fernando prats

The work of Fernando Prats in the Arsenals of Venice shows the powerful reality of our geography, with topics such as the earthquake and the eruption of the Chaitén volcano.

The Chilean Pavilion at the 54th Art Biennale of Venice is the result of a joint collaboration between the National Council of Culture and the Arts (CNCA), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through its Cultural Affairs Bureau (DIRAC) Image of Chile Foundation and ProChile.

Fernando Prats is the artist selected for the Chilean Pavilion at the 54th Art Biennale of Venice. His project “Gran Sur” (Great South) is installed in the Arsenals of this ancient city, the most visited spot during the event.

The assembly consists of three art pieces: an intervention around the impact of the volcanic eruption in Chaitén (2008); a series of works alluding to the earthquake in south-central Chile (2010); and an installation in neon lettering that reproduces the advert that the Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton may have posted circa 1911, calling for men for his expedition to Antarctica.

Prats produces images originating from smoke, through which he manages to sediment natural phenomena such as water propelled by a geyser or the surface of an immense glacier. His technique has been praised by notables such as the French theorist Paul Ardenne who recently included the work of Fernando Prats in the current exhibition at the Espace Louis Vuitton in Paris, highlighting him for initiating “a new way of painting.”

A central element of his exhibit in Venice is the expedition that Prats himself carried out last March to the Antarctic territory aboard the Navy icebreaker, Almirante Viel. Commemorating the centennial of the mythical advert that the Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton would have posted in The Times, Prats installed on Elephant Island the text of said advert:

“Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success”.

These words anticipate both the heroism as well as the eventual shipwreck will be later placed in the facade of the Chilean Pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale.

4 Jun -27 November 2011
Venice Biennial
For more information please visit:
Studio Pesci srl

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