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May 10th - May 13th 2017


The Artists’ Pavilion: Speak Robert by Laura Malacart.
Curated by Camilla Palestra, commissioned by Artquest.

Location: Salizada Seriman, Cannaregio 4871, 30121 Venice. Google maps link.

Opening hours: Window installation viewable during daylight hours. The artist will be running workshops in the space daily from 16:00 - 17:00.

VeniceArtFactory is proud to present Speak Robert, a newly commissioned work by Italian-born London based artist Laura Malacart at the Artists’ Pavilion. It takes the form of an installation and a series of language workshops (daily 4:00pm – 5:00pm).  The project shows and performs the idea that globalisation is rewriting the legacy of post-colonialism and to an extent re-enacting it.

Malacart utilizes a narrative around the Scottish botanist Robert Fortune (1812-1880), the East India Company and the American actor Matt Damon starring in the Chinese blockbuster The Great Wall of China (2017). Malacart’s collaborative and interdisciplinary work is concerned with language and the politics of the voice.  Her practice engages with a range of media, including participatory performance, writing and video.  These strategies explore contemporary issues concerning identities in a globalised post-colonial world.  They conceive the speaking and listening subject, their positioning and idiom, crucial to define a historical and ideological perspective or its absence.


The Artists’ Pavilion is a project by Artquest that provides an awarded artist with a platform to realise new work at the Venice Biennale. This year’s pavilion is curated by Camilla Palestra and is accompanied by a programme of talks and events addressing issues of cultural identity within a global economy, dislocation and language, curated in collaboration with students from the University of the Arts London (Annie-Marie Akussah, Riah Charles, Rachel Hinman, Ciara McNeill, Josh Simpson.)



Wednesday 10th May at 17:00

- Opening reception: Laura Malacart in conversation to discuss Speak Robert and the wider themes of her practice.

Thursday 11th May at 17:00

- Sign language workshop with Gabriele Caia and Laura Volpato, University of Venice Ca’ Foscari. Participants will be introduced to sing language and will learn to use the basic skills to interact with each other, becoming aware of language as an identity apparatus.  

Friday 12th May at 10:30

- Programming & invigilation at the Venice Biennale – a professional development experience in partnership with Engage.

Students from University of the Arts talk about their experiences of developing a public programme in response to the Artists’ Pavilion commission.


Friday 12th May at 17:00

- Susan pui san lok – Fortune Cooking.

- A conversation with artist, writer and researcher Susan sui san lok on the notion of translation and diaspora.

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