The Venice Questionnaire #15: Bedwyr Williams

By ArtReview

Bedwyr Williams, Starry Messenger, 2013. Courtesy the artist.

ArtReview sent a questionnaire to a selection of the artists exhibiting in various national pavilions of the 2013 Venice Biennale, the responses to which will be published over the coming days. Bedwyr Williams will represent Wales. The pavilion is at the Ludoteca Santa Maria Ausiliatrice.

What can you tell us about your plans for Venice?

I can tell you that it has something to do with astronomy and terrazzo floors. It's about looking at bits - big and small. How telescope makers use tiny little bits to grind glass to look at other giant bits that are far away.

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

A 'normal' exhibition for me would be in the UK. I may have subconsciously tried to appeal to a more international audience, although I hope I haven't.

What does it mean to ‘represent’ your country? Do you find it an honour or problematic?

I always felt like Wales was the 'Eddie the Eagle' of the art world so that probably means it is an honour and it's problematic. There should be a word that means problematic honour.

What audience are you addressing with the work? The masses of artist peers, gallerists, curators and critics concentrated around the opening or the general public who come through over the following months?

I try to imagine myself as a young art student, a beautiful gallerina, a gouty journalist, a grumpy sceptic, a clever bald curator or a wealthy collector with nice shoes and then I address them one by one.

What are your earliest or best memories of the biennale?

My earliest and best memory is driving down from Bavaria in a mini bus to visit the Biennale for the first time.

You’ll no doubt be very busy, but what else are you looking forward to seeing?

The other British artists and then I'll just follow my nose – no need to plan anything.