If you can’t make it to Venice for the Biennale, you can still experience the floating radio – listen as you read this personal essay about the political highlights by Maura Reilly. Alternatively, J J Charlesworth tears apart the moral contradictions of the jet set global art world in this article Playing Politics.
Venice Radio! Safina Radio Project is an itinerant space, a boat transformed into a recording studio navigating the Venetian waterways and transporting passengers from one place to another whilst serving as a platform for exploration and exchange. The project creates transitory and transient communities with each journey, bringing focus to collective experience and targeting an investigation into how we locate ourselves and how we mediate our human and historic commonality. The online portal includes the full program in Venice from May 6 to 8, presented alongside a range of content commissioned only for the site itself, from written interviews to audio projects, playlists and sets. Contributors of online-specific content include: British artist Scanner (Robin Rimbaud) whose work experiments with sound, space, image and form; Emirati conceptual artist and writer Hassan Sharif; Wael Hattar in conversation with artist Sadik Kwaish Alfraji; Rahel Aima and Ahmad Makia from The State; artists Lawrence Abu Hamdan and Karim Sultan; music contributions from UAE based Analog Room and Kamal Rasool (Flamingods); and MENASA music specialist Neil van der Linden. The Safina Radio Project builds on Alserkal Avenue’s expanding homegrown programme which aims to support performance, social practice and public-forms of art, by providing a unifying public forum amidst the Venice Biennale to engage with questions and concerns important to the region. The project is realised through the kind support of Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, Founder of Alserkal Avenue. A broad spectrum of artists, writers and curators, whose practices draw from a variety of contexts, will participate in Venice through conversations and happenings on the boat, including: Raqs Media Collective, comprised of media practitioners Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula, and Shuddhabrata Sengupta from New Delhi; British artist, writer and film director John Akomfrah with writer Coline Milliard; artists Mohammed Kazem and Cristiana de Marchi; artist Rabab Ghazoul in conversation with her father; artists Haig Aivazian, Rene Gabri, Ayreen Anastas, Hrair Sarkissian and filmmakers Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi with curator Adelina Cüberyan von Fürstenberg; collaborative artists Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige; artists Wafaa Bilal and Sara Raza; and performance artist Alex Baczynski Jenkins with curators Louise O’Kelly (Block University), Ben Roberts (Modern Art Oxford), Rose Lejeune and Fatos Ustek. An audio recording of each live event will be uploaded to the website safinaradioproject.org within 24 hours of it taking place, opening up experiences and events in Venice to a wider audience.