Catalonia will participate in the 58th edition of the Venice Biennale of Art as part of the Eventi Collaterali program with a project curated by Pedro Azara titled Losing Your Head (Idols). Catalonia’s exhibition at the Venice Biennale is produced by the Institut Ramon Llull.
To select the winning proposal the IRL nominated a committee of experts chaired by artist Dora García and made up of members João Fernandes, deputy director of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía; Carles Guerra, director of the Fundació Tapies; Cèlia del Diego, art critic and director of the Centre d’Art la Panera as well as head of the Department of Performing and Visual Arts at the Institut Ramon Llull—with a voice but no vote.
Losing Your Head (Idols) is a project involving artists (David Bestué, Marcel Borràs, Albert García-Alzórriz), architects (Tiziano Schürch) and documentary filmmakers (Dolors Magallón and others) in both a dialectical and collaborative sense.
Pedro Azara (Bois-Colombes, France, 1955) holds a PhD in Architecture (1986). He has been Associate Professor of Art Theory at the ELISAVA Barcelona School of Design and Engineering (1986-87), Associate Professor of Aesthetics at the Terrassa School of Optics and Optometry of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (1993-95) and is currently Professor of Aesthetics at the Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB). He has also been the secretary of the Department of Architectural Composition (1996-1999), a member of the Board of the Barcelona School of Architecture (1994-present) and a member of the Dissertation Committee of the Department of Composition (2017-present).
He has curated numerous exhibitions including Soul Houses (CCCB, 1997), The Last Gaze(MACBA, 1997), Before the Flood. Mesopotamia, 3500-2100 BC (CaixaForum Barcelona, 2012), City of Mirage: Baghdad, 1952-1982, from Wright to Venturi (COAC, Casa Árabe, Centre of Architecture, Society of Architects, Riwad Biennale, Barcelona, Madrid, Boston, New York and Ramallah, 2008-2012, Mediterranean. From Myth to Reason (CaixaForum Barcelona, CaixaForum Madrid, 2014), From Ancient to Modern: Archaeology and Aesthetics (ISAW, New York, 2015) and Sumer and the Modern Paradigm (Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, 2017-2018).
Azara is also the author of a number of books such as La Imagen y el olvido: el arte como engaño en la filosofía de Platón (Siruela, Madrid, 1995) and Castillos en el aire: mito y arquitectura en Occidente (Editorial Gustavo Gili, Barcelona, 2005). As part of his scientific work, he has participated in several archeological expeditions to Syria and Iraq.
This will be the sixth time that the IRL presents of Art Catalonia at the Venice Biennale, which will take place from 11 May to 24 November 2019 with Ralph Rugoff as curator.. At the previous edition, the IRL presented the project La Venezia che non si vede/Unveiling the Unseen by artist Antoni Abad, curated by Mery Cuesta and Roc Parés. (I.Llull press-release)