A little bit about the SA Pavilion at ‘La Biennale di Venezia 2017’


The 57th International Art Exhibition, titled Viva Arte Viva, is well underway having opened its doors to the public on Saturday, May 13th and will be open to view until Sunday, November 26th, 2017.

The Exhibition includes 86 National Participation in the historic Pavilions at the Giardini, at the Arsenale and in the city centre of Venice.  The Exhibition offers a route that unfolds over the course of nine chapters or families of artists. One hundred and twenty invited artists from fifty-one countries will be showcasing their art over the period.

Paolo Baratta, President of
La Biennale di Venezia, explains that “the 57th Exhibition introduces a further development. It is as though what has always been our primary work method—encounter and dialogue—has now become the theme of the Exhibition, because this year’s Biennale is dedicated to celebrating, and almost giving thanks for, the very existence of art and artists, whose worlds expand our perspective and the space of our existence.”

The South African Pavilion
presents Candice Breitz and Mohau Modisakeng, a two person exhibition exploring the ‘disruptive power of storytelling in relation to historical and contemporary waves of forced migration. The exhibition foregrounds the challenging narrative structure via which each artist addresses violent experiences of displacement, focusing on the precarious conditions that pertain to subjectivity within the context of migration, exclusion and transience’Lucy MacGarry, Curator.

Candice Breitz’ ‘Love Story’ is a seven-channel installation interrogating the mechanics of identification and the conditions under which empathy is produced. The work is based on the personal narrative of six individuals who fled their countries in response to oppressive conditions.

Mohau Modisakeng‘s ‘Passage’ is a three channel projection that meditates on slavery’s dismemberment of African identity and its enduring erasure of personal histories. The flow of water being life changing and deadly symbolizes the many people that have arrived and departed from South Africa in trade as cargo or as transient bodies belonging to no particular state.

The SA Pavilion is proudly supported by its primary funder and commissioner, the South African Department of Arts and Culture as well as additional friends who as supporting funders have enabled the promotion and amplification of the project.

For more information about what is to be expected at the SA Pavilion, visit their numerous social media platforms:



The South African Pavilion: Vernissage Invitation