Venice

IILA-Latin America pavillion inaugurated at Venice Biennale

Live performances Friday for opening of 'Atlas of the Empire'

IILA-Latin America pavillion inaugurated at Venice Biennale

Venice, May 29 - Organizers of the Latin America and the Italo-Latin American Institute (IILA) pavillion will inaugurate their exhibit at the 55th Venice Biennale international art fair on Friday with live performances by Latin American artists. The IILA-Latin America exhibit is dedicated to European and Latin American interrelations, and to the dynamics of cultural ties and exchanges between artists on the two continents. This edition's theme, "The Atlas of the Empire", explores new geopolitical dimensions of art by conjuring an imaginary atlas in which Latin American and European art confront and dialogue with each other, mounting a crescendo of mutual enrichment of cultural identities. Curated by Alfons Hug, Paz Guevara and Sylvia Irrazabal, the theme was inspired by a literary allegory of Jorge Luis Borges, who imagined an attempt by cartographers to draw a "Map of the Empire" as large as the empire itself and a perfect representation. Ideas came too, from the Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes and "Invisible Cities" by Italian writer Italo Calvino. In the IILA-Latin America exhibit, the artists will redesign the symbolic cartography of the two continents, which have seen a formidable artistic exchange in recent decades, with a number of successful Latin American artists living in Europe and vice versa. Italian Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Mario Giro will attend the 16:30 inauguration of the exhibit on Friday. Panamanian artist Jhafis Quintero Protesis will perform a work based on mechanisms of survival used in prisons, exploring vital human needs and the metaphor of life reduced to subsistence. Uraguayan artist Martin Sastre will auction off three bottles of "U" perfume, made from essences of flowers and herbs from the ranch belonging to Uruguayan President Jose' Mujica. Mujica is known for his ascetic life-style, and his preference for living on his farm over the presidential palace. The president grows flowers to sell in local markets, and each month donates 90% of his salary to build homes. The exhibit is showing in the Isolotto space of the Arsenale building, and includes the work of more than a dozen Latin American artists.

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