Empire II is an artist led satellite project devised and curated by Vanya Balogh for the 57th Biennale di Venezia.

This intimate, immersive film hub space will feature three chambers; beginning with an extensive library, engaging in film history and theory, curated attentively by participating artists from their personal book collections and intended for browsing and perusing; leading further on to a single screen darkroom, a pulsating digital heart, showcasing a sequence of 115 imaginative short films programmed to play on the continuous loop; and on to the final imaginary space, the Virtual Reality port which will evolve over time in collaboration with various artists.

Stills of a video by Rebecca Scott. Courtesy the artist.

In recent years we have seen an intense and speedy cultural migration and merging of art , architecture and moving image. As empires are built on ruins, so has digital mass evolving from the fractured analogue spectrum of our not so distant past, submerged itself into the fluid fabric of our contemporary worldview.

Mash ups, remakes, samplings, cut-ups ; contemporary culture is profoundly fragmented and constantly recreated. What were once avant-garde strategies have now become everyday practices. The ubiquity and diversity of gadgets, cameras and screens is a particularly prominent aspect of this “softwarized” digital culture. Professional film makers are seen to use cheap digital cameras in order to create low tech DIY aesthetics, as exemplified in the Dogme 95 movement initiated by Lars Von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg.

Empire II is a spontaneous reflex point, immersive single screen experience with a library, a hot eye that reflects on the elusiveness and temporality of the digital image, interweaving various paths, trends and approaches to film making. Ranging from animation to cold cut editing, 115 digital shorts are transported from London via Brussels to Venice, on a hard drive, to reach its final destination that is a hybrid digital canvas, a boundary between independent cinema and contemporary art.


Stills of a video by Jeffrey Louis-Reed Courtesy the artist.

Empire II screen will confront us with ideas on climate change, politics of attrition, immigration, narcissism, sex, despair, loss of identity, addiction, violence, false economics, digital rape, cyber crime, space travel, pollution, death and consumerism, all coexisting amongst many concurrent themes. Focused on our present, The Age of Anxiety, whilst turning madness into metaphysics, artists respond and demonstrate their feelings, thoughts and objections to the post truth world incumbent in lies and power struggles.

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/425050341168709/

Private View 12th May 2017 2pm – 10pm
Exhibition Runs; 13th May – 26th November 2017 Open daily Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 6pm
Castello 1610/A Riva Dei Sette Martiri Venezia 30122

LIST OF ARTISTS:
William Angus-Hughes, Yael Atzmony, Jessica Bailey, Jon Baker, Kerry Baldry, Vanya Balogh, Lorenzo Belenguer, Sooz Belnavis, Vardi Bobrow, Stella Whalley & Toby Bricheno, Megan Broadmeadow, Anita Bryan, Theresa Caruana, Roger Clarke, Laura Liliyana-Raffaella Cogoni, Emily Cole, Live Hazard Collective, Paul Coombs, Leito de Courson de la Villeneuve, Richard Ducker, Joe Dye, Spizz Energi, Gordon Faulds, Susana Lopez Fernandez, Valentina Ferrandes, Julian Firth, Glenn Fitzy Fitzpatrick, Gzillion Artist, Maryclare Foa, Mandee Gage, Andrea Morucchio, Toni Gallagher, Ray Gange, Warren Thomas Garland, Maria Teresa Gavazzi, Alina Gavrielatos, Ann Grim, Fiona Haines, Miriam Mor Hiedemann, Dannielle Hodson, Birgitta Hosea, Leila Houston, Laura Hynd, Shosh Israeli, Marie-Louise Jones, Vanja Karas, Philipp Keel, Will Kerr, Monika Kita, Dion Kitson, Kate Kotcheff, Kristina Kotov, Tomaž Kramberger, Bella Land, Bob Lawson, Ibby Doherty & Ed Linger, Crispin Lingford, MC Llamas, Bobby Lloyd, Jeffrey Louis-Reed, Iavor Lubomirov, Julia Maddison, Lee Maelzer, Roman Manfredi, Nerys Mathias, Jane Grisewood & Carali McCall, Joanna McCormick, Stacie McCormick, Emily McMehen, Montague Armstrong, Anna Mortimer, Eden Auerbach Ofrat, Michal Ohana-Cole, Nouli Omer, Ekin Onat, Adi Oz-Ari, Sarah Pager, Harrison Pearce, Marco Alessi, Benedict Morrison, Martyn Pick, John Plowman, Danny Pockets, Marisa Polin, Eva Raboso, Annika Reed, Meriliis Rinne, India Roper-Evans, Jim Roseveare, Pascal Rousson, Tracey Moberly & Robbie Ryan, Ella Amitay Sadovsky, Mario Varas Sanchez, Susana Sanroman, Susan Schulman, Rebecca Scott, Ashley Scott Fitzgerald, Martin Sexton, Richard Sharples, Liz Sheridan, Veronica Shimanovskaya, Maya Smira, Steve Smith, Barbara Stanzl, Susan Supercharged, Melissa Alley & Paul Tecklenberg, Taline Temizan, Sarah Sparkes & Ian Thompson, Paul & Stanley Tucker, Graham Tunnadine, Gavin Turk, Negin Vaziri, Jessica Voorsanger, Tisna Westerhof, Michael Williams, Witty Gordon Projects, Mark Woods.

About Lorenzo Belenguer

Artist, writer and curator based in London and Valencia. Belenguer has collaborated with The Guardian, The Independent and many other specialised Art Magazines such Sluice, Artlyst and FAD. Belenguer's art is strongly influenced by Minimalism. He exhibited and performed at The Serpentine Galleries, TATE Modern and the 56th Venice Biennale.