Art | April 11, 2024 |

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Image courtesy of Julien Creuzet

French pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Art
Venice, Italy
April 20 – November 24, 2024

In naming the 60th edition of the Biennale Arte 2024 Stranieri Ovunque (Foreigners Everywhere), Adriano Pedrosa, Director of the São Paulo Museum and La Biennale di Venezia’s first curator from the southern hemisphere, has given a strong political and social orientation to the 2024 event. This direct allusion to the work of the Paris-based Claire Fontaine collective, a group inspired by an antiracist movement in Turin in the 2000s, is a way to turn the focus onto the question of migrations, otherness and marginality. In response to this turn, France chose to place the Pavilion in the hands of the artist Julien Creuzet, whose work is particularly marked by the presence of such issues, which run through much contemporary art.

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Image courtesy of Julien Creuzet

Supported by his two curators, Céline Kopp, Director of Magasin, the National Centre for Contemporary Art in Grenoble, and by the curator, cultural producer and writer Cindy Sissokho, the artist nominated for the 2021 Marcel Duchamp Prize is one of the youngest creators to represent the French Pavilion in Venice, but already an influential figure on the international stage. Julien Creuzet will unveil an immersive installation that instigates a dialogue between the founding imaginaries and myths of our hybrid societies. In his work, water, the seas and oceans are vehicles of his vision of history, of the movements of people, ideas and forms. The references that he draws from different geographies, around the Caribbean, Latin America and West Africa, have their echoes on the European continent and in Venice. Building bridges between apparently distinct cultures, Julien Creuzet’s organic perspective identifies the deep wellsprings of our humanity.

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Image courtesy of Julien Creuzet

The Ministry for Culture and the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs are especially pleased to support Julien Creuzet’s project since his artwork and sensibility are particularly in tune with our shared commitment to dialogue between cultures and to international artistic and cultural interchange. France’s participation in the international exhibition will also be marked this year by invitations to artists connected with France selected by the curator Adriano Pedrosa: Daniel Otero Torres, Ivan Argote, Giulia Andreani, Nil Yalter, Bouchra Khalili, Chaouki Choukini and the Claire Fontaine collective. The exhibitions and output of the many French galleries and artists present at the Biennale di Venezia will complement this landscape and showcase the quality of the French artistic scene in all its diversity.

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Image courtesy of Julien Creuzet

As a major event in the art world, Biennale Arte 2024 remains true to its mission: to provide a showcase for contemporary creative arts that reflect the world’s concerns and to give the public an opportunity to meet professionals and artists and obtain more direct access to their work. We are proud to contribute to this mission through the Institut français, operator of the French Pavilion, and we would like to thank the public and private partners who have undertaken to support France’s participation in this 60th International Art Exhibition.

In December 2022, France’s Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry for Culture chose Julien Creuzet to represent France at the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, on the recommendation of an international jury established by the Institut français. Through this choice, the French Pavilion is opening its doors to a multifaceted artist, working across different media – the visual arts, video, poetry – who immediately decided to make joy, hospitality and conversation the signature themes of this Venetian adventure. This openness, this desire for interaction and dialogue, is central to his work and his career, fed by the multiple imaginative wellsprings of the Caribbean, of Martinique where he grew up, at the interface between European, African and Indian cultures.

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Image courtesy of Julien Creuzet

Attila cataract your source at the feet of the green peaks will end up in the great sea blue abyss we drowned in the tidal tears of the moon promises an immersive and multisensory experience, a plunge into Julien Creuzet‘s forms, materials and themes, an encounter with long-gestated and evolving symbols and chimaeras which the artist, with his particular way of being in the world, has grasped in all their polyphonic diversity. With his personal poetry and an acute sense of the collective, Julien Creuzet invites us to widen our focus and to see the French Pavilion as a space of mobility, visibility and of rediscovery. True to his desire to create the conditions for a “grand moment of life and togetherness“, he chose to unveil his project to the press in Martinique, like the first phase of this open pavilion, which is also an invitation to celebrate the Caribbean’s arts scene.

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Image courtesy of Julien Creuzet

In Venice, the Institut français has also chosen to make the encounter the theme of this year’s event. For the first time, on the days dedicated to the professional community, it will organise a unifying event around the French presence in Venice in the form of a breakfast. The “Café français” will offer an opportunity for professionals from France and abroad to meet and chat. It will also host established artists from France who have been invited to the international Foreigners Everywhere exhibition staged by the Biennale’s curator, Adriano Pedrosa. This fantastic shared adventure could never happen without the contributions of our partners and in particular the efforts of our patrons, the CHANEL Culture Fund and the LUMA Foundation. I would like to express my warmest thanks and deep gratitude to them.

“What does the centre mean when you’re French? What is the meaning of the French Pavilion in Venice and national representation? How do you construe all that when they call you an “overseas” citizen, someone aware of being part of a much more complex French story? I think you have to try to emphasise it. It is important to move people physically and symbolically into a reality that mostly has little to do with the question of institutions and cultural policies. That’s probably unrealistic but it might contribute to changing certain perspectives in the future” – Julien Creuzet


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Image courtesy of Julien Creuzet

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