Stan Douglas: 2011 ≠ 1848 – Canada Pavilion in Venice

Stan Douglas

Stan Douglas
2011 ≠ 1848

April 23–November 27, 2022

Canada Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Giardini and Magazzini del Sale n5

“All great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice…the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” —Karl Marx

The National Gallery of Canada (NGC), commissioner of Canada’s participation in the 59th International Venice Biennale is pleased to announce details of Stan Douglas: 2011 ≠ 1848. The exhibition unfolds across two venues in Venice, a first for Canada’s presentation at the Biennale. Four large-scale photographs will be shown in the Canada Pavilion in the Giardini, and a major new two-channel video installation will be presented in the Magazzini del Sale No. 5, a 16th-century salt warehouse on Dorsoduro.

Stan Douglas: 2011 ≠ 1848 is inspired by the 10th anniversary of 2011, a year that saw significant social and political unrest around the globe including the Arab Spring in North Africa and the Middle East, the Occupy protests that began in New York, the widespread unrest in the UK in response to austerity measures, as well as a riot in the artist’s hometown of Vancouver following a hockey final.

Douglas’ exhibition draws a comparison between the events of 2011 and those of 1848, a year in which continent-wide upheaval found European middle and working classes allied in a fight against a lack of democratic freedoms, restrictions on the press, and the continued dominance of an aristocratic elite. Revolt in 1848 was continental, as news spread by print media, but revolt in 2011 was global, with news spread virally by way of electronic media. Across Europe and North America the events of 2011 were simply policed and ignored. In North Africa and the Middle East they were suppressed or subverted, with a few notable exceptions. The works explore the events of 2011 as unconscious reactions to the economic and political status quo which followed the recession of 2008, and examine the ways in which social media fuelled movements for change.

Based between Vancouver and Los Angeles, Douglas is recognized as one of Canada’s most acclaimed contemporary artists. His multidisciplinary practice includes films, photographs and—more recently—theatre productions, and he has continually reimagined the mediums of photography and multi-channel film and video installations. His practice is characterized by critical imagination, formal ingenuity and deep commitment to social enquiry. His work often reflects on the dynamic potential embedded in pivotal historical moments, investigating the relationship between local histories and generational social forces, both global and local.

Stan Douglas: 2011 ≠ 1848 is curated by Reid Shier and accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with texts by Erika Balsom, Ma’an Abu Taleb, George E. Lewis and Samir Gandesha.

Stan Douglas: 2011 ≠ 1848 was commissioned by the National Gallery of Canada, and presented in partnership with the Canada Council for the Arts and the National Gallery of Canada Foundation. The Gallery acknowledges the collaboration and support of David Zwirner, New York/London/Paris/Hong Kong and Victoria Miro, London/Venice.

The Canadian representation at the Biennale Arte 2022 is made possible through the Canadian Artists in Venice Endowment at the National Gallery of Canada Foundation and with the generous financial support of Presenting Sponsor Royal Bank of Canada, Canada Council for the Arts, the Government of Canada, and numerous private contributions. Special recognition is extended to Jackie Flanagan, the Michael & Sonja Koerner Family, the Donald R. Sobey Family and the Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation for their exceptional contributions to the Canadian Artists in Venice Endowment, and to Reesa Greenberg, whose generous financial support funded the restoration of the Canada Pavilion.

About Stan Douglas
Stan Douglas [b. 1960, Vancouver] is a visual artist who lives and works in Vancouver and Los Angeles. His films and photographs have been included in exhibitions internationally since the early 1980s, including at documenta IX, X and XI [1992, 1997, 2002] and in four previous Biennale Artes [1990, 2001, 2005 and 2019]. A survey of his work, Stan Douglas: Mise en scène, toured Europe from 2013 until the end of 2015. From 2014 until 2017, his multimedia theatre production Helen Lawrence was presented in Vancouver, Toronto, Munich, Antwerp, Edinburgh, Brooklyn and Los Angeles. Douglas received the International Centre of Photography’s Infinity Award in 2012, the Scotiabank Photography Award in 2013, the Hasselblad Award in 2016, the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in 2019 and the Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture in 2021. Between 2004 and 2006 he was a professor at Universität der Künste Berlin and is currently Chair of the Graduate Art Program of ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California.

Exhibition credits
Stan Douglas: 2011 ≠ 1848, 59th International Venice Biennale
April 23—November 27, 2022

Commissioner: National Gallery of Canada
Partners: Canada Council for the Arts and National Gallery of Canada Foundation
Curator: Reid Shier
Project Director: Jonathan Shaughnessy
Stan Douglas Inc.: Linda Chinfen, Peter Courtemanche, Brodie Smith

Visiting the exhibition
Canada Pavilion, Giardini della Biennale, Sestiere Castello, 30122 Venezia (Vaporetto: Giardini)
Magazzini del Sale No. 5, Dorsoduro 262, 30123 Venezia [Vaporetto: Zattere]
Opening hours: April 23–September 25, 2022, Tuesday–Sunday, 11am–7pm
September 27–November 27, Tuesday–Sunday, 10am–6pm

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