Macel is no stranger to the opportunities and challenges that organizing one of the world’s most important exhibitions will afford her. Her first foray in Venice came in 2007 at the Belgian Pavilion. With artist Eric Duyckaerts she installed Hall of Mirrors and Discovery (2007), a labyrinthine tangle of glass, mirrors, and screens that disoriented its viewers.
Six years later, she returned for a second round—this time for her native France at the Biennale’s 55th edition. Macel, together with German curator Susanne Gaensheimer, coordinated an unprecedented swap of their spaces—Germany showing in the French pavilion and France in the German pavilion—on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the historic Élysée Treaty. To confuse nationalities further, France, in the German Pavilion, showed work by the Albanian video artist
, Ravel Ravel Unravel
The pavilion built on a collaboration between Macel and Sala at the Centre Pompidou the previous summer. And Sala’s film has become one of the most widely remembered artworks from the 55th Biennale. The piece, showing two pianists’ hands playing simultaneous interpretations of Maurice Ravel’s “Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D-major,” will make its United States debut
at the New Museum
In one section of Ravel Ravel Unravel, a DJ attempts to modulate and harmonize the two pianists as they come in and out of sync. And a much similar challenge awaits Macel in curating the Biennial: using her sensitivities to the “new energies coming from various parts of the world,” as Baratta put it, to attempt to translate a world out of phase into a cohesive exhibition of contemporary art.