Catalonia in Venice: Singularity

Venezia - 06/05/2015 : 22/11/2015

Evento Collaterale 56. Biennale di Venezia.


Comunicato stampa

The artist and curator address the question of how the cinema machine creates a mind.
The Institut Ramon Llull presents Catalonia in Venice at the Biennale di Venezia for the fourth time. A film installation by filmmaker Albert Serra will be shown within the curatorial framework of Chus Martínez. The title of this project is
SINGULARITY. Under this rubric, the artist has conceived a new piece, an immersive film installation projected onto 5 screens arranged in a dynamic structure taking up the entirety of the exhibition space

Specifically conceived for this presentation in Venice, the installation choreographs not only a wide range of views on today’s world but also the visitors’ movement through the space.
As Chus Martínez states, “The original inspi-
ration for this eight-hour-long moving image insta-
llation was a discussion between the artist and myself about the notion of the singularity. The singularity is the concept that mathematicians and artificial intelligence researchers use to name the moment where our relationship with the machine changes, when technology ceases to be a tool and becomes a companion to the human species. But what is the singularity here referring to? It names a contemporary condition, defined not just by the conditions of capital and economy but by a new epistemological turn in which we share our lives with machines and nature in a different way. Or put another way, the singularity is another name for cinema. Cinema represents one of the most eloquent and close relationships mankind has established with a device. We entrusted the camera with completely recreating our way of describing our deepest insight into our feelings, in the same way our eyes relate to our sense of life. And so we can assume that cinema has learned something from us and that the cinema machine, this very special machine intelligence, is transforming the future of the very idea of a picture in movement.
Albert Serra poetically interweaves what look like contemporary images filmed in Lleida, Catalonia (in PLANTA Sorigué) with less clearly realistic ones, thus creating a sort of ancient myth—like a fable. Some sections of the film are composed of a flow of purely visual and beautiful material. But in others the artist Albert
Serra tells us stories that for him represent “ancient” and novel ways of talking about cinema. This very special piece by Serra attempts to create a “legend”—a visual and sensory memory for the viewer based on motifs that will mark a shift in our understanding not of what cinema is able to tell but of the way cinema can transform us and prepare us for a different future of the image, man and the machine.”
In the words of Albert Serra, “In the 21st century, images are on the run and don’t turn back; the many screens cast them and they explain themselves. The artist perhaps creates them, grasps them, exposes them in a baroque and titanic effort. In their death throes, images can still serve to illus-
trate the world with visual suffocation, but also with the ambition to narrate, with imagination. From mining pioneers to the gold rush of the early 20th century to the present-day regulated and technical industry of land use, SINGULARITY explains the last major transition, the last with man at its core and the last that can still sustain the presence of the body as the driving force of all human transformation. Afterwards, the machines...”
This project includes a 32-page publication jointly published by the Institut Ramon Llull and Mousse which will be available as a free download on the project’s website. The exhibition will also be accompanied by a website: http://venezia2015.
Catalonia in Venice. SINGULARITY
Collateral Event of the 56th International
Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia
The Institut Ramon Llull presents a new
work from maverick filmmaker Albert Serra
curated by Chus Martínez
Catalonia in Venice
Catalonia in Venice. SINGULARITY
Cantieri Navali, Calle Quintavalle, Castello, 40
Opening: May 6th at 17.30 h
Press Contact:
Institut Ramon Llull - Gavina Garcia - [email protected]
PICKLES PR - Juan Sanchez - [email protected] Graphic design for the project was done by
Omar Sosa and Ana Domínguez and Guri_Casajuana
Arquitectes are the authors of the exhibition
interior design.
Martínez’s proposal was selected by a jury
chaired by Marta Gili, Director of Jeu de Paume.
The other members of this jury were Bartomeu
Marí, Director of the MACBA; Joan Minguet,
President of the Associació Catalana de Crítics
d’Art (ACCA); Xavier Antich, President of the
Board of Trustees of the Fundació Antoni Tàpies;
Martina Millà, Head of Programming and Projects
at the Fundació Miró; Llucià Homs, Director
of Cultural Sector Promotion at the Institut de
Cultura de Barcelona; and Damià Martínez, Head
of the Creation Division at the IRL.
Chus Martínez

Chus Martínez (La Coruña, 1972) is currently
Head of the Art Institute of the Fachhochschule
Nordwestschweiz (FHNW) in Basel, Switzerland.
She holds a BA in Philosophy and History of Art
from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and
also completed a master’s degree in curatorial studies
at Bard College in New York. Over her career
she has held the positions of Artistic Director at
the Sala Rekalde in Bilbao (2002-2005), Director
of the Frankfurter Kunstverein (2005-2008) and
Chief Curator at the MACBA (2008-2011). More
recently she has worked at the Museo del Barrio
in New York and was a member of the curatorial
team for dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, Germany.
In 2005, Martínez curated the National Pavilion
of Cyprus for the 51st International Art Exhibition
of la Biennale di Venezia. She was also
a member of the advisory team for the Carnegie
International exhibition in 2008 and participated
as a guest curator in the 29th São Paulo Biennial
in 2010. In addition, she has organized exhibitions
around the world, has spoken at numerous seminars
and conferences and has served as a member
of juries for a number of prestigious events. She
publishes regularly in art journals.
Albert Serra

Albert Serra (Banyoles, 1975) is a film director and
producer. His first film Crespià, the Film Not the Village
(2003) was not screened commercially. He later
presented Honor de cavalleria (winner of the 2006
Barcelona Film Prize for Best New Director and
for Best Film in Catalan) and El cant dels ocells (for
which he won the 2009 Gaudí Prize for Best Film).
In 2009, he was chosen as the avant-garde cinema
icon of the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs at
the Cannes Film Festival.
In 2012, he was one of the artists selected to
participate in dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, where
he showed his film Els tres porquets. The following
year he became the first Catalan director to
win the Golden Leopard prize for Best Film for
Història de la meva mort (2013) at the Locarno Film
He has recently been invited to show work at
the Centre Pompidou in Paris (2013) and Bozar in
Brussels (2014), where he was given carte blanche.
Institut Ramon Llull

The Institut Ramon Llull is a public consortium
established in 2002 with the aim of promoting the
Catalan language and culture abroad. This mission
is accomplished by providing broad international
exposure to writers and artists, encouraging artistic
and cultural exchanges, and supporting Catalan
language and literature studies in universities. Currently,
the consortium is formed by the Government
of Catalonia and the Barcelona City Council.
This will be the fourth time that the IRL
brings Catalonia in Venice to the Art Biennale
as part of the eventi collaterali, and it follows its
second participation at the Architecture Biennale
last year.
With the collaboration of With the support of