The culture of the Seychelles islands is expected to get more exposure at the International Art Exhibition in Venice, Italy with the participation of two local artists.
George Camille and Daniel Dodin will represent Seychelles at the 58th edition of the world’s most prestigious art exposition, which will run from May 11 to November 24.
The artists gave local journalists a preview of the artworks which will feature at the Biennale during a news conference last week.
This year Seychelles will participate with a pavilion entitled DRIFT- which presents notions of movement and the passing of time. It is the third time that local artists participate in the event.
Camille will exhibit installations with a tsunami as the theme. “I will create a room dominated by a paper tsunami which will surge through the exhibition space, rising and falling with urgent and graceful fluidity,” said Camille.
According to the artist “the installation – completely white – might initially appear to present a blanched and bleached world, yet in the spirit of the Biennale Arte 2019 theme this world contains visually subtle messages on how we, as media consumers, know what we know,” explained Camille – a full time artist – who is participating in the Biennale for the third time.
Dodin, who is a lecturer at the island nation’s arts academy, said his installation will reflect the journey of the ordinary Seychellois through a sequence of events which could be considered banal or unimportant.
Dodin’s installation will reflect the journey of the ordinary Seychellois through a sequence of events. (Daniel Dodin) Photo License: CC-BY
“The work, which will mix film created with overlaid collages of archive and contemporary material with objects and painting, raises questions about fate and determinism as well as historical exploitation and a lack of individual power,” Dodin explained.
The upcoming artist, who is making his first appearance at the exhibition, added that “through this installation that the condition of past countrymen and women from those currently alive is similar, suggesting that the currents of progress are perhaps not what they initially seem.”
Camille and Dodin were chosen to attend the Venice exposition after winning the Seychelles’ Biennale of Contemporary Arts in 2017.
Artists from Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, have been participating in the Venice International Art Exhibition since 2015. This year the Creative Industries and National Events Agency (CINEA) is commissioning the island nation’s participation whilst Martin Kennedy has been appointed as the curator.
Dodin (first left) and Camille (second right) with CEO of CINEA and the appointed curator. (Martin Kennedy) Photo License: CC-BY
“Our participation at the 2019 edition of the Biennale marks further and enhanced international exposure for Seychelles culture, however, we also have a responsibility to exploit the inspirational values of the Biennale and encourage younger Seychellois artists to aspire to exhibit in Venice in the future,” explained Kennedy.
The curator added “this is why CINEA and the Ministry of Culture plan to send five such artists to Venice in order to see the all of the national pavilions as well as the Seychelles exposition. This experience will be of immeasurable value to those who make the trip and will doubtless inform the future direction of their work.”
The five young upcoming artists yet to be chosen, will have the chance to visit the exhibition thanks to the allocation of a budget – approximately $88,200 – for the event, something which was not done before.
“Government acknowledges the contribution of culture in the economy and a budget was approved to support the artists. Last year cabinet approved for the five young artists to also go to the Biennale. We still have some work to do and appreciate the dedication of the artists,” said Cecile Kalebi, the Principal Secretary for the culture department.
The exhibition which will see the participation of 80 countries will be held under the theme ‘May you live in interesting times’, at the Palazzo Mora. Upon its closure, Camille’s and Dodin’s artworks will be put on the display on the island nation.
Source: Seychelles News Agency