| Art

Venice Biennale 2024: Gail Olding

Gail Olding to show at Venice Biennale 2024

Artist Gail Olding has been chosen to show at the 2024 Venice Biennale. Harking back to Olding’s earlier sculptural assemblages this piece reflects some of her current thematic explorations of time, memory and the creation of mythic biography.

“The Piece was made in 2010 and shown outside in Hannah Peschars sculpture Garden for over a year, It was in poor condition due to the weather, in 2019 I remade it so that it could be shown again. In Mid October 2021 The European Cultural Centre had emailed me to say they would like to show it at The Palazzo Mora during the Venice Biennale 2022 , but the email had gone into the junk which I didn’t check until a few months later, I contacted them and it was too late for 2022. I later went out for a meeting and we agreed on 2024. The piece has a certain elegance and refers to childhood where we spend our time looking up at adults and our surroundings. for me it is special as its about memory and we all have our own memory of childhood and our relationship to adults and our own journey into adulthood. Its about ambition and dreams we hold for the future.” 

The piece will be presented on a white 2m x 2m plinth in room 205 at the Palazzo Mora European Cultural Centre.

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Olding Venice 2024 notes:

Long Way Down takes us into the spiral of time. This chair and table, with extended legs, are two metaphoric and unconscious objects which invite an introspective exploration of childhood, memory, and the paradoxes of adulthood; symbolising the inadequacy between human beings and the world where they have lived since childhood. They seem to speak to each other in a silent dialogue about the fragility of life, forever fixed as two indelible images on the screen of memory.

The table and chair, two familiar and everyday objects of domestic life become nostalgic artefacts; evoking memories of a time when our world was defined by the lofty scale of the adult realm. Yet, beneath the veneer of childhood innocence, lies a subtle critique of the disillusionment that accompanies the transition to adulthood. The precariousness of the elevated chair serves as a poignant reminder that the pursuit of ambition and success can be fraught with uncertainty, and the pedestal upon which we place our aspirations may prove treacherously unstable.

The work inspires and challenges our own quest for meaning and enlightenment. As the adult viewer is metaphorically shrunk and transported into the labyrinth of personal childhood memories, Olding invites us to confront the duality of innocence and experience. In Long Way Down, the gaze of the viewer is raptured by these two characters and this capture is further enhanced by the purity of style; here we are able to rediscover the boundless imagination that resides within us all.

Gail Olding, Long Way Down, 2010 (2019)
Gail Olding, Long Way Down, 2010 (2019)

British born artist Gail Olding Educated at Central St Martins college of Art and The Düsseldorf Academy. Olding Has Worked under the tutelage of Hermann Nitsch later becoming his assistant. She has exhibited and has been published both nationally and internationally. Olding works across media investigating the point at which language collapses and the possibility of working outside of the field of language. ‘ I like the viewer to be able to know the work before they understand it.’ Olding works intuitively with materials and ideas, one giving way to the other. She seldom outsources work as the language of the material is often used as a conduit for connection with the viewer.

European Cultural Centre Palazzo Mora Strada Nova 3659 Venice Italy Second Floor room 205,  20 April 2024 – 24 November 2024


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