Artists create ambitious work for Venice Biennale
Details about Ireland's participation at the forthcoming 49th International Exhibition of Art, La Biennale di Venezia, were announced at a reception hosted by Mr. Pádraic MacKernan, Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs today at Iveagh House, St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2.
The two artists selected to represent Ireland are the Belfast born Siobhan Hapaska and Dublin born Grace Weir. Both artists have taken this opportunity of creating complex new works for this international renowned event that is attended by a quarter of a million people including top curators from many countries.
The Cultural Relations Committee of the Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland continues to initiate and provide increasing support for Ireland's participation, working in association with Vittorio Urbani, Venice Coordinator.
Pádraic McKernan, Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs said "the Department of Foreign Affairs is delighted with its continuing association with and financial support of Ireland's participation in the Venice Biennale. The Cultural Relations Committee has assisted Ireland's involvement in this and the Sao Paolo Biennale for many years now. We hope that our future involvement will be as fruitful as this year's".
Urging everyone to come to view the Biennale which is free admission and open to the public from 10th June - 4th November, the Irish Commissioner, Mr Patrick Murphy, spoke about the works that will be shown.
"An incredible amount of passion and vision has been brought to this project by Grace Weir and Siobhan Hapaska", he said. "They have created ambitious and challenging work that taken together with our new venue will set a new benchmark for all future Irish contributions to the Venice Biennale".
After APERTO and dAPERTutto's success of 1999 this new Biennale does not intend to be an art exhibition so much as a ‘stage of mankind', a site of continuity. The overall Biennale curator is the highly respected Harald Szeemann.
Ireland's Pavilion for 2001 has moved to a new and larger venue in the Castello with easy access to the Gardini and Arsenale exhibition areas. Admission to the Irish Pavilion is free and will be open to the public from Tuesday - Sunday, 11.00am-6.00pm, Saturday 9th June - Sunday 30th September inclusive.
This year the Arts Council is making a large commitment in that it has contributed substantially towards the costs of the Biennale, especially towards artists' fees and other expenses in relation to the presentation of the work. The Arts Council has supported Ireland's participation in the Venice Biennale since the early 1990s. In its Second Arts Plan 1999-2001, the Council emphasised its support for individual artists and the importance of helping Irish artists to find international opportunities.
The organisers are very pleased to announce major sponsorship for the first time provided by IONA Technologies, one of the world's leading software companies. Founded in 1991, IONA's core business today is to provide e-business platforms for Total Business Integration (TM).
"Art plays an important role in IONA," says Mark Simons, Director Northern Europe of IONA Technologies. "We consider building software as very close to an art form as it requires a high level of creativity and discipline. Wholeness, harmony, and radiance is the aim in both cases. We are delighted to have an opportunity to support two pioneering artists in their appearance at the Venice Biennale. We hope this is a stepping stone to another Irish success story on the world stage".
The Felix Trust has contributed considerably towards the production of Siobhan Hapaska's work. Essential equipment and technical expertise has been generously forthcoming from the Commissioner of Public Works. DHL continues its worldclass service by ensuring the transportation to and from Italy. Eircell have generously provided a line of communication. With contributions from Principle Management, Nissan, Allan Key Systems, Language Design, Model Arts + Niland Gallery, Kerlin Gallery, Windmill Lane Studios, the Royal Hibernian Academy and an anonymous donor, this year's participation promises to be a very special visual arts event for Ireland.
Note for Editors
For press, interviews and information, contact the Irish Pavilion, tel. + 87 2965101 or email : firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com
Press attending the Biennale should apply directly to the Press Office: firstname.lastname@example.org identifying themselves as critics/journalists in order to obtain a PRESS PASS.
Others wishing to receive an invitation to the Official Inauguration of the Biennale at 5.00 pm on Saturday 9th June should apply directly to : Dario Ventimiglia, email@example.com.
Due to restrictions on numbers attending the Preview days and Official Inauguration, the Irish organisers cannot guarantee to provide invitations.
All are very welcome to attend the Irish Reception which takes place at the Irish Pavilion, commencing 2.00pm on Thursday 7th June 2001.Top