The Venice Biennale has been compared to the Olympics – a global contest for artists where people are chasing medals. Increasingly it’s a place where younger experimental ‘pavilions’ are popping up on islands alongside the big, bold and beautiful. Projects like BYOB, Rafael Rozendaal’s one night projector event, and the POST Pavilion, the iPad’s magazine’s project created with cult curator Neville Wakefield and Russia’s favourite art girl Dasha Zhukova. The awesome list of artists involved included Ari Marcopoulos, Aleksandra Mir, Raymond Pettibon, Cyprien Gaillard, Christian Jankowski, Agathe Snow and many many more. Here video may have killed the 2D stars.
Dazed Digital: How did you get involved with POST and the project?
Neville Wakefield: The project started with the Garage and Dasha (Zhukova)'s interest in creating something that would reflect on the way visual language is created and received outside of the slow gestation / long attention formula of a Bienniale. We talked about Venice's strained relationship to advertising and the paradox that as a tourist town it can only advertise itself. That’s essentially how it was born.
DD: What was the concept behind your curation of 'Commerical Break'?
Neville Wakefield: The idea was simple: to ask artists to make or submit short films that addressed if not advertising itself then the attention span that it proposes. Nothing was longer than 90 seconds. Some, like Maurizio Cattelan's Toilet Paper spots actually proposed real product, others such as Francesco Vezzoli or Richard Phillips used the medium of celebrity (Eva Mendes, Lindsay Lohan, Sasha Grey) to publicize their own work as a strategy of cross-cultural promotion.
Some addressed the specifics of Venice and the art carnival while for others it was simply a platform on which they could present a short format version of their work. The important thing was that apart from working with the particular kind of attention normally associated with advertising or infomercials there was no agenda… One of the ways that we did this was to create a film randomizer - something like a shuffle - that prevented any two sequences or viewings from ever being the same. The idea was that it should be constantly evolving and mutating....
DD: What do you find interesting about the opportunities something like iPads provide to show and disseminate artwork?
Neville Wakefield: I think the iPad has become the visual equivalent of the book and that there's a revolution taking place within the digital world akin to the moment that Gutenberg's printing press allowed literature to detach itself from the single source. Because we now carry our visual content or baggage with us it asks that we relate to it in different ways and have different kinds of conversations with it. And of course with an iPad we are invited to finger it...
POST Pavilion is available to download for free from the iTunes app Store until November 24th, 2011