11.03.2022 #architecture #biennale

Tina Gillen will rep­re­sent the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

“Shelter”, 2018, Acrylic on paper 20.7 x 29.5 cm © Photo Tina Gillen and Paul Caeser

Tina Gillen will rep­re­sent the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia with Faraway So Close. The exhi­bi­tion, for which the artist is pro­duc­ing a new series of large-scale works, will take the form of an expan­sive painter­ly instal­la­tion in the Luxembourg Pavilion, locat­ed with­in the his­toric premis­es of the Sale d’Armi in Venice’s Arsenale. In Faraway So Close, Gillen directs her atten­tion to the con­nec­tions between the inte­ri­or space and the out­side world.

Concerned pri­mar­i­ly with the medi­um of paint­ing, the work of Tina Gillen exam­ines how we relate to the world around us, name­ly through the themes of land­scape and dwelling. Her paint­ings often orig­i­nate in pho­to­graph­ic images that she mod­i­fies, sim­pli­fies, pic­to­ri­al­ly ​trans­lates’, and pairs with oth­er ele­ments to arrive at com­po­si­tions that pur­pose­ful­ly nur­ture a cer­tain ambi­gu­i­ty, some­where between abstrac­tion and fig­u­ra­tion, con­struc­tion and impro­vi­sa­tion, the sur­face of the can­vas and the trans­la­tion of a space.

Faraway So Close is an ambi­tious paint­ing instal­la­tion made espe­cial­ly for the Luxembourg Pavilion. Conceived in response to the his­to­ry of the space as a mil­i­tary stor­age, it brings togeth­er large-scale paint­ings in a sceno­graph­ic treat­ment inspired by paint­ed film back­drops, ​as if the paint­ings were only there tem­porar­i­ly, wait­ing to be moved again, rearranged.’

The exhi­bi­tion is an exten­sion of Gillen’s recent pic­to­r­i­al research on the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of nat­ur­al phe­nom­e­na that elude our con­trol such as mete­o­ro­log­i­cal events, ris­ing sea lev­els and vol­canic activ­i­ty. Collectively, the paint­ings evoke the four ele­ments that were his­tor­i­cal­ly asso­ci­at­ed with the con­sti­tu­tion of the uni­verse – earth, water, fire and air –, as well as the ​uncer­tain land­scapes’ (Marielle Macé) marked by cli­mate and envi­ron­men­tal changes brought by human activities.

At the heart of the instal­la­tion is a sculp­tur­al com­po­nent titled Rifugio (2022), whose shape was inspired by a sea­side bun­ga­low the artist dis­cov­ered on the Côte d’Opale in north­ern France and paint­ed in a pre­vi­ous work on paper. When trans­posed to the exhi­bi­tion space and placed in rela­tion with the paint­ings, this form becomes a pol­y­semic space to the artist, act­ing both as a place for with­draw­al and a gate­way into the world, as a shel­ter and as a space beset by an abun­dance of infor­ma­tion. Faraway So Close speaks to the com­plex­i­ty of the rela­tion­ships that exist between inte­ri­or spaces and the out­side world, between prox­im­i­ty and distance.

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From 23.04 to 27.11.2022
Arsenale, Sale d’Armi, Venice (Italy)

Commissioner: ministry of Culture, Luxembourg
Organiser: Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean
With the support of: Let’s make it happen &  Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg
Curator: Christophe Gallois, assisted by Ilaria Fagone
Exhibition Design: Tina Gillen in collaboration with Polaris Architects