The Picnic Pavilion

2019 | Parallel the 58th International Art Exhibition May You Live In Interesting Times
co-curated with Gabriel Adams, Isadora Tomasi and Tobia Tomasi  in collaboration with Casa Punto Croce, Venice (Italy)

The Picnic Pavilion was a rogue, experimental, exhibition combined with a series of events which re-contextualize artistic practice and art tourism in the heart of Venice during the 58th International Art Exhibition May You Live In Interesting Times, known as La Biennale di Venezia 2019.

The Picnic Pavilion acted as a platform to generate and realize new works within the city. It aimed at breaking the consumer based miasma which often accompanies visits to Venice through artistic actions. The ethos of The Picnic Pavilion was to contribute to the quality of everyday life in Venice, as well as to our humanity in general.

Why? Did you know that it is illegal to picnic in Venice?
Although all great ideas came about while either cooking or eating together, the Venetian public decorum has forbidden it. Therefore, we used the picnic as a symbolic form for a public and convivial program in order to re-contextualize artistic practice and art tourism in the heart of Venice during the Venice Art Biennale.

While the outside world looked with endless adoration on La Biennale di Venezia, the reality of the city and its inhabitants have a different story. They have to coexist with both Disneylandification and environmental degradation, all accompanied by the visitors’ delirious pressure of “I can’t miss it.”

The Picnic Pavilion offered the cure, or at least some shelter from this storm, with its inherent delirium! The Picnic Pavilion took on Art and invigorates the simple ritual moments of daily life where we come together to share a meal. In addition to the mix of contemporary art, urban projects, and interventions into city social life, an ongoing series of collaborative culinary events (such as picnics, dinner parties, apero, events) will take place within the experimental and underground ~ but above water ~ Casa Punto Croce.
Casa Punto Croce is an experimental cultural program in Venice which has been taking place in an inhabited apartment for 7 years. Born from the need to generate informal events, spontaneous exhibitions, and instinctive performances, its impetuous projects have made waves across the cultural Venetian agenda.

Participants within the Picnic Pavilion responded to an open call by presenting their work, making event or happening, creating or participating in a cooking project, or organising a picnic as an open invitation to art.

The Picnic Pavilion was an auto-produced, user generated project that operated on the engagement of all participants, both the artists and the audience. Outside of the exhibition and opening event, the project operated on improvisation and self driven initiatives.

Collectively we made this project what it was, but a huge thanks has to be addressed to the project Pranzetto by Gabriel Adams, and to Punto Croce without them the all Picnic Pavilion wouldn’t exist.

pictures by Rossella Damiani and Gabriel Adams