One hundred and twenty years after it began, the Venice Biennale still captivates the art world once every two years with the spectacle of a truly global survey of the very best of contemporary art. From May to November 2015 the Biennale will include representation from more than eighty-five invited nations, all showcasing their leading artists in national pavilions and exhibition spaces.
The Canadian artist-collective BGL of Quebec City was chosen by a national selection committee. Artists Jasmin Bilodeau, Sébastien Giguère and Nicolas Laverdière, whose last names lend their initials to BGL, have been collaborating for twenty years to create ambitious sculptures, installations and performance works.
With BGL’s Canadassimo, the Canada Pavilion, in the Giardini di Castello, has been utterly transformed: a structure of scaffolding expands the exterior, while the inside is filled with a multitude of curious objects.
“Canadassimo offers a strange path through the Canada Pavilion, which has been completely transformed. Beneath the scaffolding that partially obscures the building’s façade – creating the impression that the exhibition is still under construction – is the entrance to a dépanneur, one of the small neighbourhood convenience stores found across Quebec that sell tinned goods and other household essentials. Beyond this typically chaotic and shabby shop is a loft-like living space: though far more organized, this area is evidently the preserve of a recycling enthusiast. Next comes what BGL has dubbed “the studio,” a place crowded with countless objects of all kinds, including stacks of tin cans covered with dribbles of paint. Having made their way through this bizarre living/working domain, spectators can relax for a while on a terrace that offers a marvellous view over the Giardini.”Marie Fraser, in the 56th International Art Exhibition la Biennale di Venezia catalogue