First Participation of Andorra in the Venice Biennale

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The Andorran Government, through the Ministry of Culture, is taking part in the 54. International Art Exhibition for the first time, and is doing so with works by two Andorran artists who share a common denominator: “analysing aspects to do with the boundaries of perception”.

First official participation of Andorra
54. International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia

Title of the exhibition: Beyond Vision
Exhibitors: Helena Guàrdia Ribó, Francisco Sánchez Sánchez
Commissioners: Pedro de Sancristóval y Múrua
Deputy commissioners: Joan Gil Gregório, Ermengol Puig Tàpies, Francesc Rodríguez Rossa
Curators: Paolo De Grandis, Josep M. Ubach Bernada
Coordinator in Venice: Carlotta Scarpa, Arte Communications
Coordinator in Andorra: Montse Coma Areny
Venue: Chiesa di San Samuele, Campo San Samuele, Venice (San Samuele boat station / line n. 2)

The artist Helena Guàrdia, using photographs worked with techniques taken from the artisanal world, questions the attitudes of passive spectators.
Francisco Sánchez, with his paintings, emphasises the great dislocation existing between technology and people. The biggest gap there has ever been.
Under the general title, “ILLUMInations”, proposed by Bice Curiger, director of this edition, for the purpose of creating convergence between the many contributions, the Andorran artists give this word of many meanings the poetic idea of: “creating new life or new meanings”.
There is evidence that technique and modernity, with their codifications, have been introducing and imposing visual habits which are typified by their immediate impact, rapidity in time and the slight requirement for reflection. At the same time, there are proposals which, in being outside the subtle limits of visual perception, intend, and achieve, a slowing-down in the observation of a work. With this method, or with others similar, they soothe the rapid glance, help to overcome the monotony of accepted reality, make the reflective power of the mind flourish, encourage the culture of research and invite the reconstruction of visual icons in order to extract new meanings from them. The culminating and most intense moment in the artist–viewer binomial comes when the second, seeking sense in what the work of the first suggests, enjoys discovering new meanings and trying out his or her own approach. The artistic capacity of the viewer is measured by the challenge of taking on a sincere and creative dialogue with the work.
The two Andorran artists contributing to the 54. International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia are supporters of these notions.
With “La ciutat flotant” (The floating city) artist Helena Guàrdia ruthlessly shakes up original images – which portray reality – dissolves their classical message, knocks down their well recognised iconography and, instead, proposes open narratives which, on the one hand, evidence the limitations of mechanisms of visual perception and, on the other, make possible a new vision and a new understanding of known spaces.
In “L’efímer i l’etern” (The ephemeral and the eternal), a triptych which also works as an installation, Francisco Sánchez seeks to reflect, captivated by the quantic field, a microcosm which encapsulates the whole universe. A preoccupation which leads him to raise concepts more proper to science than to art. For the artist, the world is formed by contained information, by energy which vibrates at different frequencies. Observation is what converts possibility into reality.

Pedro de Sancristóval y Múrua

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