Artist: Martin Boyce
Venue: The Scottish Presentation at the Venice Biennale, the Palazzo Pisani
Exhibition Title: No Reflections
Date: June 7 – November 22, 2009
Note: There were no press images documenting the exhibition immediately available, so the photos are all by Contemporary Art Daily. We apologize for any poor quality, as we do not have access to a professional photographer.
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Visual artist Martin Boyce has been selected to represent Scotland at the 53rd International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, the world’s largest and most prestigious showcase for contemporary visual arts.
The exhibition, No Reflections is curated by Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) and will be presented at the Palazzo Pisani (S.Marina) from 7 June – 22 November 2009.
Representing the fourth Scottish presentation at Venice by Scotland and Venice, a partnership between the Scottish Arts Council, National Galleries of Scotland and the British Council, No Reflections builds on the critical success of previous projects which have promoted artists including Turner Prize winner Simon Starling and Turner Prize nominees, Cathy Wilkes and Jim Lambie.
In a series of new works developed specifically for presentation in Venice, Martin Boyce has devised a lyrical installation for seven inter-connected rooms of the second floor of the 15th-century Palazzo Pisani (S. Marina).
The artist transforms the fading grandeur of this palace with suspended, geometric chandeliers, sculptural autumn leaves, stepping stones, brass letters, tables and benches – all altered from the everyday into an atmospheric, poetic landscape. Boyce has set out to ‘delve into the city’s interior landscape’ and with this exhibition he conflates the internal and external and echoes the labyrinthine nature of Venice, creating a heightened sense of displacement and abandonment.
The palazzo is a charged location for this solo presentation of Boyce’s work, and the relationship between his art and the building recalls the modernist work of Venetian architect, Carlo Scarpa and the way it complements and contrasts with the historical.
The concept for No Reflections makes reference to a starting point in Boyce’s work – a photograph of four concrete trees created by Joël and Jan Martel for the 1925 ‘Exposition des Arts Décoratifs’ in Paris. These trees, Boyce says, “represent a perfect collapse of architecture and nature”, visualising oppositional elements of urban existence: the natural versus the constructed, the populated versus the uninhabited, old versus new.
Commenting on his appointment Martin Boyce said: “It is a very exciting situation to be invited to represent Scotland for the Venice Biennale. The Biennale is one of the biggest and most important art events and has an incredible history. I am delighted to be selected and to work on a project that will be seen by masses of people from every part of the world.
“The Venice Biennale is legendary, my favourite artists in the world have all shown there and so to be part of that history is a great honour to me.”
Martin Boyce (born 1967) lives and works in Glasgow. He is one of Scotland’s most prominent artists and is well known for his sculptural installations that recall conventional public spaces – the playground, pedestrian subway, discarded or abandoned sites – to form a cohesive and immersive environment, one that the writer Will Bradley calls, “both a proposition about social space and a dreamscape in itself”. Individual works comprising of sculptural forms recall familiar public furniture: benches, bins, signage and lighting. Drawing on the iconography and subsequent production of modernist design, these objects take on an alternative life by being displaced from their original context and purpose.