Phantasmagoria: Dénes Farkas for Estonia at the Venice Biennale

Helen Brady

The Centre for Contemporary Arts, Estonia has chosen artist Dénes Farkas to represent their national pavilion at this year’s 55th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia. Curated by Adam Budak, the artist will present his work entitled Evident in Advance.

The curator of the Venice Biennale is Massimiliano Gioni and he has chosen the theme of ‘Il Palazzo Enciclopedico’ or ‘The Encyclopedic Palace’. One of Gioni’s biggest questions with regards to this year’s Venice Biennale is ‘what is the artists’ world?’ This is an aspect of creative practice that Dénes Farkas intends to scrutinize literally in his entry for the Estonian Pavilion; the artist will present a constructed world for the viewer to contemplate. Estonia’s 2009 entry to the Venice Biennale explored the ‘post world war’ landscape, whilst in 2011 the perceptions of women were surveyed. Farkas is collaborating with an international team for the installation, including Berlin based architect Markus Miessen and the Polish curator Adam Budak, who curated Manifesta 7 in 2008 and who holds the position as curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication designed by Zak Kyes and published by Sternberg Press. It will include essays by the philosophers in focus, writer Bruce Duffy and the architect Markus Miessen along with a rich visual report on Evident in Advance by the artist himself. The project will be introduced by a critical text from curator, Adam Budak.

Dénes Farkas’s photo based project Evident in Advance is an installation structured in a maze-like style with allusions to philosophers in its search for the deconstruction of language. The work is inspired by the storyline of The World as I Found It, the groundbreaking novel by American writer Bruce Duffy. The artist explains the work as ‘a melange of fiction and reality…where history, biography and philosophy are intertwined in a witty narration of the lives of three philosophers, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Bertrand Russell and G.E. Moore.’ Visitors who enter the Palazzo Malipiero will find themselves in a grand main hall with numerous adjacent living rooms. The rooms are loose references to situations, spaces and positions that surround the exhibition space. In order to receive instructions on how to navigate the exhibition’s real and imaginary space, it is necessary to open and study specially created books whilst walking around and examining connections between the object, images and words; the aim being to generate a dysfunctional interactive installation through familiar yet uncanny spaces. The project is a collaboration between the artist and an international team of architects and theoreticians. Evident in Advance as an installation aims to explore the various aspects of linguistic translation, interpretation and elusiveness.

Dénes Farkas was born in 1974 in Budapest and now lives and works in Tallinn, Estonia. He received both his Bachelor of Arts in Printmaking and his Master of Arts in Photography from the Estonian Academy of Arts. In 2011 he was named the technical expert at the Estonian Arts Association and in 2009 the artist was a visiting lecturer at his former institution the Estonian Academy of Arts. The artist has been the recipient of many awards including the annual art prize from the Cultural Endowment of Estonia. He has been a part of many large exhibitions since 2008, including Intimate Immensity (Musterzinner, Berlin, 2012), Beyond (KUMU Art Museum, Tallinn, 2011) and neverneverland (Kunstlervereinigung MAERZ, Linz, 2011). His recent solo exhibitions include A Day That Does Not Exist (Hobusepea Gallery, Tallinn, 2012) and Images to Words (Napa Gallery, Rovaniemi, Finland, 2012).
The Estonian Team:
Artist: Dénes Farkas.
Commissioner: Maria Arusoo.
Curator: Adam Budak.
Venue: Palazzo Malipiero, San Marco 3199, San Samuele.

The 55th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale will take place from 1 June – 24 November. The Culture Trip’s Venice Biennale Series is an article series leading up to the start of the exhibition. With 88 countries participating in this year’s Biennale — 10 of them for the first time — and 150 artists from 37 countries, our coverage over the next couple of months will highlight a selection of the National Pavilions that will be participating in the 2013 edition of the Venice Biennale. Watch the Biennale page on our site or The Culture Trip’s Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest pages for our daily Biennale articles and updates.

By Helen Brady

Images courtesy:

1. Dénes Farkas, Evident In Advance (2013). Courtesy the artist.

2.Dénes Farkas, Evident In Advance (2013). Courtesy the artist.

3.Dénes Farkas by Diana Didyk

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