Has Belgium won a Golden Lion in Venice after all? Or why Michel François might want to visit the Republic of Angola’s pavilion

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‘Everything has already been done but not by me.’ Isn’t that how the saying goes? I’m not implying anything at all, I’m just saying that Belgian artist Michel François might be surprised, the day he visits the pavilion of Angola, the winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale for best pavilion. Stacks of posters on wooden pallets? For the visitors to take away? Isn’t that what he did for his exhibition at MAC‘s (Mons, Belgium) in 2011? Or how people in different places on this planet can have the same idea. One of the differences? At MAC’s, visitors were only allowed to take one of the posters home. It meant everybody was really paying attention to the pictures, in order to make the right choice. At the Angola pavilion, people can take as many as they want. On the day I visited the pavilion, a couple of hours after Angola had received the Golden Lion, visitors were throwing themselves on the stacks as vultures, grabbing as many as they could, without really looking at the pictures (which are, it must be said, beautiful). They are by Edson Chagas. You’ll find a short interview with him about his project, Luanda Encyclopedic City, here. More pictures of François’ show at MAC’s here.

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One Response to “Has Belgium won a Golden Lion in Venice after all? Or why Michel François might want to visit the Republic of Angola’s pavilion”

  1. The International Jury assigned the prestigious award “for the curators and artist who together reflect on the irreconcilability and complexity of site”. For the content of the show not for the solution of the poster installation….The Pavilion curated by Paula Nascimento and Stefano Rabolli Pansera (Beyond Entropy Ltd) hosts the photographic works by the Angolan artist Edson Chagas focuses on the complexity of Angola’s capital, Luanda, which derives from the presence of unpredictable spaces and the coexistence of irreconcilable programs: city and country, infrastructure and habitations, garbage tips and public spaces. Luanda is an encyclopedic city. The Pavilion invite the public to meditate on the theme of the Encyclopedic Palace through the exhibit and the graphic project which gives the possibility to create one’s own urban encyclopedia and catalogue, starting from the unusual red hardcover placed at the beginning of the exhibition itinerary.

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