Today, the Dutch Rietveld pavilion was officially handed over to Estonia for the upcoming edition of the Venice Art Biennale, taking place from 23rd April to 27th November 2022. To mark this moment, a maquette of the Rietveld Pavilion was handed over from Eelco van der Lingen, Director of the Mondriaan Fund (commissioner of the Dutch entry) to Maria Arusoo, Director of the Center for Contemporary Arts (commissioner of the Estonian entry).
Representing the Netherlands for the first time since 1954, not in the Rietveld Pavilion, but in a deconsecrated church in the Cannaregio neighbourhood, the Dutch entry marks a break with a long-held tradition. With the Dutch pavilion empty, the Mondriaan Fund has offered its location in the Giardini to Estonia for the 2022 edition, in order to welcome young nations to the centre of the Biennale. Estonia has been exhibiting at the Venice Biennale since 1997. However, due to the fact that no new pavilions can be built in the Giardini, young nations cannot normally gain access.
“The one-time transfer of the pavilion shows our appreciation for Estonia in the field of the visual arts, while at the same time giving the Netherlands the opportunity to step out of our comfort zone and see what freedom it gives us when we step outside the walls of the pavilion. Moreover, it’s also a wonderful opportunity to bring the art worlds of the two countries into closer contact with each other.”Eelco van der Lingen, Director of the Mondriaan Fund
The handover ceremony was attended by Taaniel Raudsepp, a representative from the Ministry of Culture of Estonia, and the Deputy Ambassador of the Netherlands in Estonia, Iris de Groot.
In recent years, the Estonian entries in Venice have been some of the most interesting and innovative. Innovation is essential for the cultural sector, and certainly for an event like the Biennale. We are confident that Estonia will be very successful in exploiting the potential of the Rietveld Pavilion. This collaboration between Estonia and the Netherlands makes the 59th edition of the Biennale a very special one.”Iris de Groot, Deputy Ambassador of the Netherlands in Estonia
Part of the handover ceremony was a performance of ‘Flying Estman’ by multidisciplinary artist Jüri Ojaver, who represented Estonia at the 1999 Venice Biennale. The event is part of a wider visitors’ programme in Tallinn inviting a delegation of Dutch art professionals and press to discover the best art and culture on offer in the Estonian capital. A group of Estonian art professionals and press will make a reciprocal trip to the Netherlands to explore contemporary art exhibitions in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. The visitors’ programmes were co-organised by the Mondriaan Fund and the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) with the aim of strengthening cultural ties between the Netherlands and Estonia and providing a springboard for possible collaboration and exchange in the future.
Further details of the Dutch and Estonian entries for the Venice Art Biennale in 2022 will be announced in December 2021.