Exhibition : 12 June – 6 November 2005

Venice Biennale 2005

La Biennale di Venezia – 51st International Art Exhibition

Title of the exhibition in the Nordic Pavilion: 'Sharing Space Dividing Time'

Norway: Matias Faldbakken (b. 1973, Hobro, Denmark)
Sweden: Miriam Bäckström (b. 1967, Stockholm)
Carsten Höller (b. 1961, Brussels, Belgium)

The Nordic Pavilion Exhibition Curator: Åsa Nacking, Sweden, director of Lunds Konsthall.
Administrative responsibility: Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden
Collaborating institutions: Office for Contemporary Art Norway and FRAME, Finland.

From Åsa Nackings tekst for the Nordic Pavilion Venice 2005:
Black Screen and Black Screen Book consists of a video shown on a plasma screen and a book which will be available at the exhibition. Thanks to a clever construction the work can easily be rigged on the days that it is to be shown. The screen is lifted into place using a museum hoist while the books are piled on a pallet which can be moved using a standard hand truck. The unexpectedly minimal physical appearance of the work may seem somewhat barren in the spacious pavilion. But the staging, or rather the absence of staging, seeks to provoke a feeling of chosen exclusion and alienation which harmonizes with the content of the work. At the same time, the single work is in the best possible position to engage visitors’ total focus.

The video entitled Black Screen consists of a single shot. We follow the camera as it travels through a cinema in which the projection screen has been replaced by a pitch-black rectangle. The video combines the traditional symbol for entertainment, the silver screen, with the corresponding key symbol for non-belonging and for negation: the anarchist black flag, modernism’s monochrome black or, indeed, the blackness of a censor mark. At the same time the black image expresses the absence of visuality. The idea behind the work is to create an emblematic scene or an image in which two clearly conflicting, and traditionally incompatible opposites are fused: the suggestive power of the entertainment industry combined with pure negation and non-representation.

Black Screen Book develops the concept of Black Screen and is concerned with reflections on closely related ideas. The book functions as a so-called mood board in relation to the video, and it consists of a compilation of (seemingly) unrelated images and a montage of semi-documentary texts. These build on the idea of pure entertainment and flight from reality combined with opposition, negation and violence. Three main topics are treated in the book. Anarchy: the history of the black flag, of not belonging, negation, refusal to accept the status quo. Entertainment: escapism, laughter, capitulation. Violence: the limits of organisation and the common denominator of anarchy and entertainment. These topics are dealt with in interviews with Seymore Snuff, a French anarchist who gives his views on anarchy and negation, American film directors Tony and Ridley Scott who talk about entertainment and Hans Erik Johansen, a Norwegian who, in his capacity as a private individual, expresses views about unprovoked violence.