Chamber of Public Secrets

Pera + Flora + Fauna

Collateral Event of the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

23/4-27/11, Archivi della Misericordia – People of Remarkable Talents (PORT), announces its commission of the exhibition Pera + Flora + Fauna, as an official Collateral Event at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

Pera + Flora + Fauna engages with the discourse around how indigenousness and nature are affected by mainstream cultural attitudes of industrialised nations, the very nations contributing to existing environmental problems. This leads us to question, can aesthetic thinking support the conservation and restoration of nature or indigenous rights and ways of life? Can indigenous populations across the globe challenge the mainstream documented (art) history written by the non-indigenous? Can indigenous populations achieve the liberty to collectively claim “their own history and narratives”, antagonising the dominant discourse? Pera + Flora + Fauna intends to address these questions by drawing on different perspectives of man, nature, and their interrelation.

Pera + Flora + Fauna will take place at Archivi della Misericordia, Venezia; commissioned by Nur Hanim Mohamed Khairuddin, General Manager of PORT, and curated by appointed lead curators Amir Zainorin and Khaled Ramadan, and associate curators Annie Jael Kwan and Camilla Boemio.

The exhibition features Malaysian artists and collectives, and an Italian artist, from multiple disciplines ranging across performance, film, sound, sculpture and new media. The artists are Azizan Paiman (MY), Kamal Sabran (MY), Kapallorek Artspace (MY), Kim Ng (MY), Projek Rabak (MY), Saiful Razman (MY) and Stefano Cagol (ITA), with the contribution and participation of the people of the Semai tribe from Kampung Ras, Sungkai, Perak.

The curatorial team intersects across diverse expertise and contexts of practice. Amir Zainorin is a Denmark-based Malaysian artist, curator and co-founder of interdisciplinary artist association Jambatan, while Lebanese born Khaled Ramadan is a curator, art historian, filmmaker and cultural writer who works in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Ramadan curated Maldives Pavilion at the 55th La Biennale di Venezia and co-curated Manifesta 8, Murcia, Spain.

The team includes associate curators Camilla Boemio and Annie Jael Kwan; Boemio has published extensively on issues of indigeneity in relation with the climate crisis, and her curatorial research is focused on the ethics of ecology, while Kwan is an independent curator and researcher whose work at Asia-Art-Activism and Asia Forum refocuses on “Asia/s” as a lens for alternative histories and perspectives when exploring critical contemporary themes and practices. The team is advised by Alfredo Cramerotti, the president of IKT and the director of MOSTYN, Wales.

“We invited seven artists, art collectives and contributors to Pera + Flora + Fauna with the intention to present a different narrative and an aesthetic experience that builds upon research, knowledge and participation,” said lead curators Zainorin and Ramadan. “This project is meant to re-imagine nature and Indigenousness in relation to ethics and aesthetics, questioning who owns nature and who owns Indigenous history.”

In conjunction with the exhibition, the discourse expands through a forum where invited panelists Henry Meyric Hughes, Dorian Batycka, Ong Jo-Lene and Alfredo Cramerotti, along with the curators and artists, will share their observations and interpretations around the concept of Ownership of Nature and History; attempting to contextualise the notion of the natural and the historic and why it cannot be independent of the intellectual, artistic, emotional, and technological resources available to us in the industrialised world. In addition, there will be three on-site performances by the artists; one which explores sound and body movement to heal the internal psychic and spiritual body based on Malay traditional healing rituals; the others inviting the audience to engage with the ongoing contest between capitalist driven narratives of extractives towards land and indigenous peoples, and the agency and creative resilience of indigenous communities in sharing their histories and holistic principles of coexistence with nature.

“It is our hope that Pera + Flora + Fauna will become a gentle reminder for both artists and the audience to ponder and contemplate the importance of sustaining a sense of respect among living things,” Nur Hanim emphasised.

Pera + Flora + Fauna will take place from 23 April to 27 November 2022

Archivi della Misericordia,
Campo de l’Abazia, 3549 Cannaregio, Venezia

Curators’ talk and press opening -21st April, 5:30PM
Dignitaries and official inauguration – 22 April, 7:00PM

For press inquiries, contact:
Zulhamizan Samsudin (PORT); Khaled Ramadan (Curator)
Tel/Whatsapp: +60194567248; +4561692029

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