Monika Bravo: Venice Biennale-vatican pavillion 2015

56th international Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, Veneto, Venice, 05/09/2015 - 11/23/2015

Arsenale Sud, Venice


56 th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale



Is the new large-scale installation by Colombian artist, Monika Bravo, who will be representing the Vatican City in the Pavillion of the Holy see at the 56th international Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale..

Opening reception May 8th, 4:30 pm

9 May–23 November 2015

Press and professional preview: 5-8 May

The Sale d’ Armi of the Arsenale


This year Colombian artist Monika Bravo was invited to represent the Vatican City in their Holy See Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale. She will be showing alongside Elpida Hadzi-Vesileva, from Macedonia, and Mario Macilau, from Indeed, we have been here before-much earlier. But, where should we begin? In the beginning there was a word, it is written. But the word is not a word here, it is not even a beginning " Octavio Zaya in "Beyond Sense: On the ARCHE-TYPES of Monika Bravo" Detail of a drawing as part of the process of the work ARCHE-TYPES: THE SOUND OF THE WORD IS BEYOND SENSE by Monika Bravo. 2015 Mozambique. Nestled in the mythical Italian city the opening reception will take place between on May 9th and the exhibition will run until November 26th. Each artist will be exhibiting their work at The Sale d'Armi of the Arsenale. This is will be a historic event because the Vatican City will have its own Pavilion at the Venice Biennale for the second time. 

Without any formal or religious attachment between the artist and the Institution, Micol Forti, head of the Department of Contemporary Art of the Vatican Museums, invited Bravo personally to participate after a visit to her Studio in New York City. The committee in charge of the selection of the artists was led by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, deeply committed in bringing The Arts and The Vatican closer together, once again. This decision came after a deep understanding and huge respect for Bravo’s body of work, one that includes landmark pieces such as URUMU, Weaving_Time and Landscape of Belief.

The curatorial concept of the sample refers to the prologue of Saint John’s gospel “in the beginning”. But the three artists that were chosen to participate surfing 2015 were granted complete technical and conceptual freedom.

For this event Bravo will feature her new piece, “ARCHE-TYPES: The sound of the word is beyond sense”. Following her previous work she continues with concepts of exploring reality through perception and the impossibility of approaching the idea of the absolute through language. Parting from the abstract, this multimedia installation creates its own code proposing a parallel between the above mentioned prologue of the Gospel of St.John, Malevich’s ideas about the nonobjective and the definition of Zaum by Avant garde poet Aleksei Kruchenykh.

Bravo's conceptual approach continues her ongoing work using coding/decoding, language, form and abstraction, referencing the texts as a vehicle for the viewer to have different perspectives and interpretations, using color, abstract form and written language through a series of animated projections, creating an immersive reality of multiple layers.

Here, in the length of seven colored walls put together in a labyrinth-like form, the artist displays a multi format challenge for both emotion and reason alike. She uses the first two verses of the prologue of The Gospel of St. John to approach the problematic of “the word” itself in its “pure form” quality. Decoding the language of men and putting it back together in her own terms. Leaving something new out in the open for people to interpret through the codes of their own knowledge and sensibility. “I want to focus on the impossibility of achieving true meaning. On the multiple readings generated due to the perception of the beholder”, states the artist.

Through her work with perception, Bravo manages to question whether the world we live in is all just a mental construct; using her artistic practice as a tool to decipher the laws that govern the world we inhabit. Is with this inquiry in mind that she continues to create objects, incorporating both still and moving images as well as sound and interactive components, to generate situations where she can materialize and communicate her emotional state. She aims to challenge the audience’s own perception of what they consider real by generating a platform where they are required and induced to connect. Forcing them to explore, interact and at times focus on an object-place-scene for a duration of time in a manner that is both meditative and investigative.


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Monika Bravo

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