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Countdown to the opening of “Respiro” by Sarkis in The Pavilion Of Turkey at The 56th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale Di Venezia

Please click here for the website of the Pavilion of Turkey at the 56th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia.

Respiro, an installation by the influential conceptual artist Sarkis (b.1938, Caylak Sokak, Istanbul. Lives and works in Paris) will be on view in the Pavilion of Turkey at the 56th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia from 9 May through 22 November 2015. Curated by Defne Ayas (Director of Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art), the Pavilion of Turkey is organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), and is located at Sale d’Armi, Arsenale, in the main venue of the biennale. The inauguration of the Pavilion of Turkey will be held at 14.30 on Thursday, 7 May.

Of all the work that Sarkis has produced to date, Respiro, meaning “breath” in Italian, is personally the most challenging.

The installation consists of two site-specific neon rainbows and two large-scale mirrors with fingerprints applied in watercolour by seven children—named Abay, Anna, Aren, Helin, Karla, Claudia and Linda—together with several of his iconic sculptures and thirty-six stainedglass panes featuring the artist’s photographs and found images. Respiro is complemented by a musical composition by Jacopo Baboni-Schilingi based on the Sarkis’s rendering of the rainbow’s seven colours as a system of partitions.The music is played day and night, together with the neon works breathing in and out for the duration of the exhibition. Respiro took its first breath on 3 April and became fully alive on 23 April 2015.

Six ‘messengers’ of Respiro will be on view in four countries simultaneously

Six ‘messenger’ installations in addition to Sarkis’s Respiro in the Pavilion of Turkey will be on view in France, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Turkey simultaneously, on 7 May 2015. The installationswill create a continuous dialogue with the works in the Pavilion of Turkey in the following institutions:

Château d’Angers, Angers, France
Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire, Chaumont-sur-Loire, France
Hrant Dink Foundation, Istanbul, Turkey
Mamco, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Geneva, Switzerland
Musée du Château des ducs de Wurtemberg, Montbéliard, France
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Prelude to Respiro: Golden Icon

As a prelude to Respiro, Sarkis has gifted a site-specific work titled Altın Ikona (Golden Icon) to the exhibition hall of the newly opened venue of the Hrant Dink Foundation in Istanbul.Presented as a golden square, the work is created in the same scale as Sarkis’s new piece that will be on view in Venice. As with Respiro, this intimate gesture will be complemented by composer Jacopo Baboni-Schilingi’s music, which will be live on 7 May—the same day asthe opening in Venice. In addition, a new video work by Ali Kazma, titled Atelier (2015), will premiere at the Hrant Dink Foundation on 7 May. In this video, which is part of his Resistance series, Ali Kazma turns his camera to Sarkis’s studio in Paris—the current home of his artistic production,which spans over fifty years.

Please click here for the website of the Pavilion of Turkey at the 56th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia.