Short Filmmakers and Video Artists at the Biennale di Venezia 2017

"Rigid Regime" von Erkka Nissinen (2012) © av-arkki / Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen

“Rigid Regime” von Erkka Nissinen (2012) © av-arkki / International Short Film Festival Oberhausen

Few months ago, the International Art Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia closed its doors. Still, the preparations for the next edition are already under way. Bit by bit the names of the artists for the 2017 Biennale are made public. Among them are also artists who made a name for themselves with short films or whose oeuvre includes video works.


The 2015 Biennale presented works of various artists known for their short films such as John Akomfrah (UK), Rosa Barba (IT), Harun Farocki (DE), Isaac Julien (UK), Philippe Parreno (FR) and The Propellor Group (VN). What about 2017?


The first appointment of an artist for the next Biennale came from Australia: Tracey Moffat will represent the “fifth continent” in Venice. Moffat, who studied visual communications and film, deals in her works predominantly with stereotypes and relationships between black and white Australians. In 1987, Tracey Moffat presented “Nice Coloured Girls” with Aborigines in the leading roles – a short film which is a classic by now. In 1990, she received international acclaim in Cannes with her short film “Night Cries“ and has published films and video works continuously ever since.


Among the early announcements at the beginning of the year were the artists Erkka Nissinen and Nathaniel Mellors. They were selected to represent Finland with their project The Aalto Natives. The exhibition will turn the Finish pavilion into an immersive environment with multimedia installations, videos and sculptures.


Both artists, who met at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, have published short films and videos. Briton Nathanial Mellors was nominated among others for the Film London Jarman Award and produced the 35mm short film “Sophisticated Neanderthal Interview” in 2014. The Finish artist Erkka Nissinen directed fourteen short films, which are distributed by  AV-ARKKI in Helsinki. The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen dedicated a retrospective to him in 2015 and his films were for example screened at the Videonale Bonn (“Polis X”) and EMAF Osnabrück (“Material Conditions of Inner Spaces”) in Germany.


Within a special cooperation Scotland + Venice, Scotland will be represented by Rachel Maclean. Besides her previous works, which will be part of the exhibition program, a new film has been commissioned in cooperation with the film festival Alchemy Film and Arts (Hawick) for the exhibition in Venice. Maclean makes artistic films which, by means of surrealictic and fantasy elements, connect topics of fine art and pop culture. Her film “Happy and Glorious“, a black humour study about national identity, was awarded the renowned Margret Tait Award in 2013.


The 57th International Art Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia will take place from 14 May to 26 November 2017.