NEW LIFE VENICE (2011)
Wooloo offers free accommodation in private homes to artists participating in the 54th Venice Biennale.
Wooloo was originally invited to participate in the Biennale by the Lebanese Pavilion. However, the Pavilion was later cancelled due to internal disagreements in Lebanon.
In the light of this new situation, Wooloo is now offering the Venetian hospitality collected for their pavilion project ‘New Life Venice’ to other artists in need.
So far, artists exhibiting for the national pavilions of Albania, Costa Rica, Lithuania, Haiti and Romania has accepted Wooloo’s offer and will be living with private families during their stay in Venice. The same goes for a number of independent projects of Middle Eastern and other origin.
Money = Culture?
In Venice, space is at a premium - whether for accommodation or exhibition. Judged by its square meter prices alone, the Biennale is one of the world’s most expensive art fairs. Here, where national pavilions reflect the power relations of the past, representation comes at a high cost.
For the Lebanese delegation, the cost was too high - they could not afford to rent a space inside the Arsenale, and the lot reserved for the Lebanese pavilion was rented to another buyer.
This fact was the initial trigger for New Life Venice. A work that aims to disrupt the relationship between wealth and display by questioning the equation: money = culture.
New Life Venice began as a work that would save the Lebanese delegation money, while creating a meeting point between local residents and the biennale’s influx of international cultural producers. It will now continue its mission for other artists.