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La Biennale di Venezia

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Hora lupi

Commissioner: Maria Arusoo, Estonian Centre for Contemporary Art, CCA
Exhibitor: Edith Karlson
VenueChiesa delle Penitenti, Fondamenta Cannaregio 890


Edith Karlson’s exhibition at the church of Santa Maria delle Penitenti explores primitive human urges in their banality and solemnity, while also asking about the possibility of redemption in a world that is never worthy of it.
The interior of the church builds up the emotional atmosphere around the exhibition. The central series of the exhibition is composed of hundreds of clay self-portraits, inspired by the fourteenth-century terracotta sculptures in St. John’s Church in Tartu, Estonia, most likely depicting the victims of the plague.
In Karlson’s work, alongside humans we also see human-animal hybrids, mourning women and bright white storks, evoking the inevitable misfortune of being born and the always-endeavouring nature of human. Thus, an existential narrative of the animalistic nature of humans is shaped at the church, sometimes taking a brutal and violent, other times a poetic and a little ridiculous, or a gentle and melancholy form. It is not the civilized citizen’s knowledge of current events that is given priority but their impulses, sensations, wants and desires, hidden not too deep under their well-pressed suit.

Venezia, Cannaregio 890
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Biennale Arte
Biennale Arte