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Magazzini Del Sale, Venice


Residency: 1 August – 14 August 2013

Vernissage: Thursday 1 August 2013 6.00 – 9.00


Vanya Balogh, Lulu Cheng, Samia Malik, Francesco La Porta, Garry DohertyValerie Driscoll, Stephen Hall, Tomaz Kramberger, Sian-Kate Mooney, Beulah Queenie, Mark O’ Rourke, Danny Pockets, Lili Ren, Hedley Roberts, Liz Sheridan, Steve Smith, John Stephens, Maria Teresa Gavazzi, Dean Todd, Slobodan Trajkovic, Mark Woods, and Shuby.

COLONY 55 brings together 21 artists to work in residency and exhibit under the ‘Directional Forces Project’ at Magazzini Del Sale, an arts venue situated in a old salt storage facility in Dorosoduro, Venice.


COLONY 55 are 21 international artists who have ‘colonised’ the Magazzini Del Sale space between the 1st and the 14th August 2013 during the 55th Venice Arts Biennale. In occupying the space the artists have tested their own practice in response to the conditions of the situation with the express aim of producing and displaying completely new work under the Directional Forces Project.


The Directional Forces project takes its title from of one Joseph Beuys most significant works, “Richtkräfte” (Directional forces) (1974-77).  Begun during Art and Society at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (Nov. 1974), the work consists of 100 chalk-written blackboards that feature the wide range of subjects that Beuys covered in his lecture presentations.  The work was subsequently shown at the René Block Gallery, New York (April 1975) and the Venice Biennale (July 1976) before Beuys presented it in the National Gallery in Berlin in its final form as an installation.

Beuys developed the role of the artist as pedagogue throughout the 1970s, including discussion and teaching in his expanded definition of art, delivering lectures in galleries and art colleges using complex annotated chalk drawings on blackboards. Beuys’ thinking was highly influenced by the work of the philosopher, Rudolph Steiner. Beuys’ theories of ‘Social Sculpture’ and the ‘Social organism as work of art’ emerge from Steiner’s theories of the ‘Social Three-folding” of ‘economy, politics and culture’. Beuys believed that art and creativity had the power to transform, and key to this was the belief that ongoing, active debate is necessary to stimulate this.


The aim of the Directional Forces project is to provide an intensive residency environment for experienced and emerging artists to interrogate the pedagogy of their practice within a social situation, leading towards a new body of work by each artist. At Magazzini Del Sale and the associated Morion residence accommodation and venue, artists live, eat and work together, sharing knowledge, ideas and creative experiences through social interaction and engagement. The resultant exhibition features work made in response to that experience, the situation of the exhibition, the culture of Magazzini Del Sale, the Morion Residence, the 55th Biennale and Venice itself.


Directional Forces 2013: COLONY 55 has been funded by the University of East London UK, Bucks New University UK, the University of Bedfordshire RIMAP, and has been made possible through the kind support of SALE.


The Directional Forces Projects was established in 2011. Since then, over 60 Artists have taken part in projects associated with Directional Forces. Directional Forces invites artists and curators to curate events under the project.


COLONY 55 has been conceived and curated by Vanya Balogh, Sian-Kate Mooney and Garry Doherty.

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