The National Pavilion of Namibia “A Bridge to the Desert” will make its debut at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia with the Land Art project “The Lone Stone Men of the Desert” by RENN
RENN, “Heading for 1 – big gathering” Number 27, desert stone and steel rod, h.150cm.
The project consists of a series of sculptures made of desert stones and iron rods representing human shapes. Each sculpture is identified by a medallion with an inscription of a number and a phrase alluding to a hypothetical encounter these sculptures seem to be stretching out to.
The sculptures appeared a few years ago in the oldest desert of the world, in the Kunene region of Namibia. The author – or authors – have remained anonymous to this day, however, the Curator has identified the “person” responsible for the artworks to gather her wishes and philosophy and be able to curate the exhibition.
The central theme of the artworks is the relationship between human cultures and nature, with the latter represented by the desert itself. The sculptures represent human cultures struggling to find an encounter and aiming to collectively find the place of humankind in nature. The work makes sense as a collective performance of the different sculptures and their site is an integral and fundamental part of the artwork itself, which becomes a unique land art project as a whole, in force of the very choice of placing the sculptures in one of the most remote, uncontaminated and unforgiving corners of the world.
The setting chosen is such that only two types of observers can meet the artworks: the Himba tribes (who are one of the few tribes still living in a pre-technological state), and the few lucky and courageous travellers who venture out to explore the desert (who mostly belong to social groups opposed to the Himba, with highly technological and urbanised lifestyles).
The curator will aim to respect the fundamental elements of the original work and he will convey these through a documentary photography exhibition and immersive installations.
The exhibition is curated by Marco Furio Ferrario. For more information, please visit Namibian Pavilion.