Ane Graff goes to Venice
We are so proud of research fellow at the Academy of fine art, Ane Graff, Norway's representative at the Nordic Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2019, opening May 11.
Ane Graff (b.1974) combines a broad range of research disciplines, from feminist new materialism to microbiology and chemistry. Her sculptures and installations interrogate conventional and allegedly stable structures and classifications based on science and cultural practices. Graff’s works make observable how the human body is exposed to other agencies, such as bacteria, as well as the toxicity of the environment.
– My artistic practice is informed by feminist new materialisms’ ongoing re-thinking of our material reality, in which a relational and process-oriented approach to matter - including the matter of living bodies - plays an integral part. Within this framework, I focus on human and non-human relationships; viewing human beings as part of an expansive, material network, stretching inside and outside of our bodies. My work traces the bloodlines of Western intellectual history to ask how the ideas of human exceptionalism, Cartesian dualism and representational thinking all relate to the ecological disasters we face today, and furthermore, what seem to be their current and future implications for material bodies. I create sculpture in an expanded sense; the sculptural works often incorporate material experiments and physical transformations.
The states of inflammation in Graff’s works refer to the connections between climate change, Western societies driven by economic growth, the extinction of immune-modulating intestinal microbes and the spread of inflammatory diseases.
The displayed objects and their containers, the glass cabinets, refer to the human body and its current inflammatory state, emitting signals from the past and hinting at possible future scenarios. The cabinets’ glass surfaces indicate fluidity, as if they are melting before our eyes. In her sculptures, Graff incorporates various material experiments. The materials keep interacting and forming new mixtures during the exhibition, denying the human control over them.
The Nordic Pavilion
The exhibition Weather Report: Forecasting Future in the Nordic Pavilion is themed around the complex and varied relations between the human and nonhuman in an age when climate change and mass extinction are threatening the future of life on Earth. When imagining the future, humans face the responsibility of acknowledging multispecies entanglements and the need to renegotiate existing interspecies relations. The Nordic countries have a reputation of being a haven where peace and democracy have created the necessary conditions for the welfare state. Growing environmental awareness and the fear of losing the pristine nature and clean environment in the North have led to a new kind of recognition of the invisible work nature contributes to our wellbeing.
The other artists in the Nordic Pavilion are Finnish duo nabbteeri and Swedish Ingela Ihrman. The artists’ practices often involve a fusion of visual art with humanities and natural sciences, a collaborative or dialogical process that takes place within a multi-disciplinary community. All the artists has created new works for the show in the Nordic Pavilion.
The commissioner of the 2019 Nordic Pavilion will be the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma / Finnish National Gallery. The exhibition is curated by Kiasma’s director Leevi Haapala and curator Piia Oksanen. The co-commissioners of the other Nordic countries are Moderna Museet’s co-director Ann-Sofi Noring and Office for Contemporary Art Norway’s (OCA) director Katya García-Antón.