Venice Agendas 2017: The Contract

Venice Agendas 2017

The Contract
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London: May 4–26
Venice: May 10–12
Margate: June 17
Folkestone: September 23

Venice Agendas 2017: The Contract is a programme of events including an exhibition, a publication, talks and performances in London, Venice, Margate and Folkestone.

The theme of this edition, The Contract, is particularly relevant both politically and socially. Contracts, whether written or spoken, are promises and agreements that we make with each other, within our communities and across society in general.

The project brings together artists and professionals to share and discuss what a contract means to them, their experiences of relationships governed or suggested by contracts and what might be anticipated or expected in the context of contemporary visual arts and current world events, including the UK Brexit decision.

London exhibition: The Contract
May 4–26
DACS 33 Old Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 6AA
Hours: Monday–Friday 10am–5pm
The project launches at DACS with the exhibition The Contract curated by Gilane Tawadros, including works by Keith Arnatt, Hollis Frampton, Hew Locke, Donald Rodney, Monica Ross and Carey Young.

Newspaper publication: The Contract    
A newspaper publication includes written and creative contributions from artists including Jon Adams, Maria Thereza Alves, Michael Armitage, Jordan Baseman, Anne Bean, Gayle Chong Kwan, Jimmie Durham, Yara El- Sherbini, Tony Heaton, Hew Locke, Melanie Manchot, Hayley Newman, Tatsumi Orimoto, Young In HongTerry Smith and Richard Wilson.

Thursday, May 11
Scuola dei Calegheri, Campo San Toma, Venice
Talk: 9:30am–12pm
A breakfast discussion The Cost of Free Speech, followed by:
Performance: 1–3pm
Act of Memory – Venice/Venice Agendas
You are invited to participate in the recitation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as part of Monica Ross’ work Act of Memory.
Eventbrite registration here.
Periscope: @Venice_Agendas

Pop-up live art performances curated by Mark Segal: May 10–12
Young In Hong invites participation in her performance work, Echoes, accompanying her original soundtrack through the preview days of the Venice Biennale. Further information here.

Gayle Chong Kwan requests public contributions to her new work Artist + Partum =  on Thursday, May 11 at 7pm in Campo Santa Margherita, Dorsoduro, Venice and on Friday, May 12 at 12pm along Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, Castello, Venice.

Tatsumi Orimoto invites participation in his performance work, Dressing up as Mama and Carrying Cinema, audiences are invited to have an intimate audience through the preview days of the Venice Biennale. Getting lost daily between Piazza San Marco, Venice and the Giardini, Castello, Venice and live streamed from 12pm on Periscope: @waughoffice.

Margate and Folkestone
Further events are planned for Turner Contemporary, Margate (Saturday, June 17) and Folkestone (Saturday, September 23) including further performances of Act of Memory, and new commissioned performances and projects. Details will be available on the website

Venice Agendas 2017: The Contract is financially supported by DACS, Turner Contemporary, Shape Arts, the Creative Foundation, The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust and The National Lottery through Arts Council England.

For press enquiries and requests for images and/or interviews please contact: Chantelle Purcell:

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The history
Venice Agendas was developed by Bill Furlong and Mel Gooding and has featured at every Venice Biennial since 1999. Since 2011, workinprogress (Clare Fitzpatrick and Terry Smith) has continued the series of topical, intelligent and informative discussions, talks, debates and events. Mel and Bill along with Vittorio Urbani of Nuova Icona continue to support and mentor the project.

About Ben Austin

Ben Austin studied History of Art at Reading University. He started Catto Contemporary in Shoreditch where he was responsible for helping to launch the careers of several artists and showed Anthony Micallef and Banksy in a curated exhibition entitled ‘Perverse Pop’ back in 2001. Austin has worked at Art Review, before setting himself up as an independent curator and through Austin Enterprises he staged the legendary Frieze opening night show/party entitled ‘Decadence, Decay and the Demimonde’ at Home House in 2007, which featured art on loan from the Saatchi Gallery (Marcus Harvey, Liz Neal and Barry Reigate). He has also curated exhibition at the Blouin Foundation – ‘After Dark’ series, featuring acclaimed artists such as Alice Anderson. He has been on the judging panel for the ‘Young Masters’ prize. More recently he curated ‘Art Britannia’ during Miami Basel featuring a collection of contemporary British artists and acted as the initial curator and advisor the The Dot Project Gallery in Fulham. Ben Austin acts as an art advisor and dealer. He writes for numerous publications including Artlyst and FAD.