Dutch entry 2013

Mark Manders
Room with Broken Sentence
Dutch entry 55th Venice Biennale

Curated by Lorenzo Benedetti
Commissioner: Mondriaan Fund

Mark Manders (1968) was representing the Netherlands at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. The Dutch pavilion showcased ‘Room with Broken Sentence’, curated by Lorenzo Benedetti (1972). The exhibition covered a 23 year span of Manders’ activity, combining existing installations with a monumental 4 meter high monumental new work.

The larger installations developed specially for the Rietveld pavilion revealed significant new aspects of the artist’s vocabulary. Turning his back on the frenetic consumerist dynamics of today’s cultural system, Manders withdrawed into sculptures that seemed to have always been there. All works combined a certain mystery with tremendous visual appeal. Manders’ use of materials, in which nothing is what it seems (epoxy looks like clay, clay becomes bronze and bronze seems to be wood), enhanced this enigmatic visual impact. Leaving the shelter of the ‘white cube’, it infiltrated, blended into and sought acknowledgement within a reality close to that of the general public. In an interview Manders stated:
“I don’t often show my work in the public domain, rather in museums where people choose to go to see art. But since 1991 I always test a work that I’ve just finished in a supermarket. I just imagine a new work there and I check if it can survive where it doesn’t have the label of an artwork. It is just a thing that someone placed in a supermarket. Now I am sure that all of my works can stand in that environment”.
There was a satellite exhibition in a Venetian supermarket proving this aspect of his work.