ArtReview sent a questionnaire to artists and curators exhibiting in and curating the various national pavilions of the 2015 Venice Biennale, the responses to which are being published daily in the lead-up to the Venice Biennale opening.
António Ole is curating the Angolan Pavilion as a collateral event, featuring artists Binelde Hyrcan, Délio Jasse, Francisco Vidal, Nelo Teixeira and Ole himself. The pavilion is at the Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello, Palazzo Pisani, San Marco 2810.
What can you tell us about your exhibition plans for Venice?
Our strategy for Venice Biennale is based on a dialogue between generations. As artist/curator and elder in this group of five artists, I feel that we have a lot of aspects in common, multidisciplinary, aesthetics and the spirit of renovation in Angolan contemporary art.
Are you approaching this show in a different way as to how you would a ‘normal’ exhibition?
I don't think Venice Biennale is a normal exhibition, so we have to face this occasion with ambition, professionalism and considering the fact that Angola won the Golden Lion in the last Biennale, gives us a certain sense of added responsibility.
What does it mean to ‘represent’ your region? Do you find it an honour or problematic?
The existence of the pavilion of Angola naturally means that we are representing our country and it is not every day that we have this opportunity. It is also problematic, because we are living in a world based in a sort of 'economic fundamentalism that makes it difficult to find the resources to support our presence in Venice.
How are you approaching the different audiences who come to Venice – the masses of artist peers, gallerists, curators and critics concentrated around the opening and the general public who come through over the following months?
In my point of view, I don't like to make distinctions among the audience. General public, gallerists, curators and critics will certainly approach the exhibition with different analytical or pragmatic perspectives.
What are your earliest or best memories of the biennale?
It is already the third time that I am participating in the Venice Biennale. In 2003 at the 50th Biennale – The Dictatorship of the Viewer, curated by Francesco Bonami, I was also part of a sub-section called Structures of Survival curated by Carlos Basualdo and located at the Arsenale. It was hard work and brings stimulating memories. In the 50th Biennale I was strongly impressed with Alfredo Jaar's installation.
You’ll no doubt be very busy, but what else are you looking forward to seeing?
It is very mysterious at the moment, but I am sure I will have the chance to wave around the Giardini, Arsenale and other different sites in Venice and to be impressed again.
How does a having a presentation in Venice affect the artscene in your country?
Cultural events where Angola participates normally have an impact on our art scene.
Online exclusive published 14 April 2015.