Calle della Pietà
30122 Venice, Italy
The MAK Center for Art and Architecture is pleased to announce our participation in the 58th International Venice Biennale. Todd Williamson’s site-specific installation illustrates ideas of order and tradition to examine the deep uncertainty and uncontrollable political, social, and cultural movements of our time. Both the work and concept generated for this installation will draw directly from the environment in which it will be 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. Drawing from the site’s formal proportions and material richness, the artist has developed a series of works which encourage contemplation, challenge the perceived order of tradition and ask who are our apostles today? What are their roles? Is the influence of today’s perceived Influencers truly inspirational or dangerously dogmatic?
Williamson’s large scale canvases will sweep across the chapel’s walls of brick and crumbling plaster. The artworks will propose a new layer to the deep patina of aging plaster and brick. The colors of these new works are connected to what Williamson has termed, “the Modern Apostles and their antithesis”, that is, contemporary influencers and thought-leaders that have the remarkable power to cover, pervade, and completely overwhelm the existing environment. Drawing from the historic tradition of imagined representations of religious figures, Williamson will reconsider the visual “reality” of these individuals.
Displayed inside a vaulted passageway original works of writing will provide moments of pause for deeper contemplation. Through this strategic installation, Williamson encourages a suggested comparison between what we see and what we read. This designed dialogue invites the viewer to reflect upon the connection between reality and perception, between person and personality.
To further stimulate the visitor’s experience, Williamson is collaborating with professor Greg Walter from the University of North Carolina, School of the Performing Arts, with whom he has developed a harmonic Nocturne specific to the installation.