This year Deutsche Bank will be the main sponsor of the German Pavilion at the 52nd Art Biennale in Venice (June 10 - November 21, 2007). The artist responsible for creating the German contribution in Venice is Isa Genzken. Since the beginning of the 1990s, numerous pieces of her work have also been part of the Deutsche Bank Collection.
Dr. Tessen von Heydebreck, member of the Management Board of Deutsche Bank AG, whose responsibilities include the bank’s global social and cultural commitments: “The German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale is not only the most important forum for the contemporary art of our country, but also the most controversial. Here, the Pavilion reflects not just seminal artistic positions, but also the various points of view on our national culture and history. In 2007, Deutsche Bank will be the main sponsor of the German Pavilion for the first time. We are pleased that Germany is being represented by an artist as uncompromising and exceptional as Isa Genzken, as this corresponds with our aims to provide committed support to contemporary art particularly well.
In the early 1990s, Genzken’s first works on paper and photo series were acquired for the Deutsche Bank Collection and new pieces have been added up to the present. During this period she has been involved in numerous ways with Deutsche Bank’s art activities. For example, the artist developed the project proposal “Weltempfänger” (World Receiver) for the “Moment” art series, launched by Deutsche Bank to bring art into the public space. In 2007, Isa Genzken will be taking part in “skulptur projekte münster” for the third time. The implementation of this work of art will also be made possible through the support of Deutsche Bank.
“I have often imagined creating for the German Pavilion. But now is probably the ideal time to actually do it. And I am very pleased to be able to work together on this with Nicolas Schafhausen,” said Isa Genzken, whose long-held dream of creating the German contribution for the Biennale is being fulfilled.
Nicolaus Schafhausen, Director of Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art, in Rotterdam, who follows Julian Heynen as the Commissioner of the German Pavilion, said his decision for Isa Genzken was for a “non-conformist”, for someone to whom “content is important”: “I can only think of a few whose comments on our times and reality are as subtle and socially critical as those of this artist.” That his choice did not go to a representative of the younger generation of artists but rather to this sculpture born in 1948, whose work has been on display at the documenta in 1992 and 2002 as well as in several group exhibitions at the Venice Biennale, is intended to send out a signal.
Ever since Genzken developed her first abstract sculptures in the 1970s as a continuation of minimal art, her cool and often austere artwork, including video, photography, film, drawings, collages and collaged books, has defied simple classifications. Genzken’s work deals with traditional themes in sculpture, the ordering of masses and volumes, the relationship between object, space and viewer. In this process, her art also takes aim at the tense interplay between architecture, advertising, design and the media and investigates how our perception of public space influences and conditions our consciousness. By using everyday utensils such as mirroring elements, plastic wrap or found objects alongside “traditional” building materials for her sculptural work, her installations are loaded with personal, social, architectural and institutional references.
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