|Xavier Veilhan by The Selby in 2010|
Communiqué de la galerie :
Artist Xavier Veilhan has been selected to represent France at the 57th Venice Biennale (May 13 - November 26, 2017) with his project Musical Merzbau (working title).
Xavier Veilhan imagines an overall environment that encompasses the entire surface of the pavilion and so altering our perception of it, much in the continuity of his former immersive works The Studio (1993), The Forest and The Cave (both 1998); an installation in a formal vocabulary borrowed from the universe of the recording studio and inspired by Kurt Schwitters’ seminal work, the Merzbau. Like clearings, a few more functional spaces appear for rehearsing, experimenting, mixing or recording. Various musicians from all backgrounds are called upon to activate the structure and turn it into the ideal arena for their creations during the six months of the biennial. In this way Musical Merzbau bears witness to Xavier Veilhan’s ongoing development of exhibition platforms like The Hyperrealist Project (2003), The Glass Wall (2003) or Le Baron de Triqueti (2006), with which he continually questions the concept of the exhibition itself, in his search to somehow extend it. The pavilion becomes a place of fusion between contemporary art and music, in the framework of the Bauhaus and Black Mountain College experiments.
Xavier Veilhan was born in 1963 and lives and works in Paris. Since the 1980s he reinvents statuary and develops a multi-shaped approach between formal classicism and high technology. He has a long-standing interest in the often-evolving exhibition space in which the visitor becomes an active participant and is invited to a new reading of his surroundings. His numerous works in the public space often respond to the same principle. Veilhan cultivates his research with regular musical collaborations with artists like Sébastien Tellier, the band Air or pioneer composer Eliane Radigue. In 2012 he started developing Architectones, a series of interventions in seven major modernist buildings around the world. His interest for architecture rose to a new level in 2014 when he designed the château de Rentilly with architects Bona+Lemercier and scenographer Alexis Bertrand. He has directed two films in 2015 that prolong these spatial explorations: Vent Moderne and Matching Numbers. That same year, the double exhibition Music at Galerie Perrotin, both in New York and in Paris, honored the music producers that shape the sound of our time, a project that wholly nourished the idea of Musical Merzbau and his planned collaborations for the French pavilion.
In charge of ensuring French representation at the Venice Biennales for contemporary art and architecture, the Institut français, agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, is the producer of the French Pavilion alongside the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.
Musical Merzbau is produced by ARTER, with the participation of We Love Art, the Académie de l’Opéra de Paris and Cité de la musique | Philharmonie de Paris.
Xavier Veilhan sur Alice au pays des arts :
Veilhan at Hatfield, Promenade 2012
Orchestra, 2011, galerie Perrotin