Untitled (Venice Biennale)
15.7 x 22 in.
Gift of Robert Ransick
Fred Wilson challenges assumptions of history, culture, race, and conventions of display with his work. By reframing objects and cultural symbols, he alters traditional interpretations, encouraging viewers to reconsider social and historical narratives.
“In Untitled (Venice Biennale), Wilson juxtaposes a print of a cityscape with gondolas to an image of a painted statue of a “blackamoor,” an Early Modern exoticized depiction of an African figure. This work is related to Wilson’s 2003 installation at the 50th Venice Biennale, where he exhibited as the representative artist of the United States. In both his installation and in this related print, Wilson references the uncredited African immigrants who have influenced Venetian culture for centuries. Of the work, Wilson says, ‘The African, the Black, the Negro, the Moor remains unacknowledged yet constant and lingering presence in Venice, inhabiting both its past as seen in Venetian visual culture and its contemporary life by the active presence today of African immigrants, more specifically Senegalese, who now inhabit the margins of Venice’.”