Mondo Cane: Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys / Belgian Pavilion, Venice Art Biennale 2019. Excerpt from the project description: “At the 58th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, the Belgian Pavilion is showing MONDO CANE, an exhibition by artists Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys, curated by Anne-Claire Schmitz. MONDO CANE was selected and announced as Belgium’s representation to the Biennale in July 2018 by the Minister of Culture of the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles. The project depicts a society that is folded in on itself where tradition is erected as a refuge.
MONDO CANE presents itself as a local folkloric museum that displays the human figure. Silent, pale and frightened, the pavilion’s inhabitants appear as aestheticized shells, stuck in a loop of formal activity that the visitor perceives as odd and out of touch with contemporary reality. The exhibition contains some twenty dolls, most of them automated; a series of large illustrations depicting pastoral scenes; and steel bars that fence off the pavilion’s lateral recesses. At the centre of the building there are artisans – such as a cobbler, a stonemason and a spinner who, true to themselves, ply their respective trades. The side rooms of the pavilion are a parallel world peopled by louts, zombies, poets, psychotics, the insane, and the marginalized. These two worlds exist in the same space, but they seem to be entirely unaware of one another.”
Mondo Cane: Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys / Belgian Pavilion, Venice Art Biennale 2019. Venice (Italy), May 8, 2019.
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