Argentina Pays Tribute to Eva Perón at the Venice Biennale

Marinel Valentini

Evita, the former First Lady of Argentina, will be the centre of international attention once again in history, but this time in a cultural and artistic context. Contemporary visual artist Nicola Costantino will give her own personal portrayal of the Latin American country’s beloved icon with four conceptual works that promise to highlight the glory and tragedy of Eva Perón.

Nicola Costantino, SINFONIA INCONCLUSA, Eva, los Sueños, Video Installation (detail), 2012.

The first nation from Latin America to take part at the Venice Biennale back in 1901, Argentina will return once again to Venice with works by multimedia artist Nicola Costantino. After more than a century since its first participation at the prestigious International Art Exhibition, Argentina will reopen the doors to their National Pavilion, which interestingly enough, was inaugurated only at last edition’s Biennial, thanks to an agreement between the organisers of the Venice Biennale and the Fundación ExportAr, in the presence of Argentinean President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Curating Costantino’s exhibition will be Fernando Farina, curator of the Contemporary Argentinean Art Collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Rosario.

Entitled Eva – Argentina. A contemporary metaphor, artist Nicola Costantino will focus on Eva Perón, arguably the most important female figure in the history of Argentina. Evita, as she was affectionately called by the public, was the second wife of President Juan Perón and served as the First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952, at the relatively young age of 33 years old. The works brought to the Venice Biennale by Costantino will try to portray the South American country’s ‘spiritual leader’ (as she has been called) in a more contemporary and abstract way, turning away any pretension to political art.

Two video-installations, along with an object-machine with motion and an abstract sculpture are the means that Costantino has chosen to portray Eva Perón. The four artworks will convey the story of a woman who was many women at the same time; the conceptual artist herself will embody Evita, giving an intense and emotional portrayal of a woman who lived her most glorious and most terrible moments in just a matter of years.
Nicola Costantino was born in Rosario in 1964, where she studied Fine Arts and learned new sculptural techniques that would later influence the conceptual direction of her artistic practice. She has produced several provocative pieces, such as lifelike casts of animals – Animal Sculptures; a soap constructed out of fat liposuctioned from her own body – Savon de Corps; and clothes and accessories made of male nipple casts – Human Furriery. She has held numerous solo and group exhibitions in her native country and abroad, including at MALBA (Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires) in 2004, at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. in 2010, and at Tiger Art Museum, Buenos Aires, in 2012.
Argentina Team

Artist: Nicola Costantino

Curator: Fernando Farina

Commissioner: Magdalena Faillace

Venue: The Argentina Pavilion at the Arsenale – Sale d’Armi

About The Culture Trip’s Venice Biennale Project

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 this space for our daily Venice Biennale updates or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!

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