The participants in the Antarctic Biennale international project have returned from the first art expedition to Antarctica
About 100 people from around the world – artists, architects, researchers, poets, writers, musicians, and philosophers – set off on board a scientific research vessel, the Academic Sergei Vavilov, from the port of Ushuaia to the Antarctic Circle. The expedition of the First International Antarctic Biennale was held under the patronage of UNESCO from March 16, till March 29 and was concluded with a ceremonial reception in Buenos Aires.
During the artistic voyage, the participants traveled around 2,000 nautical miles (4,000 km), making over 12 landings on the shore of the Antarctic peninsula and on islands surrounding Earth’s most southerly continent. In total, on the continent’s territory, over 20 artistic projects were carried out, including performances, installations, exhibitions and sound-art experiments, as well as over 15 research sessions and philosophical discussions.
The results of this historically exceptional biennale have yet to be assessed, but the project’s author and founder, the artist Alexander Ponomarev is certain that the organizers have managed to carry out and even go beyond the previously planned program: “If we’re talking about numbers, then we carried out 150 percent of the program. We worked with the Antarctic, the Ocean, whales, and penguins, fish and birds. On board, the vessel we had an international team of astonishing people, each of them has an indomitable spirit of adventure and romance. Despite the continual pitching of the ship, in the lecture hall, every day, there was packed attendance for the lively debates, and global issues and the problems of the modern world were discussed,” stated Ponomarev.
He also noted that the expedition’s success would have been impossible without the participation of the project’s bold comrades and partners. One of these brave heroes was a seasoned traveler who is on the Biennale’s Board of Trustees, the visionary, founder and general director of Kaspersky Lab, Eugene Kaspersky. The international company acted as General Partner for the Antarctic Biennale.
The objects created in the region of the South Polar Circle, as well as photo and video documentation of the voyage – will be shown for the first time in the Antarctica Pavilion during the 57th Venice Biennale of Art 2017 in May. The group exhibition will include works done by the voyage’s participants and projects of the finalists of the Antarctic Biennale Open Call for young artists, the results of which were announced during the Art Basel Miami Beach 2016 contemporary art fair. A series of documentary films, television arts programs, and illustrated books and photographic albums will be made on the basis of the results of the voyage. The artistic works created amidst the ice of the Antarctic will be exhibited at leading exhibition venues and museums.