ArtReview sent a questionnaire to a selection of the artists exhibiting in various national pavilions of the Venice Biennale, the responses to which will be published over the coming days. Valentin Carron is representing Switzerland. The pavilion is located in the Giardini.
What can you tell us about your plans for Venice?
I don’t have a special project for Venice Biennale, but continue my work on various series that I’ve been showing in the past two years in different exhibitions. All the works will be new but operate within these preexisting series. There will be a two-headed serpent, copies of stained glass 'windows’, flattened instruments cast in bronze, a restored Piaggio Ciao. There are titles such as Die zerbrochene Brücke eurer reinen aber unerwarteten Infamien, You they they I you or Ciao (n° 6). The architecture of the pavilion is very modernist and smooth, which I want to emphasize rather than to disturb.
Are you approaching the show in a different way to how you would with a ‘normal’ exhibition?
No, I'm not looking at the context in which I show my work. For me one venue is worth the same effort as another. I think I would have approached this space in the same way as if it had been the architecture of a gallery in the Ruhr.
What does it mean to ‘represent’ your country? Do you find it an honour or problematic?
I feel that Switzerland as a country is represented in Venice through the Swiss Pavilion by Bruno Giacometti. I’m just commissioned to take over and 'occupy' this space for six months.
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?
As with Walt Disney's movies, my work is addressed to and suitable for a public aged between 7 and 77.
What are your earliest or best memories of the biennale?
An arrival at the train station Santa Lucia in the dawn.
You’ll no doubt be very busy, but what else are you looking forward to seeing?
I will definitely have some virgin pina coladas at Harry's Bar and visit the Naval History Museum in the Arsenale.