The 57th Venice Biennale will once more host Geta Bratescu, a central figure of local contemporary art since the 1960s, with the exhibition Apparitions, curated by Magda Radu. So what’s inside the local pavilion?
Bratescu’s participation in the Venice Biennale 2017 brings together works representative of all the stages of her artistic journey, demonstrating the comfort with which she employs a multitude of artistic media. The artist’s career has bridged the past 50 years and seen her working in multiple mediums, from textiles and sculpture, to film, photography, drawing and even writing. She has participated in the Biennale twice before – in 1960, as part of a group exhibition, and again in 2013 at the Central Pavilion, alongside Stefan Bertalan and Andra Ursuta.
This time, her creations will be part of Viva Arte Viva, the 2017 biennale’s concept, described as an exclamation, an expression of the passion for art and the state of the artist. Viva Arte Viva is a Biennale designed with, by and for artists, says curator Christine Macel, and deals with the forms they propose, the questions they pose, the practices they develop and the forms of life they choose. “The exhibition Apparitions was conceived through the lens of thematic clusters, including the most recent phase in [Bratescu’s] artistic practice, in an attempt to provide a mirror of her studio space, understood both as a physical space and a meta-artistic entity,” runs the official description of what will be on view in Venice.
“Geta Bratescu’s presence at Biennale Arte 2017 is aimed at communicating art’s capacity to invent narratives that transcend the gloomy climate of the contemporary world, by means of an artistic reflection that highlights the transformative strength of femininity as the consummate embodiment of a ‘nomadic subject’. Her art finds itself in full consonance with the return to materiality, to the power of the artistic imagination, to art’s power to give shape,” explained Magda Radu, curator of the exhibition.
Apparitions will go on display in two locations – the Romanian Pavilion in Giardini della Biennale and the New Gallery of the Romanian Institute for Culture and Humanistic Research – and will be open to the public from May 13 to November 26.