Processional @ 58th the Venice Biennale

Submitted by Todd Williamson

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Client: 58th Venice Biennale official collateral exhibition

Location: Venice, Italy

Completion date: 2019

Artwork budget: $200,000

Project Team

Other

Pollock Krasner Foundation

Public Art Agent

Priscilla Fraser (curator)

MAK Center for Art and Architecture

Overview

“Processional” was chosen as an official collateral exhibition by the director Ralph Rugoff and the Selection Committee of the 58th Venice Biennale. It was curated by Priscilla Fraser (MAK Center), presented by the MAK Center for Art and Architecture LA, and sponsored by the Pollock Krasner Foundation NY. Professor Greg Walter of the UNC School of the Arts collaborated with me to compose a unique piece of music that was an integral part of the exhibition.
For Processional, Williamson examines the ideas of order and tradition to insinuate the deep uncertainty and uncontrollable political, social, and cultural movements of our time. Both the work and concept generated drew directly from the environment in which it was displayed, Chiesa di Santa Maria Della Pieta, in Venice. Occupying the long, narrow chapel located to the side of the Church, the space invites a meditative, sequential process of reflection and questions contemporary influencers and thought-leaders.

Goals

The exhibition was about the unbridled power of social media influencers, Oprah, Elon, Donald, Pope Francis etc. Each work was an abstract "portrait" of a person discussed and the color was used to discuss their character and power. The music was essentially an extension of the emotions of the artworks.

Process

The composer and I worked very closely in creating a symbiosis between the art and the music. The curator was essential in keeping the integrity of the ancient church where the art was displayed. The Pollock Krasner was my major funding and nothing would have happened without them.

Additional Information

The project had 100,000 visitors during the 7-month run. It was listed as one of the Top Ten exhibitions by Forbes, Domus, Widewalls, and the Venice Insider. I was asked directly by the Biennale to produce a project. This meant that once chosen, I had 4 months to produce the works, find financial support, a curator, and foundations as required by the Biennale. 75% of all cost and expenses paid for directly by the artist.