Respiro, an installation by the influential conceptual artist Sarkis, will be presented in the Pavilion of Turkey at the 56th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia. The installation will be on exhibit at the biennale to be held from 9 May through 22 November 2015.
The exhibition in the Pavilion of Turkey at la Biennale di Venezia is sponsored by Fiat, and realised under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey, with the production support of Mehveş-Dalınç Arıburnu and SAHA Association. The Pavilion of Turkey, a dedicated long-term venue at the Arsenale, is an initiative of IKSV, also supported by the generous contribution of twenty-one sponsors.
On behalf of Fiat, the Corporate Communications Director of Tofaş Arzu Çolakoğlu said, “In addition to national economy, with the awareness of adding value, we are pleased to support various fields like sports or culture and arts, we are also glad to see Koç Group’s contribution and support to contemporary arts at la Biennale di Venezia. Hundreds of thousands of people visit la Biennale di Venezia, and every national pavilion, every artist and every artistic work take us to new dimensions, pushing the limits of our imagination. As the sponsor of the Pavilion of Turkey, this extraordinary effect is a source of pride for our country, for our brand Fiat and surely for our corporation, Tofaş. We believe that, under the curatorship of Defne Ayas, the works of Turkey’s esteemed contemporary artist Sarkis—whose successful works have met millions of art lovers around the world—will honour our country, by creating a tremendous impact at the Pavilion of Turkey at the 56th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia. As the Tofaş Family, we hereby thank İKSV and our invaluable artist Sarkis.”
A prominent figure of the global art world with a career spanning more than five decades, Sarkis has been renowned for his oeuvre that embraces culturally diverse genealogies of art and history, and their innate relationship to memory and space.
“In Respiro, I will be reaching out beyond geopolitics, to a more expansive context of a million plus years, going back to the creation of the universe and the beginning of time, back to the first-ever rainbow—the very first magical breaking point of light,” explained Sarkis during the press meeting, where he also detailed the exhibition plans using a whiteboard and markers. “Instead of binding ourselves to specific instances within the histories of politics, religion, philosophy, and the arts, we will be embracing contemporaneity of both the present and the distant past in our continued attempt to defy stagnation.”
Through the arrangements of objects, images, thoughts, and codes that are released from both personal and collective memories, Sarkis will use the site of the pavilion as a theatrical stage for the cast of his works to investigate the ideas of infinite dialogue and transformation that lie at the core of his practice. The exhibition titled Respiro, meaning breath in Italian, will present an installation of mirrors, stained-glass panes, and site-specific neon works, and will be complemented by a composition by Jacopo Baboni-Schilingi (b. 1971, Milan), based on the artist’s drawing of the rainbow’s seven colors as a system of partitions.