Venice Study Abroad, Summer 2017 – Workshop/Residenc

West meets East and East meets West” June 1-17, 2017

Workshop/Residency conducted by Multidisciplinary Artist/Professor Mariella Poli, Studio Practice & Exhibition in Parallel with 57th Venice Biennale ‘Viva Arte Viva’

Brief History of Venice

Venice has a long history with the relationship of trade between the Byzantine Empire and Asia.  The Republic of Venice was a state originating from a collection of lagoon communities in the area of Venice which existed from the late 7th century AD until 1797. Although it had a long history of war and conquest, the Republic’s modern reputation is chiefly based on its status as an economic and trading power particularly in silk, grain, and spices. Its strategic position at the head of the Adriatic made Venetian naval and commercial power almost invulnerable, the city became a flourishing trade center between Western Europe and the rest of the world. From the circumstances of its foundation, Venice has been from the start unique, a small self-governing community of migrants which grows rich on its own audacious merits. Today Venice is recognized as part of the artistic and architectural patrimony of all humanity, a fitting role for a city whose thousand-year economic and political independence was sustained by its role in global trading.

This Interdisciplinary intensive workshop/residency is centered on producing a body of work which concludes with an exhibition in Venice that parallels the 57th Venice Biennale ‘Viva Arte Viva’.

The Workshop/Residency topic ‘West meets East and East meets West’ is an open concept connected to the history of the city and its long relationship with the East and migratory power, still evident the influence on its architecture and art. In our contemporary world, which is full of conflict and instability, mass migration from neighboring countries of Africa and the East to the West is a catalyst for transformation. In this time of globalization and ever changing cultural and geopolitical landscape the role of the artist is also in flux. How individual art and cultural production responds to our present moment in history is the foundation of this workshop/residency.

Multi-disciplinary approaches are welcome in forming a group of artists to collaborate on pluralistic approaches of contemporary analysis. The studio practice will include visiting the Biennale and studios of participating artists and curators; we will also visit among others, the Francois Pinault Contemporary Art Collection at Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi, designed by Japanese architect Tadeo Ando.

 ‘La Biennale’ was launched in 1895 as a private artistic initiative, based on the conviction that “art constitutes one of the most valuable elements of civilization and promotes freedom of thought and fraternal understanding among all peoples” As the most important, largest, and oldest of all international art biennials today, the Venice Biennale continues to be buoyed by a spirit that transcends all national boundaries. La Biennale di Venezia Curator of the 57th International Art Exhibition “Viva Arte Viva” is Christine Macel, in her statement she states: Viva Arte Viva is also an exclamation, an expression of the passion for art and for the state of the artist. Viva Arte Viva is a Biennale designed with the artists, by the artists and for the artists. It deals with the forms they propose, the questions they pose, the practices they develop and the forms of life they choose.