57th VENICE BIENNALE | ZENA ASSI PARTICIPATION

12 May 2017

Artists : ZENA ASSI 


Zena Assi|57th Venice Biennale| Grenada Pavilion  PREVIEW: May 12 in the artist’s presence  EXHIBITION: 13 May till 26 November 2017| VENUE: Grenada Pavilion | 417 Zattere, Dorsodure.Venice, Italy.   This is Zena Assi’s first time participation at La Biennial di Venezia, Grenada Pavilion, which opens on 12th May 2017.  

The artworks presented draw inspiration from the emotional, social and cultural baggage we carry with us when we move from an environment to another. Facing a new culture makes you question your own. It tackles the identity issue and all the conflicts we are facing when we are rewriting our own story and narrative from tainted memories.

"MY CITY-WALL" reflects the relations and conflicts between the refugees/migrants and the cities they are aiming to get to. Through Zena’s work, for more than a decade now, she has been trying to visually translate the city life of our modern society. Zena believes that the structures we build, the architectural language we adopt, and the borders we draw, all witnesses of our ideologies in one moment in time. They are the dialect history uses to write itself with. And now, unfortunately, we are witnessing the rise of walls again?

This series is of five paintings depicts bridges. The titles are taken from the song ‘London Bridge is Falling Down’. It tackles the idea that the behavior we are now adopting towards each other is more like vertical inaccessible Towers, instead of horizontal connecting bridges.

"FLIES ON THE WALL" is a visual work composed of 25 drawings of bugs on paper. The whole artwork  will cover an area of 170x220x4cm and  tackles what is happening in the Syrian war, where victims are turned into mere numbers, falling in the thousands, losing their individuality, their breath, their human factors… they mutate into this hybrid breed of structural abnormalities; in our eyes, they transmute into mere bugs, crushed insects, dropping like flies.

The video ‘CHRONICLES OF A MIGRANT, is a short experimental animation of 3 minutes, narrating the story of a migrant. The visuals are her own series of paintings on canvas, they are put in motion by her friend and colleague, Amandine Brenas, who is a French artist/animator living in Lebanon. The idea is to describe the daunting trip that any migrant/refugee takes to survive. The movie tells the story of a migrant’s awakening to the horrors of war and death in his home country; obliged to flee on a dinghy, he faces the dangers of the ‘passers’ and the sea. He is trapped in turmoil, where countries re-draw their borders, erect walls, demolish bridges and enforce segregation… all in the name of containing traumatized masses on the move. These are the chronicles of his passage, surmounting one conflict after the other… in a desperate attempt to reach the shore, bury his dead and finally build a new home.

For more information: https://grenadavenice.org/artist-statement-zena-assi/

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