Canadian Pavilion at 56th Venice Biennale
BGL (Jasmin Bilodeau, Sébastien Giguère and Nicolas Laverdière)
Giardini del Castello
Curator: Marie Fraser
Commissioner: Marc Mayer
“Often described as provocative and critical, BGL’s practice employs humour and extravagance to explore the world of objects, while simultaneously raising social and political issues related to nature, contemporary lifestyles, economics and the art system. As well as sculptures and performances, the collective’s works include huge installations that plunge spectators into unexpected situations, prompting them to question their own behaviour and to revise their view of reality.
Canadassimo offers a strange path through the Canada Pavilion, which has been completely transformed. Beneath the scaffolding that partially obscures the building’s façade—creating the impression that the exhibition is still under construction—is the entrance to a dépanneur, one of the small neighbourhood convenience stores found across Quebec that sell tinned goods and other household essentials. Beyond this typically chaotic and shabby shop is a loft-like living space: though far more organized, this area is evidently the preserve of a recycling enthusiast.
Next comes what BGL has dubbed ‘the studio,’ a place crowded with countless objects of all kinds, including stacks of tin cans covered with dribbles of paint. Having made their way through this bizarre living/working domain, spectators can relax for a while on a terrace that offers a marvellous view over the Giardini.”
–Marie Fraser, in the 56th International Art Exhibition la Biennale di Venezia catalogue
Image: BGL – Jasmin Bilodeau, Sébastien Giguère et Nicolas Laverdière, Canvas, 2014, Special Edition for the Canadian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Courtesy National Gallery of Canada.