alfredo jaar: chile pavilion at the venice art biennale 2013 alfredo jaar: chile pavilion at the venice art biennale 2013
jun 26, 2013

alfredo jaar: chile pavilion at the venice art biennale 2013

alfredo jaar: chile pavilion at venice art biennale 2013
image © designboom



alfredo jaar: chile pavilion at the venice art biennale 2013

every 3 minutes from the water emerges a perfect replica of the giardini with the 28 national pavilions. visitors entering the arsenale space encounter a pool filled with lagoon water and only see the water’s reflections on the walls. for a long time nothing happens and some impatient spectators just walk by and do not even realize that soon something will happen. those who stay will be rewarded!


the history of the venice art biennale dates back more than 100 years, with the first edition held in 1895. originally conceived as a national art exhibition held within the city of water’s giardini, it saw the construction of the first foreign pavilion, belgium, in 1907. today, the biennale’s main venue is home to 28 permanent national pavilions; in which the work of all other participants of the represented countries can be viewed at offsite locations across venice. as chile’s 2013 selected artist, alfredo jaar focuses directly on the international art exhibition’s  unintentional hierarchical and exclusive model; one that has continued to be practiced and unchanged for years as a result of its early issues.




alfredo jaar on his contribution to the 2013 venice art biennale




‘venezia, venezia’ sees jaar reproducing the entirety of the giardini venue and the architecture of the site as it stands today, in the form of a 1:60 scale model. in constructing the replica of the pavilions and their surrounding nature, the artist has intended to create a utopia, in which we see the archetype being submerged into a pool of murky, green water, and then re-emerging, like a ghost from history.


some visitors might ask: ‘where is chile in this immersive site-specific installation?’

taking more than a year to realize, the choice to present a physical model is a metaphor for artists’s use of three-dimensional representations as a means of analyzing and thinking about the world. in this case, jaar proposes an adaptation of the biennale so that it becomes something less nationalistic, encouraging instead a broader cultural discourse. ‘venezia, venezia’ stands as an allegorical interpretation of the impact that artists can make in effecting our global culture… and in addition, it could also mean that there is an emerging art scene in chile.



the national pavilions slowly drown into a pool of green, murky water
image © designboom



the 1:60 scale model precisely replicates the venice art biennale’s giardini venue
image © designboom



image © designboom


the biennale’s giardini venue model slowly submerges in the venetian lagoon and re-emerges
image © designboom



general view of jaar’s replica of the giardini
image © designboom



image © designboom



the model of the venice art biennale becomes a ghost of history…
image © designboom



the model of the venice art biennale – a ghost of history
video © designboom



the chile pavilion has been commissioned by the national council for culture and the arts and curated by madeleine grynsztejn.




    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    (30 articles)

    art news