Two internationally acclaimed female artists Michal Cole and Ekin Onat have been confirmed to take over The Pavilion of Humanity in Venice with a collaborative exhibition for the duration of the 57th Biennale opening in May 2017.
Their joint residency Objection will be a celebration of women in the arts, a timely reminder for the importance of shared values and solidarity, and a unique artistic voice emphasising the need for global awareness of political and domestic issues alike. The exhibition is supported by the University of the Arts London and curated by Gillian Fox.
Politicised gender and national identity are concerns at the centre of both Onat and Cole’s art. Setting up in the meticulously restored and preserved villa at the base of the Academia Bridge, Cole and Onat’s collaboration will distort the domestic into a place of protest. In this traditional Venetian house, viewers will encounter installations in the kitchen, living room, dining room and bedrooms, each altering the meaning of these overly familiar surroundings and their relationship to inhabitants within, questioning the idea of ‘home’ as a politically neutral space. While works on the ground floor of the exhibition will address the private-yet-public dichotomy of their familial environment, the upstairs will be more discreet, with the works adopting the function of this floor as a restorative place of rest and contemplation.
A Turkish woman, Ekin Onat is a vocal opponent of the current political regime and inherent ideological propaganda that dominates her homeland. Questions of civil society and freedom of speech are at the centre of her performance and subsequent installation works within the dining room. Onat will undertake a corporeal performance during the opening week of the Biennale.