The 54th Venice Biennale | Michael Parekowhai at The New Zealand Pavilion



The New Zealand Pavilion

Venice Biennale 2011:  54th International Art Exhibition

Artist: Michael Parekowhai

Commissioner: Jenny Harper

Creative New Zealand, Arts Council of New Zealand, Toi Aotearoa

Venue: Palazzo Loredan dell’Ambasciatore, Venice

4 June – 23 Oct 2011

Preview days:  1, 2 and 3 June 2011

Creative New Zealand Arts Council of New Zealand, Toi Aotearoa is pleased to announce that Michael Parekowhai will represent New Zealand at the 54th Venice Biennale.

Parekowhai was invited to take part by Creative New Zealand and 2011 Venice Biennale Commissioner Jenny Harper. His new work On first looking into Chapman’s Homer pays tribute to the poem of the same title by the nineteenth-century English Romantic poet John Keats, and references notions of discovery, exploration, and the cultural interplay between the Old and New Worlds.

Music and performance will be a central aspect of the installation, of which Parekowhai says, “While the objects in On first looking into Chapman’s Homerare important, much of the real meaning of the work will come through music, which fills space like no object can.”

Commissioner Jenny Harper said, “On first looking at Chapman’s Homer is topical and will create a sense of drama and surprise for the audiences.”

Michael Parekowhai is one of New Zealand’s most important contemporary artists. In addition to an extensive exhibition history, his work is held in many significant public and private collections in New Zealand and Australia, as well as several permanent collections across the Asia-Pacific region and in Europe.

Born in Porirua, New Zealand in 1968, Michael Parekowhai is of European and Maori (Ngati Whakarongo) descent. He graduated with a BA and MA from the University of Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts, where he is now Associate Professor in Fine Arts. In 2001 he was awarded an Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate.

This year the New Zealand Pavillion will be in the Palazzo Loredan dell’Ambasciatore on the Grand Canal near the Accademia This 15th-century Gothic palace once belonged to the noble Loredan family and was the birthplace of two Doges of Venice – Leonardo Loredan (1501-21) and Francesco Loredan (1752-62). This is the first time that the palazzo will host a national pavilion for the Venice Biennale.