SOMETHING OUT OF IT. Paragraph 1: Adoration.
LIAF – Lofoten International Art Festival preview in Venice
Film installation by Pauline Curnier Jardin
Curated by Francesco Urbano Ragazzi
19 April 2022 – permanent installation
Casa di Reclusione Femminile della Giudecca (Giudecca Women’s Detention House)
Sestiere Giudecca, 712, 30133 Venezia VE
Produced by LIAF – Lofoten International Art Festival
in collaboration with Centraal Museum Utrecht, Rio Terà dei Pensieri, Zuecca Projects, Casablanca Studio, DROMe, Ellen de Bruijne Projects, ChertLüdde
On April 19, 2022 LIAF, Lofoten International Art Festival, unveils a permanent communal installation by artist Pauline Curnier Jardin (Marseille, France 1980) made in collaboration with the inmates of the Casa di Reclusione Femminile della Giudecca, an Italian women’s prison located in the XVI-century monastery of the Convertite where around 60 inmates now live. This project is curated by Francesco Urbano Ragazzi.
A recent winner of the Preis der Nationalgalerie, Curnier Jardin reworks the parlour room that connects the facility to the outside world, transforming it into a ritual space of encounter and celebration.
Reversing institutional hierarchies, the inmates have briefed and commissioned Curnier Jardin. Together, through a series of collaborative workshops, photoshoots and drawing sessions with the Rio Terà dei Pensieri social cooperative, the Venice-based artist collective Casablanca studio and the Milan-based fashion brand DROMe, Curnier Jardin and the group of female inmates have reshaped the parlour of the penitentiary, using projections, furniture, and wall paintings.
Adoration, a new film by the artist —developed through collective script writing and the animation of the inmates’ drawings and self-portrait pictures— is premiered on the big screen of the permanent installation. The movie will then travel to Centraal Museum Utrecht, which coproduced the piece, and LIAF2022, which will open in Kabelvåg on September 3rd, 2022.
The redecoration of the room is inspired by Black Narcissus, a 1947 British psychological drama revolving around the growing tensions and desires within a small convent of Anglican nuns who are trying to establish a school in the old palace of an Indian Raja at the top of an isolated mountain in the Himalayas. Curnier Jardin’s project thus reveals a hidden history related to the Venetian monastery of the Convertite. Recent research shows that the parlour of the religious institution was used as a theatrical stage by the nuns who occasionally performed in front of their family members and Venetian authorities. Such carnival-like performances allowed the nuns to wear profane clothes and to suspend the social rules that forced them into a monastic life.
By overturning both the spectacular and exclusive logic of large-scale art events, and above all the isolation that has afflicted life in prisons during the pandemic, the work is intended for the privileged use of the inhabitants of the detention community. The technical equipment, the objects and the signs that constitute it has been donated to the institution, so that the parlour can be used, on a permanent basis, as a hybrid space of reception.
About Lofoten International Art Festival:
LIAF is a biennial festival for contemporary art – the longest running event of its kind in Scandinavia – taking place in Lofoten, a cluster of islands located on the Northern Coast of Norway, just above the Arctic Circle. Since 1991, LIAF has presented works by international artists in a local and site-specific context. LIAF acknowledges the complexity of place and seeks to be a discursive, engaged and social platform for different positions creating dialogue between the local and global. Since 2009, the festival has been run by the North Norwegian Art Center (NNKS) and LIAF’s Artistic Advisory Board. LIAF and NNKS receive operational support from the Arts Council Norway, the counties of Finnmark, Troms and Nordland, and the municipality of Vågan. About the Lofoten Islands Lofoten is an archipelago and a traditional district in the county of Nordland, Norway. Though lying within the Arctic Circle, the archipelago experiences one of the world’s largest elevated temperature anomalies relative to its high latitude. Lofoten is known for its distinctive scenery with mountains and peaks, open sea and sheltered bays, beaches and untouched lands.
About the Curators:
Francesco Urbano Ragazzi is an Italian curatorial duo founded in Paris in 2008. The team developed The Internet Saga, a research platform and cycle of exhibitions that started with a homonymous solo show by Jonas Mekas (2015), and culminated with the exhibition Hillary: The Hillary Clinton Emails by Kenneth Goldsmith (2019), both presented in unconventional contexts on the occasion of the Venice Biennale. Francesco Urbano Ragazzi has also curated projects and exhibitions for MMCA (Seoul), Iscp (New York), Centro Ricerca Castello di Rivoli (Turin), Centre d’Art Contemporain (Gèneve), La Loge (Brussels), La Casa Encendida (Madrid), Institut Français (Paris), Futura (Prague), Ruya Foundation (Baghdad), Emirates Foundation (Abu Dhabi), among others. Since 2017, the team is directing the archive of feminist artist Chiara Fumai; in this capacity they curated the first monograph of her work. In 2021 the duo co-edited FUORI 1971-1974, an anthology dedicated to the first gay liberation movement in Italy.
About the Artist:
Pauline Curnier Jardin (b. 1980, Marseille, France) is a Berlin-Rome based artist working across installation, performance, film, and drawing. She is the winner of the 2019 German Preis der Nationalgalerie, the 2021 Villa Romana Prize in Firenze, and recipient of the 2019-2020 Villa Medici fellowship in Rome. Her work was either included or commissioned over the last years in: Steirischer Herbst Festival, Graz; Manifesta 13, Marseille; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; the Bergen Assembly, Bergen Biennial; International Film Festival, Rotterdam; the 57th Venice Biennale; Tate Modern, London; and Performa 15, New York.