a seam, a surface, a hinge, or a knot - Commissioner

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As the headquarters of the Portugal Pavilion at the 58th edition of the prestigious and always challenging Venice Biennale of Art, the Palazzo Giustinian Lolin will this year host the work of Leonor Antunes under the curatorship by João Ribas. Exhibiting in a space so marked by the various histories and stories of a city like Venice surely represents a grand challenge for Leonor Antunes. Her dialogue (or struggle) with such an iconic space will define the way her work is presented in Venice, once all the difficulties of relating to this place (and its spirit) have been overcome. However, there can be little doubt the uniqueness of Leonor Antunes' creative gesture will overcome any obstacle (real or metaphorical), transforming the Palazzo into a different place, populated by sculptures that, before even questioning the visitor's gaze, will question the Venetian building itself. As an exercise in freedom, the artist will inscribe her work in a space that, although apparently limiting, will surely be proven a territory of new and improbable insight.

Portugal's participation with the work of Leonor Antunes in this edition of La Biennale di Venezia should be seen as a key moment for the international affirmation of Portuguese artists. As part of this process, DGARTES fulfils its mission to support the work of the curator and artist, ensuring ideal conditions for a dynamic and far-reaching exhibition.

It should be noted that this is the first time the official Portuguese representation at the Venice Art Biennale has been chosen through public competition, with an independent jury selecting the proposal of João Ribas/Leonor Antunes. I would like to thank the team of technicians at DGARTES for their commitment and dedication and João Ribas and Leonor Antunes for the privilege of helping to develop the Portuguese representation at the Venice Biennale.

Américo Rodrigues
Director-General for the Arts
Directorate-General for the Arts