The Russian contemporary art foundation’s new project sees its spaces given over to the public.
Although only recently opening its doors in the city, the V-A-C Foundation has made a huge impact in Venice: a restaurant project with an Afghan refugee, a saltmarsh installation with environmental campaigners We Are Here Venice and now the creation of the DK Zattere. Rather than the more traditional exhibitions of its recent past, V-A-C has created a temporary cultural hub in which the protagonists are the general public utilising the space.
‘DK’ stands for ‘dom kultury’ – Russian for ‘house of culture’ – and this Russian foundation is replicating the concept of a cultural house that is open to all, which was popular in 1920s Russia. There are rooms with comfy chairs and sofas where visitors can work and exchange ideas in the magnificent surroundings of this beautifully restored Renaissance palace. Potted plants jostle for space amongst the desks and chairs in another room set aside for people wanting to work on their laptops in a peaceful (and pretty spectacular) environment. Another large space is set aside for meditation, with beanbags scattered around the room and attractive rosy-hued lighting. One room contains publications about art and curating for users to browse through.
However, this January one room has been taken over by the cine-club: velvet theatre seating has been installed facing a large screen and this month there is a series of films on the topic of migration. Films screening from 4 January to 4 February on rotation include Five Men and a Caravaggio, A Room and a Half and The Other Side of Hope, with directors coming from Finland, China, Germany and Russia. All the films being screened have English subtitles.
Throughout its duration, the project will also be running workshops every other weekend on themes related to visual culture, conducted by professionals working in fields such as publishing and cinema. This is an innovative and inclusive project aimed at getting both Venetians and visitors involved in the creative process of one of the city’s most exciting new spaces.
DK Zattere runs until 24 March, 2019. Free entry.
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