The island state of Grenada will take part in the Biennale di Venezia for the third time in 2019, thus catching up with Cuba in the Caribbean. In contrast to Cuba, Grenada is a country without distinctive cultural structures and cultural support. Four artists were selected to represent Grenada in their own pavilion. One of them is the multimedia artist and filmmaker Billy Gerard Frank.
Participation in Venice is expensive. As a rule, the financing comes from the countries that can be represented. In smaller countries this is often not the case. Frank has to raise at least $70,000 for the travel, transportation and production of the works to be exhibited. To this end, Frank has initiated an unprecedented crowdfunding campaign.
On the platform GoFundMe Frank asks for support for his project and a partial financing of the exhibition. Within one month he has achieved more than half of his goal ($10,000)!
Billy Gerard Frank deals with topics such as Afrodiaspora, queerness and family relationships. Together with the three other selected artists Shervone Neckles, Dave Lewis and Amy Cannestra, he is planning the “Epic Memory” project for the Biennale. This new work deals with the themes of exile, migration, alienation and memories around his family. His starting point is his narrative short film “Absence of Love” (Grenada/USA 2017), which made him internationally famous. In the 27-minute film, he reflects on his relationship with his father from the perspective of two fictional brothers who overcome the loss of their father.
Next year’s Biennale di Venezia will take place from 11 May to 24 November under the motto May You Live in Interesting Times.
URL of the fundraising campaign: https://www.gofundme.com/support-venice-biennale-artist-2019
URL of the artist: https://www.billygerardfrank.com/
URL of the short film “Absence of Love” on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/270690518Filmmaker from Grenada seeks crowdfunding donor for participation at the Biennale di Venezia