‘Speaking in Tongues’ at the Venice Biennale, Venice

Paul Benney’s epic painting “Speaking in Tongues” is currently on display at The Venice Biennale at the church of San Gallo, near St Mark’s Square in Venice.Curated by James Putnam and Co-curated by Flora Fairbairn, the painting is presented together with an extraordinary holophonic sound installation. In this work, Benney brings together 12 of his contemporaries for individually expressing a spiritual awakening. Through his work he tries to convey that a singular piece of art can facilitate understanding between different ideologies, thus, promoting engagement in a shared spiritual dialogue. The painting by Benney resonates strongly with the underlying theme of the 57th Venice Biennale that emphasizes on reflection, spirituality, and humanism.While entering the exhibition premises, the audience will first encounter a soft murmuring reminiscent of prayer or a confession. As they continue to move around the exhibition space, the murmuring sound is interrupted. Through the use of holophonic sound focusing technology, by the clearly discernible monologue of each subject; the effect that is created seems as if the individual voices are uncannily experienced as aural hallucinations. Along with “Speaking in Tongues,” the “Reliquary” series is also been presented and is an important part of the exhibition. This series re-emphasizes the spiritual metaphor of the flame that represents the human spirit.The exhibition is on view through November 26, 2017 at The Venice Biennale, Chiesa di San Gallo, 30124 Venezia, Italy.For details, visit: on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibition.

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