‘Dependtendency’, an exhibition of 10 works on the theme of cultural interdependence,  4-7 June 2009 on Isola della Certosa, Venice, during the 53rd Visual Arts Biennal of Venice.

Erdogan Bulut
Massimo Cristaldi
Claudia Gambadoro
Giuseppe Gonella
Seung Hee Kang
Yea Jin Song
Hektor Mamet
Peter Monkman
Sara Rossi
Ira Schneider

'Dependtendency' is a unique exhibition of 10 works held in the park of the island of Certosa, Venice, 4 to 7 June 2009, during the 53rd Venice Biennal of Visual Arts.

Dependtendency is an open-call to artists worldwide to present a work on the theme of cultural interdependence no later than 30 April 2009.

Works were exhibited in the park of the island of Certosa, in the historic armoury making use of the old, brick and cement munitions storage depots. Isola della Certosa is a small island right infront of the Arsenale gates.

A panel of international art critics: Mark Gisbourne, Adrienne Goehler and Victoria Lu, chose the 10 works, and another 10 selected works for the exhibition catalogue.

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Photo credit
Roberto Ruager

Jurors' statement

It is not in the least surprising in a mediated age such as ours that the response for submissions to the Dependtendency exhibition in Venice, 2009, should have been so heavily subscribed. What is more surprising is that the general age of the applicants and selected artists should have been so wide in generational terms, from twenty-five to eighty-nine years. It certainly blows up the myth that the internet is merely a platform of youth, quite the reverse has been true in this particular instance. The choices made by the jurors, however, reflect an attempt to represent a wide variety of media, while at the same time express a diverse and heterogeneous set of responses in keeping with the general plurality of contemporary art practices today.

The Buddhist idea of mutuality, the general theme of the Dependtendency show, suggests an attempt to avoid the binary oppositions familiarly adopted and inherent to Western epistemology (as knowledge forming systems). As far as the jury was concerned we sought to respond to artists that emphasised the process of making and the made, rather than to an overload of conceptual strategies. To what extent the artists selected for the exhibition reflect an overall unity of purpose it is hard to say. But in terms of the internality of their own approaches they seem to express a genuine and personal unity of practice in what they do. However, it is always problematic for a jury to make judgments on the basis of such a limited portfolio view of each artist's production.

The four videos and film-based artists in the show, submitted by Claudia Gambadoro, Yea Jin Song, Ira Schneider, and Peter Monkman, present four distinct positions. With Gambadoro it is the creation of a personal environmental world of identity, with Yea Jin Song it is performance-based as it relates to the history of painting (Magritte in this instance), with Ira Schneider (one of the pioneer founders of video art in the late 1960s) the emphasis is on water and phenomenological perception – something ideally suited to Venice as a city built on a lagoon. In the case of Monkman he follows processes with an unpredictable in outcome, not quite automatism, but drawings that emerge through an intentional, if not ultimately controllable, degree of chance and emotional distraction.

The painters Seung Hee Kang, Erdogan Bulut, and Sara Rossi represent a sense of counter intuitiveness. Kang whose art has been censored and deemed politically (at least in North Korea) provocative is both witty and ambiguous and therefore hard to establish any subversive contents. Whereas in contradistinction Bulut's work is far removed from the immediacy of the social, and possesses of a personal pictorial universe not unrelated visually to art brut. Rossi's painting is remarkable as a subject, because it very nature as a subject is unremarkable – a sort of desiderata of the commonplace.

The powerful aspect of Massimo Cristaldi's 'Ground Zero' photograph, in one of retained mystery, telling of the site post-disaster, and doubling an extraordinary mental sense of composure, that is in simply compositional terms and in a more far reaching sense meditatively. Hektor Mamet's sculpture-model-photograph of a modern housing complex, while it may indirectly homage people like Thomas Demand and James Casebere in its means and approach, is nonetheless a skilful accomplishment. Made even more so if the date of birth given by the artists as 1920 is correct. The integrity and expression of a personal world is also evident in the mixed installation of Giuseppe Gonella, and it is a work that serves as a masculine counterpoint to Gambadoro video with which we began. Seen alongside the context of the 53rd Venice Biennal, we can only wish all the artists participating good luck and hope that the exhibition is a great success.

May 2009

Amoeba Design
Elisa Cella

Catalogue Design / Audio Visual
Roberto Baldi

Catalogue Dependtendency

A 40 page exhibition catalogue with critical texts and illustrations of the 10 ‘Dependtendency’ works which will be presented at the Venice exhibition, plus 10 other selected works. A free copy will be available to all artists who presented a work for selection to 'Dependtendency'. If you are unable to come and pick up your free copy, you can order it by post via info@celesteprize.com Additional copies 5 euro each.