The latest edition of the Venice Biennale again features an array of not-to-be-missed presentations of former residents of Delfina Foundation, and studio artists from Delfina Foundation predecessor organisation, Delfina Studio Trust (DST).
Over a dozen ‘Delfina artists and curators’ can be found across the pavilions, central exhibition and collateral events around the city: Noor Abuarafeh, Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, Shiraz Bayjoo, Rana Begum, Sonia Boyce, Ali Cherri, Nolan Oswald Dennis, Geumhyung Jeong, Candice Lin, Hassan Meer, Robertas Narkus, Yasmina Reggad, Luiz Roque, and Bo Zheng.
Delfina alumni are well-represented among the national pavilions this year, including Great Britain, France, Lithuania, Oman, and the UAE.
- Sonia Boyce represents Great Britain in its Giardini Pavilion.
> A DST studio artist during the early 90s.
- Robertas Narkus represents Lithuania in the offsite location.
> A 2018 resident, who presented the performance Prospect Revenge during a Delfina ‘open studios’ event, which later discussed by Mimi Chu in Frieze Magazine.
- Hassan Meer is part of a group show for the Omani pavilion.
> Awarded a 6-week residency at Delfina Foundation in 2012.
- Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim represents the UAE with a show titled Between Sunrise and Sunset.
> A participant of Delfina’s AIR Dubai programme in 2015.
- Yasmina Reggad is part of the curatorial team for this year’s French pavilion, presenting artist Zineb Sedira – a long-term friend of Delfina Foundation.
> A former AIR Dubai resident and associate curator for Delfina’s Performance as Process programme in 2015.
Artistic Director Cecilia Alemani has selected work from several Delfina alumni to be presented as part of this year’s Central Exhibition.
- Noor Abuarafeh
> In-residence at Delfina in 2018, during which she conducted research in to an undocumented photo she found in archive of the Imperial War Museum of an exhibition appearing to be about Jerusalem.
- Geumhyung Jeong
> Presented her first UK solo show at Delfina Foundation in 2017 to great acclaim.
- Candice Lin
> A 2014 resident, who hosting a ten-course banquet, which included taking “culinary revenge” on the Koch brothers.
- Luiz Roque
> In-residence in summer 2014 and presenting work at the end-of-season ‘open studios‘ event at Delfina; and whose “uncanny and transgressive films” were highlighted among four artists to watch at the Venice Biennale by Frieze Magazine.
Additionally, the Central Exhibition includes:
- Ali Cherri
> Took part in Artist-to-Artist, an initiative with Visiting Arts, at Delfina Foundation in 2009.
- Bo Zheng
> Participant of the programme of performances produced by Delfina Foundation at the 58th Venice Biennale (more below).
Shiraz Bayjoo, a recent Delfina UK associate artist will present a new performance and installation during the vernissage, as part of International Curators Forum’s Diaspora Pavilion 2: Venice. This new commission – developed by Shiraz during his time as an associate at Delfina Foundation in 2021 – will feature moving image, sculptural installation, choreographed movement enacted by Nicolas Faubert and vocal performances by Siyabonga Mthembu. Live performances will take place three times a day between the 20 and 22 April in the Groggia Theatre.
Rana Begum is a part of the group exhibition Uncombed, Unforeseen, Unconstrained, running throughout the biennale’s duration at the Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello, presented by Parasol Unit. Rana was in-residence with Delfina Foundation in Beirut in 2009, after which she presented a solo exhibition at Delfina Foundation in London.
Nolan Oswald Dennis, together with Lina Mazenett, is a participating artist in the Unfinished Camp workshop Transdisciplinary Technologies: Thinking, Solutions, Inequity and Access taking place on 20 April 2022 (3:30-5:30). Being held at Venice Meeting Point, this inaugural in-person convening of Unfinished Camp takes place during the opening week of the Biennale . Over the week, artists, art curators, and social innovators will join together in discussions and collaborative workshops to imagine the future of ethical technology. Nolan was in-residence at Delfina Foundation in 2021. Watch a video introducing his practice and his residency activities here.
DELFINA’S HISTORY IN VENICE
Alumni from across Delfina Foundation and Delfina Studio Trust have a great record of presentation at Venice, including then-studio artist Luisa Lambri being part of the Golden Lion winning Italian pavilion in 1999.
In 2019, Delfina Foundation co-produced with Venice Biennale a special series of performances, co-curated by Aaron Cezar and Ralph Rugoff, during the opening and closing of the biennale, involving artists: Alex Baczynski-Jenkins, boychild, Nástio Mosquito, Florence Peake & Eve Stainton, Victoria Sin (now known as Sin Wai Kin), Zadie Xa, Vivian Caccuri, Cooking Sections, Invernomuto, Paul Maheke, Nkisi and Ariel Efraim Ashbel, Vivien Sansour, Bo Zheng, and Solange Knowles.