The Venice Questionnaire #2: Tavares Strachan

May 23, 2013 7:14PM

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. Tavares Strachan is representing The Bahamas. The pavilion is in the Arsenale.

What can you tell us about your plans for Venice?

The Venice project has been in the works for over three years. Now, in the thick of production, it’s clear that a number of individual works will create one, singular experience. I’m answering this question from a small cabin in Svalbard, just one day back from a journey to the North Pole. The trip is part of my subject matter for the exhibition. I’m very interested in concepts of distance, displacement, and invisibility – I’ll be using these ideas to break down conventional archetypes.

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

There’s not much that is normal about either Venice or the Biennale. For starters, it’s a city on the water. It floods regularly and seems precarious, but was the seat of a long republic. On top of that, the Biennale itself is based on a nineteenth century idea of nationalism. It’s a conflicted space. But in general, I am racking my brain even trying to think of what a 'normal' exhibition might be?

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Tavares in the North Pole walking with Flag, 2013. Courtesy of the artist.