General Information and Competition Call for the Cypriot Participation in the
52nd International Exhibition of Contemporary Art
(10 June – 21 Νοvember 2007)

Ι. Direction of the 52nd edition of the Venice Biennial

The Republic of Cyprus will be represented in the forthcoming Venice Biennial, an International Exhibition of Contemporary Art, opening to the public on 10 June 2007.

For the broader context of the 52nd Venice Biennial, the Director Robert Storr has spoken of the theme for the curated exhibitions at the Giardini and the Arsenale area:

“…Neither chronology nor geography provide simple grounds for discrimination, as they once seemed to do… Among the considerations raised by the work will be the fragility of culture in violent times. Another will be the role of art in the face of death…”

Details pertaining to the theme of the Cypriot pavilion will be announced in January.

II. Curator for the Cypriot Participation

The Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture will be collaborating again with an international Curator. The curatorial selection process has been completed in early October, following consultation with an independent Committee of Art Historians, Curators and Artists.

For the next edition of the Biennial, the Ministry has invited Denise Robinson as the Curator for the Cypriot participation:

Denise Robinson is a curator and writer based in London, coming from Australia to London on a fellowship from Museums Australia to Tate Britain in 1996. In England: Head of Artistic Program, Arnolfini, Bristol, curating exhibitions by Tracey Moffatt, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Peter Doig and Udomsak Krisanamis, coordinated an international conference on the voice in contemporary art; Visiting Tutor in Historical and cultural Studies, Goldsmiths College, London. She has also presented a range of film events and lectures throughout Europe.
In Australia she was director of George Paton Gallery, Melbourne where in the 1980’s she curated: ‘Selections’ with Barbara Kruger, Cindy Sherman, Juan Davila and Jenny Holzer; Eugenio Dittborn; ‘Meaning and Excellence’ at 1984 Edinburgh Festival; programmed the work of artists of the ‘Avanzada’, Chile, in ‘Margins and Institutions, Art in Chile Since 1973’.
She was Director of the Australian Center for Photography, commissioned the first national billboard project in Australia, collaborated on international project ‘Art is not Enough: Activism, HIV and AIDS’; programmed the filmed plays of Samuel Beckett and was Director of ‘Queer Screen’, international film festival, Sydney.
Included in the many lecture series she has programmed were Jean Baudrillard, Stan Douglas, Guyatri Chakravorti Spivak, General Idea, Barbara Kruger, Susan Hiller, Jake Chapman, Nelly Richard, Juan Davila, Joseph Grigely, Judith Barry. She coordinated an international public forum and film screening in 1995 featuring the films of Kenneth Anger, ‘Transgression and the Culture Industry’.
She has published widely as a critic and essayist in International art magazines journals, books and catalogues including Camera Austria, Contemporary, Artpress, Flash Art, Performance Research with contributions to books including ‘Contemporary Art and Anthropology’ and her essay on Pasolini in ‘Cinema and the Death Drive’.

Denise Robinson has visited Cyprus on project research previously and more recently to coordinate with the Ministry and the Committee on the initial details of the project and the Competition Call.

III. Assistant Curator

For the next Venice Biennial edition, Andre Zivanaris has been appointed as the Assistant Curator of the Cyprus pavilion:

Andre Zivanaris studied design at Central St. Martin’s College and completed an MA in Art Criticism at City University, London. She is a part-time lecturer on History of Art and Theory of Aesthetics at Intercollege, Nicosia. Currently she is involved as an editor for Undo, an art quarterly based in Cyprus.

The Assistant Curator will be working closely with the Curator and the Ministry from her Nicosia base and in Venice, on the coordination and execution of the biennial project.

This new post is intended to provide Cypriot art professionals with the opportunity and experience of working on significant international exhibitions.

ΙV. Competition Call for the selection of the Cypriot participation in the Biennial

The Competition is open to all Cypriot artists living in Cyprus and abroad. Those who wish to take part in the competition are called to make a submission containing the following:

  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. Samples of previous work
  3. Participation Proposal

In the event that the work is to be produced specifically for the 2007 Biennial, the proposal should include both a visual and a written description (although optional, an English translation of the texts would facilitate the viewing process).

The visual material may be submitted in the form of audio tapes, DVD’s sketches, photographs, slides, or digital archives (tiff, jpeg, mpeg, avi, wav or mp3, CD-Rom, DVD, compatible with most common environments).

Texts may be submitted in digital form (html, rtf, pdf or doc, disquette, CD-Rom, DVD, compatible with most common environments).

It is possible for artists to make use of different media and techniques (audio, film, painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video, etc). There are no limitations as to the form of the project being considered (trans-disciplinary projects i.e. involving film makers, writers etc. will also be considered).

Artists may submit proposals individually or on the basis of collective projects. More than one artist may be selected for representation.

The participation proposals should be submitted by Monday, 8 January 2007, 12:00 noon, to the following address:

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND CULTURE,
Cultural Services (central building, 2nd floor, Room 207)
Corner of Kimonas and Thoucidides Streets,
1434 Nicosia

The cover of the proposal envelope should include the indication “Venice Biennial 2007 – Visual Arts”, as well as the name(s) and contact details of the applicant(s).

The selected proposal(s) will be announced in the daily Press. Following the announcement, the non-selected proposals may be collected from the Cultural Services.

V. The Cyprus Pavilion in Venice

The Cyprus Pavilion in Venice for three consecutive editions of the Biennial (2005, 2007 and 2009) is Palazzo Malipiero, an historical, 11th century Veneto-Byzantine – style palace The venue is centrally located on the Canal Grande, next to the entrance of the Palazzo Grassi Museum on San-Samuele Square. For the 2007 edition, Cyprus is moving to a larger space of 240 sq. meters – located exactly above the floor of the 2005 pavilion – which will be adjusted according to the context and technical requirements of the selected artistic project(s). Other exhibition spaces in the same palace are reserved by the national pavilions of Estonia and Latvia, while neighbouring exhibition spaces are housing the pavilions of Luxembourg, Hong-Kong and Slovenia.

For more information, please contact:

Louli Michaelidou,
Ministry of Education and Culture,
Cultural Services
Tel: + 357 22 800979 / 22 800933
Fax: +357 22 518042

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND CULTURE CULTURAL SERVICES
1434 NICOSIA

30 October 2006