Since 1988, Luxembourg has been a regular participant at La Biennale di Venezia. A different artist has represented the country at each edition of this large-scale international contemporary art event. Join us as we discover the exhibition "Faraway So Close" by Tina Gillen, a painterly installation at the Luxembourg Pavilion.
The artist is particularly interested in connections between the interior space and the outside world, how we relate to the world around us and the themes of landscape and dwelling. The works, often inspired by photographic motifs, are compositions somewhere between abstraction and figuration, structure and improvisation, surface and representation of space.
The paintings evoke the four elements of the universe – earth, water, fire and air –, while also pointing to human-induced climate change. Tina Gillen takes her works out of their traditional framework, placing them into an installation, an architectural construction that conjures up painted film sets and inhabits the entire exhibition space. "Faraway So Close" also alludes to the history of the Sale d'Armi, which dates back to the 15th century and served as a former military storage in Venice. The sculpture "Rifugio", at the centre of the installation, was inspired by a seaside bungalow; it is a place where visitors can withdraw and observe the world around them.
Trailer of the exhibition “Tina Gillen. Faraway So Close”
A brief history (of art)
Luxembourg's first steps at the Venice Biennale were difficult – unfortunately its first participation in 1956 initially remained a one-off... It was only thirty years later, in 1988, at the initiative of the artist Patricia Lippert, that the Ministry of Culture made a further attempt to participate in the prestigious artistic event. Since then it has never looked back.
In 2017, the Luxembourg government signed a contract with the Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia that guaranteed Luxembourg's participation in the stunning Sale d'Armi for the next 20 years.
Exhibitions are organised alternately by Mudam – The Contemporary Art Museum of Luxembourg and Casino Luxembourg – Forum d'art contemporain. Every two years, the Ministry of Culture launches a call for proposals to select the artist and curator of its choice for the next edition of the Biennale.
List of participating artists