Filip Markiewicz: Paradiso Lussemburgo. Luxembourg Pavilion at Venice Art Biennale 2015 / Interview

Interview with the artist Filip Markiewicz on the occasion of his participation in the Venice Art Biennale 2015, Luxembourg Pavilion, with the project Paradiso Lussemburgo.

The exhibition is curated by Paul Ardenne, commissioned by the Ministère de la Culture, Luxembourg, and organized by Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand Jean.

Filip Markiewicz: Paradiso Lussemburgo. Luxembourg Pavilion at Venice Art Biennale 2015 / Interview, Pre-Preview. Luxembourg Pavilion, Ca’ del Duca, Corte del Duca, Sforza San Marco 3052, Venezia (Italia), May 5, 2015.

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Exhibition text:

With Paradiso Lussemburgo, Filip Markiewicz presents a mental image of Luxembourg combined with a reflection on contemporary identity. Through its title, Paradiso Lussemburgo evokes both the Paradise of Dante, the movie Cinema Paradiso by Giuseppe Tornatore and tax havens.

As the artist points out: “What interests me is, on the one hand, the mythological aspect, close to the fable, and on the other hand, popular appearance. The various waves of immigration recorded since the beginning of the twentieth century in Luxembourg have led to the country being seen as a sort of haven for integration. Again, there is a strong allusion to the image of Luxembourg given by some foreign media, the tax haven, a theme addressed here head-on but also with a certain irony.”

The work takes the form of a vast «total» theatre that fully occupies six rooms of the pavilion. At once museum, creative laboratory, a place of cultural entertainment combining dance, performance, DJing, reading, architecture and music, Paradiso Lussemburgo presents Luxembourg, in the European and global context, as a national sample in which the various nationalities and cultures constituting the same identity, are combined. It is a journey to the outer limits of a plural and complex identity, in a way that is both critical, political and fantastical.

Filip Markiewicz is an artist, author and composer born in 1980 in Luxembourg. He holds an MA in Visual Arts from the University of Strasbourg for work dealing with the relationship between rock music and its visual representation.

In 2005, he made his first steps in the world of art with the performance 3×15 Minutes of Fame drawn from his Raftside project at Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain. At the invitation of Frac Alsace, he presented a similar performance at the opening of an exhibition by the artist Jan Kopp.

Invited in 2007 by the IAIS to occupy Luxembourg Kiosk and the public space, he produced the installation Zollzeit there, a setup involving the theme of immigration and the relationship between Poland in the 1970s and Luxembourg in the 2000s.

He is a founding member of the Salzinsel cultural magazine for which he writes texts and has created a graphic signature. Since 2008, he has concentrated mainly on drawing from a social and political point of view.

He was nominated for the Robert Schuman Art Prize in 2009. A year later, drawings from the exhibition “Alterviolence” at the Beaumontpublic gallery were added to the Collection Mudam Luxembourg.

The Luxembourg Ministry of Culture in Luxembourg invited him to produce a weeklong guitar-voice-video performance entitled Dreaming Golden Lady at the Luxembourg Pavilion at Shanghai World Expo 2010. His Mao Dollar drawing, representing a monumental banknote was presented during the exhibition “I’ve dreamt about. Mudam Collection ”.

In 2012, he presented the “Silentio Delicti” exhibition on the theme of the rise of extremism and the history of WWII in Neumünster Abbey in Luxembourg. The same
year, he produced the You are an image series of large-format drawings dealing with the relationship between spectators and major figures in the Luxembourg cultural scene for the hall of the Ministry of Culture in Luxembourg.

Early in 2013, he participated in the “Ricochet” drawing exhibition in Vitrysur-Seine (Paris) with artists including Robert Longo, Emmanuel Régent, and Alain Declercq. The Art historian Paul Ardenne wrote the text for the catalogue, defining drawing as “a form of resistance.” Since 2013, he has regularly collaborated with the weekly d’Lëtzebuerger Land for which he makes drawings and writes essays.

In 2014, Markiewicz was invited to spend two months residing at the Biermans-Lapôtre Foundation in Paris where he prepared his solo exhibition “Le Retour du Plombier Polonais,” presented at Centre d’art Nei Liicht in Dudelange and produced the first part of his docu-fiction film project Low Cost Symphony with the actors Luc Schiltz and Laure Roldan. During the same year he participated in the collective exhibition “Angste Povera” at Carré Rotondes in Luxembourg with his drawing installation entitled The Limbic System and the video Streik.

For the permanent collection of the OEuvre Nationale de Secours Grande-Duchesse Charlotte, he made a neon portrait of Grand Duchess Charlotte. The same year, Enrico Lunghi, director of Mudam Luxembourg, nominated him for the Canson Prize 2014. In 2015, he presents a solo show with the Brussels gallery Aeroplastics contemporary at the Art Brussels fair.

Paul Ardenne is a French curator, critic, writer, lecturer, and professor (UFR Arts, Amiens). He has curated the exhibitions “Micropolitiques” (Grenoble, 2000), “Expérimenter le réel” (Albi-Montpellier, 2001 and 2002), and “Working Men” (Geneva, 2008). He was one of the guest curators of “La Force de l’art” at the Grand Palais in Paris (2006). Other curatorial projects include “Ailleurs” (Paris, 2011), “Art et bicyclette” (with Fabienne Fulch.ri, Mouans-Sartoux, 2011), “WANI” (with Marie Maertens, Paris, 2011), “L’Histoire est à moi !” (Printemps de Septembre in Toulouse, 2012), “Aqua Vitalis” (with Claire Tangy, Caen, 2013), “Motopoétique” (Lyon, 2014), “L’oiseau volé” (Paris, 2014), and “économie humaine” (Paris, 2014).

A regular contributor to specialist magazines such as Art Press and Archistorm, he has authored numerous publications on contemporary art and aesthetics, including Art, l’âge contemporain (1997), Art dans son moment politique (2000), L’Image Corps (2001), Un art contextuel (2002), and Portraiturés (2003). Other publications include Extrême-Esthétiques de la limite dépassée (2006), Images-Monde. De l’événement au documentaire (with Régis Durand, 2007), Art, le présent. La Création plastique au tournant du XXIe siècle (2009), Moto, notre amour (2010), Corpoétiques 1 (2011) and Cent artistes du Street Art (2011).

Besides his novels La Halte (2003), Nouvel Âge (2007), Sans visage (2012) and Comment je suis oiseau (2014), he has also published on architecture and urbanism, including Terre habitée-Humain et urbain à l’ère de la mondialisation (2005), an essay on contemporary urban life, as well as monographies and surveys of the work of Rudy Ricciotti, Alain Sarfati, Philippe Gazeau, Brunet & Saunier, Jacques Ferrier, FGPa, 5+1AA, Franklin Azzi, and others. In 2012 he co-organized (with Barbara Polla) the international symposium “Architecture émotionnelle” in Geneva.

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