Gav by Gavin Turk is a site-specific LibraryBar presented by the Gervasuti Foundation on the occasion of the 56th Venice Biennale. Set in the building that was once the historic bakery ‘Il Forno,’ Gav is a curatorial and interactive project that will evolve within the lifetime of the 2015 Venice Biennale
In keeping with Gavin Turk’s playful references to art history and identity, Gav is also a homage to the celebrated Parisian cafés in Montparnasse where artists, including Picasso, often exchanged artworks when they were unable to settle their bills with cash.
For Gav, Turk has hung empty frames and blank canvases on the walls in a crowded salon style, providing a challenging invitation for artists to transform or replace the blank frames and canvases with their own artwork. In return artists will be offered drinks and a certificate to validate the transactions over the course of the seven-month project. The walls of the LibraryBar will slowly be populated with a growing array of intriguing framed art works from artists of all calibers, styles, abilities and ambitions. Turk will personally be monitoring each contribution to the bar and will only except art works that he feels worthy of inclusion or those which rise to the spirit of the exchange.
Since artistic and creative circles have always included impoverished writers and intellectuals, Gav will also accept books and pamphlets as currency for the bar exchange to create a library of ideas and unique resources
The artworks and books will be kept together as an evolving collection that could be shown in its entirety in a future venue. The community of artists and authors will be kept informed should this situation arie.
The available drinks on offer also include Gav Grappa, a locally produced grappa, whose hallucinogenic property rivals the Absinthe drunk by the Bohemian artists in the early 20th century.
The project relates to Turk’s ongoing dialogue with the meaning, value and authorship of works of art. Its participatory, interactive nature is reminiscent of his earlier work En face produced on occasion of Distortion for the 53rd Venice Biennale, where visitors were invited to manipulate and transform the wet clay busts of the artist.
Gav is supported by Ben Brown Fine Arts
Address: Calle del Forno, 2090/2093 Castello, 30122 Venice