act at the 2015 venice biennale

Joan Jonas, production still from her exhibition at the U.S. Pavilion, Venice Biennale, 2015. Curated by Paul C. Ha and Ute Meta Bauer.
ACT at MIT

ACT proudly announces the participation of ACT Professor Emerita, Joan Jonas; ACT(VAP) Alumna, Jennifer Allora and ACT(CAVS) Fellow, Aldo Tambellini in the 56th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, 9 May – 22 November 2015.

ACT Prof Emerita, Joan Jonas represents the United States at La Biennale di Venezia 56th International Art Exhibition. Located at the U.S. Pavilion, Jonas’ exhibition, They Come to US Without a Word, is curated by Paul Ha, Director of MIT’s List Visual Art Center and Commissioner of the project and Ute Meta Bauer, Director of NTU CCA Singapore, formerly Founding Director of ACT.

Jonas, a pioneering figure in performance art and video, has created a new multimedia installation that will transform the entirety of the Pavilion’s five galleries into a dynamically immersive environment. For the five galleries of the U.S. Pavilion, Joan Jonas conceives a new complex of works, creating a multi-layered ambience, incorporating video, drawings, objects, and sound. For more information on Joan Jonas’ participation in the 2015 Venice Biennale, visit joanjonasvenice2015.

In the Arsenale, as part of the main exhibition, “All the World’s Futures,” curated by Okwui Enwezor, Jennifer Allora (ACT Alumna) and Guillermo Calzadilla, will exhibit a new project, In the Midst of Things, in which a choral group will perform an arrangement of Joseph Haydn’s oratorio The Creation. Composed between 1796 and 1798, The Creation depicts and celebrates the creation of the world and the origins of humankind. The libretto is based on accounts in the book of Genesis and John Milton’s Paradise Lost (1667). This new performance will explore the tradition of in medias res along with other story-telling methods, such as reverse chronology, flashback, and flash-forward, by adopting these nonlinear techniques as structuring devices for the musical arrangement. It will literally intervene into the musical order of the original score, playing some sections forward, then backward, and jumping over other sections. These reversals, inversions, and interruptions of musical sequence and the accompanying back-masking and phonetic reversal of sung words will be further emphasized through a parallel stage direction.

CAVS Fellow, Aldo Tambellini will be featured in the Italian pavilion, ‘Codice Italia,’ curated by Vincenzo Trione. A pioneer in electromedia, Tambellini will be featured alongside fifteen other artists, whose work relates to three key themes of the Italian exhibition genetic code, style and memory.

For Tambellini’s section of the Pavilion, he worked together with curators, Pia Bolognesi and Giulio Bursi to develop an immersive environment, composed of archival materials. Through slides (lumagrams), film and sound– references to Tambellini’s earlier works– the exhibition plays with the psychological and physiological effects of immersive environments on the senses.

MIT ACT faculty have a tradition of participation in the Venice Biennale- Antoni Muntadas: On Translation in the Spanish Pavilion (2005); Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas: Villa Lituania, Lithuania- Biennale Award, Honorable Mention to a Pavilion (2007); and Krzysztof Wodiczko: Guests in the Polish Pavilion (2009). ACT Alumni also have a profile in Venice, with Jennifer Allora representing the United States with, Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla: Gloria, (2011) and Alia Farid as curator of the Kuwait Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Biennale (2014).

For more information on the Venice Biennale visit their website.