Territorial Symphonies, 2019 (Offsite during 58th Venice Biennale)
— Indrė Šerpytytė

Territorial Symphonies is a new commission by Indrė Šerpytytė, produced by Block Universe. The commission is presented in partnership with Dubai-based Alserkal, with the additional support of the Lithuanian Culture Institute and the High Commission of Cyprus, UK. 

All performances will take place on the Rio dei Giardini.
Wednesday, May 8: 3–4:30pm
Thursday, May 9: 10:30–11:30am in front of the Navy Officers Club and 3-4:30pm
Friday, May 10: 3–4:30pm

During the 58th Venice Biennale Indrė Šerpytytė presents Territorial Symphonies. This new commission explores inclusion and exclusion in the biennale, one of the most prominent moments in the international arts calendar. In Territorial Symphonies a brass band plays national anthems of the more than 60 countries that came later to his world stage. Not having the luxury of a permanent space, their pavilions lie outside of Giardini.

Taking this as a starting point, this new work seeks to highlight the power dynamic between the countries on the inside and outside. As an act of protest, the performers will play outside the bounds of the Giardini, highlighting the countries’inability to have a presence within the grounds itself. Forming a continuous fanfare to the missing and absent, the work asks us to reassess the established borders and territories that govern geopolitical landscapes and ideologies.

Countries in full:

Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Chile, China (People’s Republic of), Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Ivory Coast, Kiribati, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Seychelles (Republic of), Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa (Republic of), Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Wales, Zimbabwe.

Indrė Šerpytytė (b. 1983, Lithuania) lives and works in London. She studied at the University of Brighton (BA, 2006) and the Royal College of Art, London (MA, 2009 and Mphil/PhD 2013). Šerpytytė’s work has been exhibited internationally in major museums and biennials. Recent solo exhibitions include Parafin, London (2019 and 2016); CAC, Vilnius (2017); Still House Group, New York (2016); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Krakow (2015); Ffotogallery, Cardiff (2013); and the Photographers Association, London (2011). Recent group exhibitions include Memory Matters, Skissernas Museum, Lund (2018); Riga Biennial of Contemporary Art, Riga, Latvia (2018); Undersong, KIM?, Riga (2018); Daegu Photo Biennial, South Korea (2017); Age of Terror: Art after 9/11, Imperial War Museum, London (2018); Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2015); Conflict, Time, Photography, Tate Modern, London (2014) and Museum Folkwang, Essen (2014-15); and the National Gallery, Vilnius (2013). The artist is represented by Parafin, London.

About Alserkal
Founded by Emirati businessman and patron, Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, in 2007, Alserkal is a socially responsible cultural enterprise, which is deeply engaged with the arts locally, regionally and internationally. Through Alserkal Avenue, its renowned cultural district of contemporary art galleries, non-profit organizations and homegrown businesses, Alserkal has cultivated a creative economy in Dubai, supporting cultural production and spearheading disruptive business models, including the OMA-designed, Concrete, a state-of-the-art exhibitions and alternative space. In addition, Alserkal supports public art commissions, residencies, research grants and educational programs through its nonprofit, Alserkal Arts Foundation.

Block Universe project team: Louise O’Kelly, Founding Director & Curator; Katharina Worf, Curator & Director of International Programme and Sofia Schörling, Special Projects Producer.