DOWNTOWN Nassau, the North Pole and Venice’s historic shipyard will all be linked by a Bahamian artist at a major festival.
Nassau-born artist Tavares Strachan’s work for the Bahamas’ first-ever pavilion at the Venice Biennale will include a 14-channel, 360-degree video and a series of neon sculptures.
An enveloping screen will play a video of Strachan’s re-enactment of explorers Robert Peary and Matthew Alexander Henson’s 1909 polar expedition.
The question of which of the two explorers was the first American to reach the North Pole and plant the US flag has long been debated. Strachan was attracted to the story as part of his own exploration of issues related to national identity, belonging, and globalisation.
“I’m fascinated by the idea of being in two or more places at once, and exploring difference that way,” he said.
“The way that la Biennale di Venezia, historically and now, deploys the idea of ‘difference’ as cultural tourism is an interesting problem to work with.”
The Venice Biennale is a major art exhibition that takes place once every two years in Venice, Italy.
The Bahamas’ first ever pavilion for this year’s 55th event, open from June 1 to November 24, is being curated by Jean Crutchfield and Robert Hobbs, and is supported by Nalini Bethel from the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.