The 51st Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition 2005 | Arts.21 - The Culture Magazine | DW | 25.10.2005
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The 51st Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition 2005


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The German Pavilion.

Venice, steeped in history and full of the treasures of bygone ages, usually stands for tradition. But every two years this beautiful city built on a lagoon hosts the art world’s most important event. The Venice Biennale is the biggest celebration of contemporary art and this year ARTS.21 is part of the action as media partner of the German Pavilion.

Modern Art in an Illustrious Setting

This summer Venice once again provides a breathtaking backdrop for the oldest, most spectacular and most famous exhibition of contemporary art. For the past 110 years it has been organised by the Fondazione la Biennale di Venezia. The 51st International Art Exhibition (June 12 to November 6 2005) has the largest number of participants in the history of the Biennale: seventy countries are presenting 30 exhibitions in their pavilions in the Giardini della Biennale and 40 in many other venues in Venice. The German Pavilion always attracts a lot of attention.

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Julian Heynen, Curator of the German Pavilion 2005.

Julian Heynen, artistic director of the K21 Museum in Dusseldorf, is its curator for the second time. For 2005 he has chosen the young artists Tino Sehgal and Thomas Scheibitz to represent Germany.

"What I find so fascinating about Thomas Scheibitz and Tino Sehgal is their treatment of basic issues in art under the conditions of contemporary culture. Using very different means both artists explore the emergence of form and meaning. In doing so they refer to universal phenomena of the present day, but they do not illustrate them. In an age with a strong tendency to "cross-over", they are interested in that which still remains specific in visual art, that which is not replaceable." says Julian Heynen commenting on his selection.

Juxtaposing Tangible and Dematerialised Art

Thomas Scheibitz and Tino Sehgal are two artists who couldn’t be more different. What links them is their will to push the boundaries of contemporary visual art challenging expectations and conventions.

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Thomas Scheibitz, Artist in the German Pavilion 2005.

In his paintings and sculptures Thomas Scheibitz combines a high level dynamism with what might be seen as a rather cool and distant attitude towards the world and its interpretation. Scheibitz balances a fine line between the abstract and figurative in his eclectic and fragmented works.

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Tino Sehgal, Artist in the German Pavilion 2005.

Tino Sehgal is the youngest artist to have ever been asked to represent Germany. He creates immaterial works he calls „situations“. They only exist for the moment, as choreographed speech, song and movement and interaction with the audience. They aren’t allowed to be filmed or photographed and live on only as a memory in the mind of the beholder .

ARTS.21 at the World’s Most Important Forum for Contemporary Visual Art

As media partner of the German Pavilion ARTS.21 has had exclusive access to the two artists representing Germany. We accompanied them during the run-up to the Biennale, watching them develop their ideas, from the first drafts in their Berlin studios to the opening in Venice.


And we also take you on a tour of Venice and show you why it has always exerted its magic on artists, filmmakers and photographers, whether there's a Biennale or not. Arts.21 investigates the allure of this lagoon city, and discovers why it still endures.

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