The Holy See participates this year for the first time at la Biennale di Venezia with a Pavilion inspired by the biblical narratives in the Book of Genesis. In Principio (In the Beginning) is the title chosen by the commissioner, Card. Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, who has promoted and designed this absolute novelty in line with the Dicastery’s mission of promoting dialogue with contemporary culture.
The first eleven chapters of Genesis have been the incipit for an in-depth and articulated phase of reflection coordinated by the curator of the Pavilion, Prof. Antonio Paolucci, Director of the Vatican Museums. From here they proceeded to identify three nuclei, entrusted to the three artists who have constructed different routes that communicate between each other. As an opening, though, of the Pavilion we show a sort of “trilogy” of the works of Tano Festa, a Roman artist who long worked on Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: the figure of Adam from the scene of Creation on the vault, the figure of the devil-serpent in the scene of the Original Sin, and the face of Adam, a sort of sign inviting the visitor to view the new works.
The Creation has been given to Studio Azzurro. By a thoughtful use of new media, the famous Milanese group has risen to the challenge with an interactive installation that sees the human person at the centre and stimulates the observer into mental and physical-sensorial movement within the surrounding space and individual and collective memory.
For Uncreation we have chosen the Czech photographer Josef Koudelka: the power of his panoramic black and white photographs tells of the opposition of man to the world and to moral and natural laws, and material destruction deriving from the loss of ethical meaning.
The hope present in the Re-Creation is expressed through the art of Lawrence Carroll: his ability to give new life to materials, turning them through processes of rethought and regeneration, opening up new possibilities of coexistence between apparently opposing dimensions, such as fragility and monumentality.
55th International Venice Biennale Website