews how the inspiration came from his long years of passion for a mini golf spot. “Growing up in the US, I have always been struck by mini golfs as these incredibly interesting, underrated sculptural forms," Fishbone stated. “I always thought that if you could invite a group of artists to raise the bar and do work within that platform, you could create something that manages to be a fun interactive artwork that could deal with serious content in an engaging way."

Produced by EM15, each artist’s input is based on Fishbone’s curatorial guide for the concept. For example, Akomfrah's hole examines the mediated images of death, namely those of unarmed African Americans shot by police in the U. S in recent years. For Seers's, it’s a revisit of the mercantile and maritime history of Venice, while El-Sherbini's replicates various aspects of daily life in territories under occupation, and Jacobs's questions whether human behavior can be influenced by television programming and the Internet, and make us vulnerable to exploitation by global markets and governments. Fishbone's hole critics the West's reliance on China for cheap products, which has turned the eastern nation into the next superpower.

He said "games can be a very satirical and critical device to explore geo-political issues.". He explained: “I have the feeling that many world leaders are making some very important decisions as if they were games, so I thought it would be interesting to mirror and criticize that too."

The 56th Venice Biennale has the largest number of artists of African descent showing their works as either individuals or under a country’s pavilion.  Under the theme, All the World’s Futures, about 35 black artists from Africa, the U.S and Europe have been announced with nearly half of them based in Africa.   

 The 2015 Venice Biennale, which opens from May 9 with previews beginning May 6, and runs through November 22 has over 136 artists from 53 countries. According to a press statement from the organisers, it will feature a space called The Arena, for performance in the Central Pavilion designed by David Adjaye.

The 2015 edition has Germany-based Nigerian, Okwui Enwezor as the Artistic Director of the Visual Arts Section of the global bi-annual gathering of arts and architecture professionals.

The list of artists for Enwezor’s All the World’s Futures at the 2015 Venice Biennale consists of over 136 artists from 53 countries. Enwezor states. “Here, Das Kapital will serve as a kind of Oratorio that will be continuously read live, throughout the exhibition’s seven months’ duration.” The Biennale has also commissioned Kara Walker to direct a new production of Vincenzo Bellini's Norma (1831), which will be staged at La Fenice Opera House.  

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