Details of the Spanish Pavilion in Venice (Finally) Announced

Martí Manen, curator of the Spanish Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale
Photo via: Flickr

After a much criticized delay, Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced yesterday that Martí Manen will curate the Spanish Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale.

Manen’s project triumphed over the proposals of Juan de Nieves and Gerardo Mosquera, two fellow Spanish independent curators whom the governmental institution AECID (Agencia Española de Cooperación para el desarrollo) also asked to submit ideas last Spring.

Entitled “Los Sujetos” (the subjects), Manen’s exhibition is a group show that takes the figure of Salvador Dalí as starting point. The artists Francesc Ruiz, Pepo Salazar, and the collective Cabello/Carceller will explore the ghost of the iconic artist.

“The project starts like a breath from Dalí,” Manen told El Cultural. “He will be present, not with any of his works, but as subject.”

Ruiz’s work will continue his exploration of newsstands as sites of cultural and sexual exchange, taking cue from Dalí’s collaboration with Vogue and his project Dalí News. Cabello/Carceller will tackle questions of identity through the figure of Amanda Lear, Dalí’s muse. Pepo Salazar’s will present a project based on dismantling the idea of novelty in the system of art.

The choice of curating a group exhibition, rather than a traditional solo presentation, is, for Manen, dictated by the recession. “During periods of crisis, such as the one we are going through now, it’s very important to think in terms of group exhibitions,” he told ABC. “The budget of the Venice Biennale pavilion allows me to present three artists internationally, and it gives them the opportunity to produce new works and build networks.”

The announcement comes after a week in which many voices complained about its protracted delay, deemed incomprehensible since the competing proposals were sent back in April. With only 6 months before the Venice Biennale’s opening, Manen and his team certainly have no time to waste.

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