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New Giudecca Art District launched in Venice with flagship exhibition ‘Body as Home’

South African artist Kendell Geers will be launching Venice’s first permanent contemporary art zone, the Giudecca Art District, together with Yoko Ono and the British feminist art collective October! Collective, whose film Body as Home will be the first installation at the opening of the district in May 2019.

Coinciding with the opening of 58th Venice Biennale, on 9th May 2019 the Venetian island of Giudecca will see the official launch of the Giudecca Art District (GAD), founded by General Director Pier Paolo Scelsi and Artistic Director Valentina Gioia Levy.

Aerial view of Venice, ItalyAerial view of Venice, Italy

The newly established Giudecca Art District will be home to a permanent curatorial programme, linking new and existing spaces on the Giudecca Island, with a remit to promote emerging and established artists, and working with international curators and art institutions. Made up of a network of art professionals, GAD will provide a platform for contemporary art research and discussion through an extensive talks programme featuring some of the most influential figureheads in contemporary art internationally.

During the 58th Venice Biennale, the Giudecca Art District will host independent projects, exhibitions and cultural events under the umbrella of the 2019 curatorial programme titled Take Care of Your Garden. Cultivating a New HumanismTake Care of Your Garden will run from May until December, featuring a series of curatorial projects, performances, talks, video projections, and outdoor installations, in collaboration with galleries, institutions, foundations and cultural centres worldwide. The title of Take Care of Your Garden is inspired by one of the most famous quotes from Voltaire’s Candide and focuses on what it means to be human in today’s hyper-globalised world.

Among the works on display Body as Home by artist Aleksandra Karpowicz with the London based October! Collective will be the flagship installation of the Giudecca Art District, situated in Project Space 1. Curated by Miguel Mallol, Body as Home is a three-channel film presented in a triptych that documents a journey of self-discovery, identity, migration and a search for the meaning of home. Filmed in 4 different cities; Cape Town, London, New York and Warsaw, Body as Home captures 3 protagonists in each city – a local, a visitor and the filmmaker herself in order to explore the concept of home in regard to geographical location, one’s placement within society, and personal identity. The film explores how notions of physical selfhood and our sense of home overlap. Body as Home looks to address the relationship between human physicality, sexuality and identity and urge viewers to accept and feel at home in their own bodies.

For the official launch of the Giudecca Art District on Thursday 9th May, there will be a series of performances, including Body as Home by the October! Collective. The launch event will be followed by two days of talks, performances, and video screenings, investigating themes such as body and identity; globalisation and humanitarian issues; the intersection of art, science and technology.

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