Mircea Cantor, No Title, 2004. Courtesy Rennie Collection. Photo © Blaine Campbell

Venice Biennale: Vita Vitale

The official Azerbaijan Pavilion for the 56th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia 2015

Vita Vitale (Vital Life) considers how human activity impacts upon the delicate balance of our planet’s ecosystem, and the repercussions for our future survival. Illuminating the ways in which we have transformed the planet, the exhibition explores the effects of plastic pollutants, mass consumerism, climate change, depleting resources, deteriorating landscapes, rising sea levels, and endangered species. While some of the exhibition’s artists and scientists directly address environmental concerns, others do so more laterally. However, they all challenge us to confront the potential dangers of ignoring the messages that Vita Vitale conveys, while simultaneously suggesting creative tools and ideas for change.

Exhibiting Artists: Edward Burtynsky, Mircea Cantor, Loris Cecchini, Gordon Cheung, Khalil Chishtee, Tony Cragg, Laura Ford, Noémie Goudal, Siobhán Hapaska, Paul Huxley, IDEA Laboratory and Leyla Aliyeva, Chris Jordan with Rebecca Clark and Helena S.Eitel, Tania Kovats, Aida Mahmudova, Sayyora Muin, Jacco Olivier, Julian Opie, Julian Perry, Mike Perry, Bas Princen, Stephanie Quayle, Ugo Rondinone, Graham Stevens, Diana Thater, Andy Warhol, Bill Woodrow, Erwin Wurm, Rose Wylie

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"I went out of my way early on to see the show, found it absolutely sensational and probably one of the best shows that I saw at Venice this year. The Ugo Rondinone tree looked fantastic outside on the waterfront with that theme continued inside with the Siobhan Hapaska's trees in the main hall. Other memorable works were, Tony Cragg, Julian Perry and Leyla Aliyev's immersive installation. I can't wait to see the next exhibition!-Frank Cohen, Collector

"Vita Vitale added to my experience of viewing the 56th Venice Biennale.  I encountered many exciting surprises, some aesthetical and others emotional, some even old favourite works of mine such a Siobhan Hapaska’s or Mircea Cantor’s. I left the show satisfied, with a slight anxious feeling mixed with hope and a thrill that science is firmly anchored in fine arts reminding me that my that my fear that thematic shows are always contrived is my prejudice." -Candida Gertler, Founder and Director of Outset

"Vita Vitale in Venice was wonderful, not only because of art work selected, but also for the way it capitalised on its setting. The installation inside Ca’ Garzoni was sensitive and smart, especially given its location. Water, water everywhere was perfect for an exhibition with such an ecological proposition and, in particular, Rondinone’s dead tree – so human, so appealing! - seen against the backdrop of the Grand Canal made a huge impression." -Jonathan Watkins, Director of Ikon Gallery, Birmingham

"I absolutely loved the Vita Vitale exhibition, for me it was one of the highlights of the Venice Biennale. It was totally informative and educational and was the jewel in the crown of the biennale." -Anita Zabludowicz, Collector and co-founder of the Zabludowicz Collection

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Commissioner: Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Baku, Azerbaijan

Created by: IDEA Campaign, supported by SOS – Save Our Species

Curators: Artwise - Susie Allen, Laura Culpan, Dea Vanagan

Exhibition consultant: Emin Mammadov, Art Advisor of the Heydar Aliyev Centre

Italian Coordinator of both Azerbaijan exhibitions: PDG Arte Communications, Carlotta Scarpa

IDEA Laboratory: Rachel Armstrong, ecoLogicStudio, Julian Melchiorri, Mike Perry, Studio Swine

Scientific curator: Professor of Experimental Architecture, Newcastle University and 2010 Senior TED Fellow, Rachel Armstrong

Technical and logistical consultant & coordination: PARTNER Culture+Projects GmbH, Horst Campman

AV technical direction: KS Objectiv, Simeon Corless

Press: ARTPRESS – Barbara Green & Wayra Schübel; STUDIO ESSECI – Roberta Barbaro 

 

Venue: Ca’Garzoni, Calle del Tragheto o Garzoni, San Marco 3416, 30124 Venezia

9 May – 22 November 2015

 

Radio interview with Martha Willette Lewis' Live Culture show for WPKN Radio. Live Culture discusses contemporary art with monthly teams and guests aired on the last Saturday of every month.

Video interview of Mircea Cantor with Achille Bonito Oliva recorded in front of his installation 'Rosace' in Vita Vitale, Venice.

Interview with IDEA Laboratory Curator Rachel Armstrong

See also

Venice Biennale: Vita Vitale images

  • Installation view: Paul Huxley, Where do we come from?, Where are we going?, 2015, wall drawing. Courtesy the artist. Photo by Ugo Carmeni

    Installation view: Paul Huxley, Where do we come from?, Where are we going?, 2015, wall drawing. Courtesy the artist. Photo by Ugo Carmeni

  • Ugo Rondinone, Silence 2013, cast aluminium, white enamel, 550 x 480 x 460 cm. Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ , London

    Ugo Rondinone, Silence 2013, cast aluminium, white enamel, 550 x 480 x 460 cm. Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ , London

  • Palazzo Ca'Garzoni

    Palazzo Ca'Garzoni

  • Installation view: Edward Burtynsky and Loris Cecchini. Courtesy Flowers Gallery / the artist and Galleria Continua San Gimignano/Beijing/Les Moulins. Photo by Ugo Carmeni

    Installation view: Edward Burtynsky and Loris Cecchini. Courtesy Flowers Gallery / the artist and Galleria Continua San Gimignano/Beijing/Les Moulins. Photo by Ugo Carmeni

  • Installation view: IDEA Laboratory, curated by Rachel Armstrong (pictured: plastiglomerate experiment and ecoLogicStudio)

    Installation view: IDEA Laboratory, curated by Rachel Armstrong (pictured: plastiglomerate experiment and ecoLogicStudio)

  • Installation view: Mircea Cantor, Rosace, 2007. Courtesy Rennie Collection. Photo by Ugo Carmeni

    Installation view: Mircea Cantor, Rosace, 2007. Courtesy Rennie Collection. Photo by Ugo Carmeni

  • Rose Wylie, Red Cardinals Are Protected, But..., (detail) 2015, Oil on canvas 365 x 328 cm. Courtesy of the artist, CHOI&LAGER Gallery, Cologne and UNION Gallery, London. Photo © Soonhak Kwon

    Rose Wylie, Red Cardinals Are Protected, But..., (detail) 2015, Oil on canvas 365 x 328 cm. Courtesy of the artist, CHOI&LAGER Gallery, Cologne and UNION Gallery, London. Photo © Soonhak Kwon

  • Installation view: Stephanie Quayle, Jenga, 2015. Courtesy the artist and TJ Boulting. Photo by Ugo Carmeni

    Installation view: Stephanie Quayle, Jenga, 2015. Courtesy the artist and TJ Boulting. Photo by Ugo Carmeni

  • Installation view: Siobhán Hapaska, A Great Miracle Needs to Happen There, 2011 Olive trees ‘Olea europaea’, lead free solder, brass, steel, cast iron 9 elements. Courtesy Hidde van Seggelen, London; Kerlin Gallery, Dublin; Tanya Bonakdar; Andrehn Schiptjenko. Photo by Ugo Carmeni

    Installation view: Siobhán Hapaska, A Great Miracle Needs to Happen There, 2011 Olive trees ‘Olea europaea’, lead free solder, brass, steel, cast iron 9 elements. Courtesy Hidde van Seggelen, London; Kerlin Gallery, Dublin; Tanya Bonakdar; Andrehn Schiptjenko. Photo by Ugo Carmeni

  • Loris Cecchini, Waterbones, 2014. Installation view Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan Steel modules. Courtesy the artist and Galleria Continua San Gimignano/Beijing/Les Moulins Photo © Ugo La Pietra

    Loris Cecchini, Waterbones, 2014. Installation view Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan Steel modules. Courtesy the artist and Galleria Continua San Gimignano/Beijing/Les Moulins Photo © Ugo La Pietra

  • Diana Thater, Untitled (Butterfly Videowall 2), 2008 © Diana Thater. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by Mike Bruce

    Diana Thater, Untitled (Butterfly Videowall 2), 2008 © Diana Thater. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by Mike Bruce

  • Vita Vitale exhibition catalogue

    Vita Vitale exhibition catalogue

  • Mike Perry, Môr Plastig, Flip Flops & Shoes x 14, 2015. Digital prints on Hahnemühle photo rag paper, 14 Photographs 52 x 46 cm, each. Courtesy the artist and the Photographers’ Gallery

    Mike Perry, Môr Plastig, Flip Flops & Shoes x 14, 2015. Digital prints on Hahnemühle photo rag paper, 14 Photographs 52 x 46 cm, each. Courtesy the artist and the Photographers’ Gallery

  • Graham Stevens, Desert Cloud, 1974. Video installation still from filming in Arabian Desert 16mm colour film in DVD. An Airworks production for the Arts Council of Great Britain (1976). Courtesy of the artist and Centre Georges Pompidou

    Graham Stevens, Desert Cloud, 1974. Video installation still from filming in Arabian Desert 16mm colour film in DVD. An Airworks production for the Arts Council of Great Britain (1976). Courtesy of the artist and Centre Georges Pompidou

  • Zanzara Island render © Rachel Armstrong

    Zanzara Island render © Rachel Armstrong

  • Tania Kovats, Reef 1, (foreground); Reef 2, (background) 2014, Barnacles, gesso 245 x 120 x 45cm; 190 x 70 x 37cm Courtesy Pippy Houldsworth Gallery and The Fruitmarket Gallery © Tania Kovats and Ruth Clark

    Tania Kovats, Reef 1, (foreground); Reef 2, (background) 2014, Barnacles, gesso 245 x 120 x 45cm; 190 x 70 x 37cm Courtesy Pippy Houldsworth Gallery and The Fruitmarket Gallery © Tania Kovats and Ruth Clark

  • Bas Princen, Mokattam Ridge (Garbage Recycling City), Cairo, 2009. Framed C-print 153 x 190cm. Courtesy the artist

    Bas Princen, Mokattam Ridge (Garbage Recycling City), Cairo, 2009. Framed C-print 153 x 190cm. Courtesy the artist