Opera Aperta / Loose Work at 54th Venice Biennale

Dutch Official contribution Curated By Guus Beumer

4 jun 2011
27 nov 2011

For the 54th edition of the Venice Biennale, the Dutch Pavilion has been temporarily transformed into the model of a theater. As suggested by its title Opera Aperta / Loose Work, this is an open and collective project, in which Barbara Visser, Herman Verkerk, Johannes Schwartz, Joke Robaard, Maureen Mooren and Paul Kuipers have been invited by curator Guus Beumer to collaborate. This collaboration has led to additional contributions by Sanneke van Hassel, Yannis Kyriakides, Ernst van der Hoeven, and an opening performance by Alexander van Slobbe.


Curator Guus Beumer explaining something to Moniek Toebosch and Lily van Ginneken - At the preview of his 2011 show at the Venice Biennale. Willem Velthoven

Opera Aperta / Loose Work raised the issue as to whether the notion of national representation and national identity, so intrinsic to the history of the Venice Biennale, can be reinterpreted through the notion of community. And it considers whether this issue can be related to the cultural infrastructure that characterizes the Netherlands to a significant degree.

By translating the notion of cultural infrastructure into 'community', the foundations are laid for a collective approach and resulting exhibition model, which has become the framework for several new works by individual participants. The realized exhibition model can best be described as a 1:1 model in which the pavilion built by architect Rietveld has been completely incorporated.