The French Pavilion of the 2017 Venice Biennale has been transformed by Xavier Veilhan into a recording studio where professional musicians from all over the world will play and record live over the entire course of the exhibition.
The musicians have been invited by the artist and the Pavilion’s curators, Christian Marclay and Lionel Boveri. The art installation plays on volumes and interior design of the French Pavilion space, drawing inspiration from the “studio” feel of both a recording studio and an artist studio. Visitors can discover amazing musical instruments, including those made specifically for this event, and hear musicians from every walk of life throughout the Venice Biennale.
Working as a team is a central idea of the studio of Xavier Veilhan, who insisted on incorporating this collaborative aspect. Many instruments have been installed in the French Pavilion, which was designed in 1912 by the Venetian engineer Faust Finzi, so that musicians with different backgrounds can perform there, individually or as part of a group.
Some one hundred musicians from all over the world are coming to Venice to work, compose and play for an audience of art lovers. An on-line platform will also stream sounds live from the Pavilion.
Venice is the first stop of Xavier Veilhan’s travelling art installation. Having been invited by several partners working with the Institut Français, Studio Venezia in 2017 will become Studio Buenos Aires and then Studio Lisboa. The art installation will be presented in June 2018 at the Nester Kirchner Cultural Centre of Buenos Aires then in the autumn at the new Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology in Lisbon.
Born in 1963, Xavier Veilhan lives and works in Paris. His work, involving sculpture, painting, video, photography and installation, consists in taking hold of what is real, particularly in its biological and technical aspects, in archetypical, generic or prototypical forms, that question the worlds of historic and contemporary representation.
Xavier Veilhan has made a host of personal exhibits, at the Modern Art Museum in Paris (1993), CCC in Tours (1995), Consortium in Dijon (1999), Mamco in Geneva (1999-2000), Magasin in Grenoble (2000), CCA Kitakyushu (2002), Pompidou Center in Paris (2004), Modern and Contemporary Art Museum in Strasbourg (2005), Château de Versailles (2009), etc.
Starting in 2012, he developed Architectones, a series of art interventions in seven major modern buildings. In 2014, he took interest in the architecture on a new scale by designing the Château de Rentilly.
In 2015, he directed two films that extend his special explorations: Vent Moderne (La Villette) and Matching Numbers (3e Scène, Paris National Opera). The same year, dual shows (Galerie Perrotin, New York and Paris) pay a tribute to producers that shape the sound of our era. Hence, the genesis of this ‘‘Merzbau Musical’’ and the collaborative work envisaged for the Pavilion.
Xavier Veilhan's French pavilion - 57th international exposition of Art - Biennale di Venezia, from 13th of may to 26th of november 2017.
Xavier Veilhan | filmed by Out of Sync | Venice May 2017
Interview | Jesper Bundgaard
Camera and edit | Per Henriksen
Producer | Out of Sync
Artworks courtesy | Xavier Veilhan
© Out of Sync 2017