‘The Fair Grounds’ at Venice Biennale 2017

From Tuesday the 9th of May until Sunday the 14th DROPSTUFF presents the media art work ‘The Fair Grounds’ during the preview days of the International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia. Situated directly opposite Vaporetto stop ‘Arsenale’, we organize -for the fifth time since 2007- an alternative Dutch contribution to the Biennale. Unlike other years, this year we present a work of DROPSTUFF itself. ‘The Fair Grounds’ is a concept and design of René van Engelenburg and Gijs ten Cate in realized collaboration with filmmaker Ard van der Veldt.

‘The Fair Grounds’ is an interactive multimedia artwork that will be placed in Venice during the preview days of the International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia. From May 9 to 14 the project will be displayed at Vaporetto-stop Arsenale, on the Riva Ca’di Dio, the route from San Marco to Giardini. This is the same route that the art-loving crowd traverses daily to come and visit the Biennale. A place on the street, in the public space, where a mixture of Biennale-visitors, tourists and the occasional remaining citizen can meet.

The work consists of six nostalgic so called ‘kiddy rides’: carnivalesque attractions restored to their former glory and covered in a high gloss unicolor polyester layer. Colored in the template of ‘De Stijl’, the famous Dutch modernist art movement of Piet Mondriaan and Gerrit Rietveld. The objects are placed behind one another, lining up to make a small coaster train. Passerby’s are invited to take place: they can choose between a motorbike, a horse, a race car, a helicopter, a ‘Pikachu’ and a clown seesaw. Once seated, they don a VR-headset. A big red button will activate the whole ‘coaster train’. Every ride moves autonomously from each other in its own manner.

Inside of the virtual reality the participants are raced through both Venice and Amsterdam in a high-speed roller- coaster experience. The Fair Grounds turns Biennale-visitors into tourists and tourists into art-connoisseurs.

Download here the full Press Release