POST-Venice: The German Pavilion
May 15, 2015

Our dispatches from the 56th Venice Biennale kick off with Germany's Pavilion, where a new film installation by Hito Steyerl casts a sinister light on our hyper-connected reality

Entering the German Pavilion within the Giardini, visitors are immediately met by a steep flight of rickety stairs. Ascending them to the very top of the building, you find yourself with a view out to the water, obscured only by the leafy treetops brushing against the curved windows. This year’s presentation brings together multiple artists across the newly vertical layout, a structure made possible through the recycling of last year’s German contribution to the Architecture Biennale.

News clippings on African refugees in Germany are displayed upstairs in Tobias Zielony’s “The Citizen”, while Hito Steyerl explores the circulation of labour and information in a very different way, down another flight of stairs in a subterranean ‘Motion Capture Studio’. Illuminated by criss-crossing blue lights, reclining chairs face towards a slanted screen, across which “The Factory of the Sun” plays, a new film work by Steyerl. Imagining an interface between the physical and virtual world, a fictional computer game plays out, where characters convert their movements to light and fight against a sinister attack of Deutsche bank drones.

 

Complete with bleeps, loading bars and endless buffering symbols, Steyerl embodies the pervasiveness of flashing signs and symbols into the realities of the world around us

 

Complete with bleeps, loading bars and endless buffering symbols, Steyerl embodies the pervasiveness of our onscreen vernacular of flashing signs and symbols into the realities of the world around us. “I smashed a Deutschebank window, but the rubble was melted down and turned into fibre optic artwork,” one character bemoans. This darkly humorous thread runs through the piece, deftly moving from a mock message from the sponsor that reads only, “Stupid information about the brand”, complete with a ‘Skip ad >’ button, to harder comments on the deaths of protestors, and the lack of accountability from corporations today. Manic, politically charged and utterly compelling.

 

The pavilions are on show until 22nd November 2015, as part of the 56th Venice Biennale

Related
Articles
POST-Venice: The Polish Pavilion
article
An opera plays out in Haiti in Poland's multimedia offering, journeying into the heart of national identity and collective memory
Building in the digital age: a conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist
article
We speak to the super-curator about his vision for the Swiss Pavilion at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale – the second in our special series on the event
POST-Venice: The Korean and Hong Kong Pavilions
article
Two futuristic pavilions land in Venice, as Korea's sci-fi pod imagines a trapped female avatar across an impressive multi-screen installation, while minimal projections are put to new purposes in Hong Kong's showing
POST-Venice: The Latvian and Nordic Pavilions
article
We explore new architectural forms in two site-specific installations, next up in our essential Venice selection
Who are we each performing for?
article
The many identities and anxieties of the virtual pop star are explored in a performance initiated by Mari Matsutoya, with a dream-like score by Laurel Halo
Future Modernity at the Danish Pavilion
article
In the first of our special series on the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, the Danish Pavilion looks into a rich history of innovation in order to direct a sustainable future for its cities
Isaac Julien pays tribute to Lina Bo Bardi
article
The Modernist architect is memorialised by Isaac Julien in his multi-channel film ‘Stones Against Diamonds’, as geometric glass easels cut through the Icelandic landscape
John Akomfrah's new film is a revelatory masterpiece
article
Premiered at this year's Venice Biennale, the artist's latest work explores beauty and terror at sea in a remarkable meditation on whaling and the history of migration
Cevdet Erek - Davul
recommendation
Representing Turkey at the Venice Biennale, Cevdet Erek latest delivery for Subtext Recordings acts both as the recording of a musician and a documentation of his practice as a conceptual artist. Hypnotic and fiercely raw improvisation on different types of drums draw equally from the aesthetics of electronic music and total freedom from traditional musicianship. Downtuning the drums and involving objects are bringing Erek's exploration of flow and dynamics in textural territories.
Jonas Mekas’ Internet Saga
article
The pioneering filmmaker of the American Avant-Garde brings his focus on the intimate encounters of everyday life to an exhibition that celebrates the influence of the internet
About