The Venice Questionnaire #13: Berlinde De Bruyckere

May 24, 2013 5:40PM

ArtReview sent a questionnaire to a selection of the artists exhibiting in various national pavilions of the Venice Biennale, the responses to which will be published over the coming days. Berlinde De Bruyckere is representing Belgium. The pavilion is located in the Giardini.

What can you tell us about your plans for Venice?

As a starting point, I went the Belgian pavilion to absorb the space and to experience the boundaries of its architecture. After several visits, I felt the need to make a new work. Something different. And now that we've reached the final stage and the work has been completed, it seems to unite so many aspects of my previous works. All the themes that have inspired me in the past, the materials I usually work with, everything is there, yet in a completely different way.

Are you approaching the show in a different way to how you would with a 'normal' exhibition?

To me it feels like I've been 'commissioned' to create a work for the pavilion; therefore the space has become a very important aspect of the work. The link to the city is equally important; the city of Venice and its history are very much present. And then of course there is the text [commissioned for the exhibition] by J.M. Coetzee, which inspired me greatly and that I have tried to translate into my work.

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Berlinde De Bruyckere, Kreupelhout – Cripplewood, 2013. Photo: Mirjam Devriendt. Courtesy the artist, Hauser & Wirth and Galleria Continua.