fondazione prada unites thomas demand, alexander kluge + anna viebrock in venice

fondazione prada unites thomas demand, alexander kluge + anna viebrock in venice

fondazione prada brings together artist thomas demand, filmmaker alexander kluge, and stage/costume designer anna viebrock for the trans-media exhibition ‘the boat is leaking. the captain lied.’ presented during the venice art biennale 2017 and curated by udo kittelmann, the collaborative presentation unfolds across three storeys of fondazione prada’s venetian venue — ca’ corner della regina — an 18th century palazzo. both the ground floor and two main galleries are occupied by photographic pieces, film works, and spatial settings — each offering the results of an ongoing, in-depth exchange between the three creative forces. 

fondazione prada venice
alexander kluge: die sanfte schminke des lichts (the soft makeup of lighting), 2007
anna viebrock: runners, 2009 | anna viebrock: four doors, 2017
all photos by delfino sisto legnani and marco cappelletti /courtesy fondazione prada



the collaborative nature of ‘the boat is leaking. the captain lied.’ surprisingly stemmed from a misunderstanding. when looking at and sharing the image of a reproduction of the 1883 painting ‘giorni… ultimi’ by italian artist angelo morbelli, thomas demand, alexander kluge, anna viebrock and udo kittelmann had varying interpretations of its subject. the painted figures were mistaken for retired sailors spending their old age at a hostel (rather then its intended portrayal of a group of elderly men inside the pio albergo trivulzio hospice in milan). this misinterpretation brought about the marine metaphor in the exhibition’s title, and also led to the dedication of a monographic room to seven morbelli works.

fondazione prada venice
anna viebrock: pio albergo trivulzio, 2017 | alexander kluge: film program on 16 tablets, 2017



the exhibition at fondazione prada spans film, art and theater media, intermingling the contributions of each artist within the space. the amalgamation of images, scenes, and atmospheres transforms the historic palazzo of ca’ corner della regina into a multi-layered environment that seeks to express everyday realities. intended as a space for experiences and encounters, the show offers a comprehensive insight into kluge, demand and viebrock’s artistic universes. visitors can create their own narrative based on the way they travel through the visual imagery of the three artists. through this, three ideas are questioned: the traditional separation between spectators and theater set designs; the reduction of filmic products to mere exhibited objects; and the visual isolation where artworks are usually presented within a show.

fondazione prada venice
anna viebrock: pio albergo trivulzio, 2017 | alexander kluge: film program on 16 tablets, 2017
thomas demand: attraktion (attraction), 2013



‘it is a particularly lucky coincidence that alexander kluge’s filmic production, thomas demand’s photographic work and anna viebrock’s stage settings are brought together in this collective exhibition concept, melding what are usually distinct artistic forms of expression,’ curator udo kittelmann describes. ‘until now their different creative fields have prevented them from engaging in this kind of symbiotic collaboration, even though they know one another personally and have often exchanged ideas.’

fondazione prada venice
(on the left) angelo morbelli: giorni…ultimi! (last…days!), 1882-83



‘the boat is leaking. the captain lied.’ is on view from may 13 – november 26, 2017 at ca’ corner della regina, coinciding with the venice art biennale


follow our dedicated instagram account for live coverage of the exhibitions, installations, and events in venice.

fondazione prada venice
anna viebrock: stage, 2017 | alexander kluge: terror = furcht und schrecken (terror = fear and horror), 2017

fondazione prada venice
view of the exhibition ‘the boat is leaking. the captain lied.’

fondazione prada venice
anna viebrock: tessa blomstedt gibt nicht auf (tessa blomstedt does not give in), 2014
alexander kluge: ‘die bürde der vernunft’ (‘the burden of reason’), 2017

(on the right) thomas demand: patio, 2014

(from left to right) thomas demand: regen (rain), 2008
alexander kluge: ‘…kommt ein schiff gefahren’ (‘…a ship sails this way’), 2017

thomas demand: backyard, 2014

thomas demand: werkstatt (workshop), 2017

anna viebrock: display window passage, 2017 | anna viebrock: circus pedestal, 2017
alexander kluge: four videos broadcasted simultaneously, 2017

anna viebrock: aula di giustizia, 2017 | alexander kluge: audiopassages, 2017 | thomas demand: klause IV, 2006

anna viebrock: untitled, 2017 | thomas demand: folders, 2017



(main image, from left to right)
thomas demand: konstellation (constellation), 2000
anna viebrock: doors, 2017
thomas demand: archiv (archive), 1995


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