A discussion between Bernardí Roig and Fabrizio Plessi brings the participation of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands at the Venice Art Biennale to a close

The IRL aims to maintain a presence in Venice

A discussion on creative liberty has brought the participation of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands at this year's Venice Art Biennale to a close. Last Thursday, 27th October, the Italian artist Fabrizio Plessi took part in a talk, alongside the Majorcan Bernardí Roig, entitled "Biennale per / Biennale contro: l'artista e la libertà creativa".

The director of My Biennale Guide, Mara Sartore, acted as the moderator of an event chaired by Patrizio Rigobon, a lecturer at Ca'Foscari University and President of the Associazione Italiana di Studi Catalani.

The Italian Fabrizio Plessi is a renowned video artist who this year has been the figure representing the city of Venice's pavilion. Meanwhile, Bernardí Roig is a familiar face at the Biennale and one of the most outstanding artists from the Balearic Islands. 

Both artists reflected on the role of the Biennale in the current artistic panorama at both a national and international level, from two complementary perspectives: that of Fabrizio Plessi, officially invited to the Venice Art Biennale in 2003, and that of Bernardí Roig, whose work has been shown at the Venetian museum Ca' Pesaro in a personal retrospective exhibition in 2009, and at several Collateral Events, though it has never been selected for the official Art Biennale programme.

Both agreed that despite critics presenting their work as being at opposite extremes, in essence they are not. Bernardí Roig, in fact, recognizes Plessi as one of his models to follow, with stylistic and conceptual similarities that go beyond their differences in artistic and linguistic expression.

This debate, which took place at the Ca' Foscari University in Venice, was the final event of the participation of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands at the Venice Art Biennale with the project Mabel Palacín: 180º. The pavilion, which was inaugurated on 1st June, was open to the public until last Sunday at Magazzino del Sale No. 2.

The director of the Institut Ramon Llull, Vicenç Villatoro, valued the participation at the Biennale in a positive light and announced that it would be maintained. "Venice is one of the great showcases for contemporary art from around the world. The presence of the pavilion of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands has allowed us to once again be present here with a work that has been well received and very highly valued, which both links in with the Catalan artistic tradition and the great debates proposed by Venice. In any case, it is important to maintain a continuous presence at the Biennale: it is a medium- and long-term project that is nourished precisely by uninterrupted presence, in such a way that our artistic output gains visibility, prestige and importance."