Xavier Veilhan to Bring Schwitters-Inspired Music Studio to Venice Biennale

He has big plans for the French pavilion.

Xavier Veilhan. Courtesy studio Xavier Veilhan.
Xavier Veilhan. Courtesy studio Xavier Veilhan.

Xavier Veilhan. Courtesy studio Xavier Veilhan.

Artist Xavier Veilhan will represent France at the 2017 Venice Biennale, where he will erect a music studio, reports Le Monde. The 53-year-old artist works across a variety of mediums, including photography, film, painting, and installation, but is perhaps best known for sculpture in a signature angular style.

His Venice project, “Merzbau Musical,” takes its name from Kurt Schwitters‘s legendary  sculpture, the Merzbau, which encompassed the Dada artist’s entire house, in Hanover, Germany. Schwitters started working on the Merzbau, a forerunner of installation art, in 1923; it was destroyed by Allied bombing during World War II. Coinciding with the centennial of the Dada movement, Veilhan’s proposal includes a recording studio, which will be open to the public, complete with an array of musical instruments, some invented for the project.

Veilhan is no stranger to music-and-art crossover, having worked with musicians in the past, including the French band Air; Schwitters himself composed an epic poem in the form of a sonata.

His large-scale pieces have been installed in public spaces across the world, most recently in Miami’s Design District, where he created a work dedicated to Le Corbusier. and the Palace of Versailles, in 2009.

Xavier Veilhan, <i>Le Carrosse</i> (2009), courtesy Galerie Perrotin

Xavier Veilhan, Le Carrosse (2009). Photo courtesy Galerie Perrotin.

Veilhan was selected to represent France from 24 candidates, including high-profile names such as Bertrand Lavier, Sheila Hicks, Stéphane Calais, and Ulla van Brandenburg. Céleste Boursier-Mougenot got the nod to represent France in 2015. Among Veilhan’s other predecessors are Anri Sala (2013), Christian Boltanski (2011), and Claude Lévêque (2009).

Veilhan is represented by Andréhn-Schiptjenko (Stockholm), Galerie Perrotin (Paris, Hong Kong, and New York), Galeria Nara Roesler (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and New York), and 313 Art Project (Seoul).


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