Adrian Ghenie - Opernplatz



June 27, 2015, 4pm
▲ PUBLIC TALK: Philippe Van Cauteren and Mihai Pop
Introduced by Corina Șuteu, Curator of Public Events
Romanian Pavilion, Giardini della Biennale

Two of the curators of the 2015 Venice Biennale national pavilions, Philippe Van Cauteren and Mihai Pop, meet for a relaxed dialogue about Adrian Ghenie’s work and its retrospective at the S.M.A.K. Museum, about what it means to curate a pavilion at the Biennale Arte and the sinuous paths one should walk to find his way in today’s art world.

‘Ghenie’s dense and tactile paintings with their complex structure offer a contemporary vision of major political narratives and such fundamental, universal topics as the abuse of power, exploitation and oppression, and also of a personal, individual human struggle. His critique is never direct, however, but always takes a roundabout route. Ghenie obscures all his historical and political references by fusing them with personal memories, film references, clichés from the entertainment industry and elements from art history. This gives rise to a continuous metamorphosis between fact and construction, a grid of fragmented stories on collective and individual catastrophes. Ghenie depicts a journey through the darkest realms of human existence, where a glimmer of hope nevertheless persists.’
—Philippe Van Cauteren

Philippe Van Cauteren is artistic director of S.M.A.K. Museum for Contemporary Art in Ghent. He co-curated the Belgian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2013, and was invited to curate of the Iraqi Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2015.

June 28, 2015, 4pm
▲ PUBLIC TALK: Lóránd Hegyi and Adrian Ghenie

Moderated by Corina Șuteu, Curator of Public Events
Romanian Pavilion, Giardini della Biennale

Lóránd Hegyi and Adrian Ghenie meet for a spontaneous and exciting talk in which the critic and the artist draw on their perspectives to outline the subtle themes that pervade Ghenie’s painting. The public is invited to join them on a walk through Darwin’s Room, a metaphorical antechamber of recent history, with all its storms, dissonances and occasional revelations.

‘Adrian Ghenie’s painting is sensuous, immediate, lively, suggestive, and dynamic, despite being simultaneously very structured and balanced. The pictorial structure reflects academic compositional formulas and often points to specific structural methods used in the history painting of the nineteenth century. The pathetic gestures, the exaggerated emotionalism, the historicizing themes, and the didactic approach to history catered to the nostalgic, post-Romanticist, nationalistic ideology of Central European nations and attempted to bring stylistic elements and compositional solutions of the Renaissance and the Baroque up-to-date in order to narrate the myths and histories of the small nations as “grand narratives” of national identity, of specific national destiny.’ — Lóránd Hegyi

Lóránd Hegyi is one of the foremost European curators and art historians. He is currently the director of Le Musée d’art moderne de Saint-Etienne. He was co-curator of the Venice Biennale in 1993.
A series of public events and guided tours in the Romanian Pavilion will accompany the exhibition between May 9 and November 22, 2015. They will include artist talks, curator and special guests roundtables.


The Venice Biennale Sundays
, co-organised in partnership with Humanitas Publishing, will take place monthly in Bucharest, starting in autumn 2015.


Official Opening: 7 May 2015, 5pm
Media Briefing: 7 May 2015, 4pm
Professional Preview: 6-8 May 2015


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