The Absence of Paths, Tunisian Pavilion
57th Biennale de Venise, 2017
Biennale de Venise
May 13 - October 30, 2017
The Absence of Paths is a human performance staged across Venice which, for the duration of the Biennial, represents an idyllic microcosm of the world: a place where human beings may still flow freely from one nation to the next. This is represented in a physical travel document called a Freesa, produced with the help of Veridos, a leader in producing secure identification papers for countries and companies around the world.
Freesas will be issued at three locations both inside and outside the perimeter of the Biennale: the Navy Kiosk, a historic outdoor checkpoint which was used by the Navy to control access to the Arsenale shipyard, located on across the China Pavilion, a central issuing centre in the Sale d'Armi building inside the Arsenale, and a 19th-century municipal kiosk on Via Garibaldi between the Arsenale and the Giardini. Together, they will create a triangular pavilion.
This installation will empower each and every visitor towards shedding the divisive baggage and classifications imposed upon people. The carefully developed collateral event, at the heart of the pavilion, will form the basis of a silent, individual protest.
Should they choose, all participants will retain the flexibility to significantly, albeit creatively, amplify their dissent, as they continue their journeys through Venice and beyond.
In addition to visitors from across the world, The Absence of Paths will leverage the active contributions of young aspirational migrants. Their passage to the Biennale by virtue of being part of an artistic practice at an internationally recognized contemporary art event will highlight contemporary art’s status as a global phenomenon, one which maintains the ability to inspire debate and inquiry.