Venezia Biennale 2019

Venice Art Biennale 2019

The 58th International Art Exhibition, titled May You Live In Interesting Times, took place from 11th May to 24th November 2019. The Exhibition included 90 National Participations in the historical Pavilions at the Giardini, at the Arsenale and in the historic city centre of Venice. Four countries - participated for the first time at the Biennale Arte: Ghana, Madagascar, Malaysia and Pakistan. ArtAV provided equipment and installation services for two exhibitions at the Ghana Pavillion and one exhibition at the India Pavillion. We also provided equipment for the installation of Turner Prize winner, Charlotte Prodger’s SaF05 at the Scotland Pavillion.

John Akomfrah - Four Nocturnes - Ghana Pavillion

John Akomfrah's new three-screen video installation Four Nocturnes debuted at this years Venice Biennale and forms the third part of a trilogy of films including Vertigo Sea (2015) and Purple (2017) that explore the complex intertwined relationship between humanity’s destruction of the natural world and our destruction of ourselves. The film questions mortality, loss, fragmented identity, mythology, and memory through poetic visuals that survey the landscape of African cultural heritage.

As with all of John’s exhibitions ArtAV provided it’s bespoke playback rack featuring ArtAV’s custom Hypersync that played the three screens back in perfect synchronization on Blackmagic Hyperdeck Studio 2 players. ArtAV also installed 3 Christie DHD600 projectors and an 8.1 Fohhn speaker system with custom brackets. Using a Crown CT8150 Amplifier to power the speakers combined with the smaller space the equipment forced the audience to engage fully with the stunning new work.

Selasi Awusi Sosu - Ghana Pavillion

Sosu traces the construction, investment in, and ultimate abandonment of glass factories after Ghana’s independence. A sculptural film the installation includes 3 floating screens and many of the glass bottles gathered from the glass factories. 

ArtAV installed 3 Optoma ZH510 laser projectors and the synchronized films played back from a bespoke Brightsign playback rack that included Lab Gruppen amplifiers and DBX EQ’s for the Vue 2x4.5i speakers, providing the sound of the bustling streets and erie empty glass factories. 

By using the 5000 lumen Optoma laser projectors we were able to have an incredibly vibrant and bright image that reflected the works vivid cinematography of Selasi’s hometown. It also allowed maintenance to be as minimal as possible in the unique setting of Venice, a short vacuum and air blow every so often was all the maintenance that was required for these sturdy units to work flawlessly throughout the duration of the Biennale.


Jitish Kallat - Covering Letter - Indian Pavilion

Kallat’s installation Covering Letter revisits a letter from Gandhi to Adolf Hitler in 1939 projected on to a traversable curtain of dry fog. Stepping into a large dark space the only light comes from the fog screen beckoning you closer with intrigue as the letter disperses on the fog towards the floor. The audience could either take in the letter in the main space or walk through it to exit the installation.

For the installation, we used our Fogscreen eMotion  machine to create the 2.5m meter falling fog screen in the archway of the exhibition space. A Barco PGWU-62L-K 6000 lumen laser projector provided a low maintenance solution for the video projection. The unique environment Venice provides as well as the high volume of people that go to the Biennale mean low maintenance solutions and dust proof equipment is used as much as possible to prevent minimum downtime. Thanks to regular cleaning of the filters the Fog machine only needed one day of downtime during the 6 month exhibition for a thorough clean. As the machine needs a constant water supply to operate and the install space did not have the required utilities an alternative source was required. Using a 400 litre tank and a bespoke double micro filtration system designed and implemented by ArtAV technicians the onsite technician only needed to fill the tank once a week.

Overall the exhibition was widely praised and proved a popular and unique attraction with visitors to the Biennale.

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