A five-figure partnership to support the British Pavilion at the 60th Venice Art Biennale: This is the unprecedented announcement from the global art fair and magazine brand Friezewho will work with him British Council to support the Anglo-Ghanaian director’s project John Akomfrah and promote the exhibition on their social channels. The declaration represents an important first, as no art fair has ever funded a national pavilion at the Biennale, and excellent news for the English, who emerged very satisfied from the 2022 edition, which featured the solo pavilion Feel your path From Sonia Boyce Receive the Golden Lion.
The Frieze fair will support the British pavilion at the Biennale Arte
Funding for the British Pavilion in Venice has always been a combination of an unknown percentage of public money (through the British Council) and private sponsors, sometimes even more than one (Burberry will also be participating in 2024). Although the BC fully intends to reinvest the same amount as in 2022, the new partnership was described as “essential” by the British Council’s development director Andrew McGlynn To The art newspaperGiven the “ambitious vision“ of the Akomfrah Pavilion, the “greater support from sponsors and patrons to be able to fully realize its mandate“.
“Supporting the artists, institutions, galleries and charities that make up the UK arts landscape has always been at the heart of our work at Frieze“, commented eve Langret, Director of Frieze London. “This year, to celebrate Frieze London’s 20th anniversary, we have launched several initiatives, awards and institutional buyout funds aimed at strengthening the UK’s cultural sector. At the same time, it is a tribute to the broader artistic ecosystem that supports creative life worldwide. Our new partnership with the British Council seems to be a natural extension of this core commitment We couldn’t be prouder to support John Akomfrah, a luminary of the contemporary British art sceneas he presents a new commission for the Biennale“. Frieze is no stranger to institutional collaborations, as is the case with the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, the Tate and the Arts Council Collection.
The artist John Akomfrah at the Biennale Arte
The fact that the art market is well represented at the Biennale is nothing new, but as a rule it is Gallery owners promote the promotion and sale of the exhibited works before, during and after the exhibition. The potential financial benefits of an art fair are less clear – although Frieze does rent space in its London gallery complex No. 9 Cork Street – but many associate this decision with the commercial art world’s growing interest in collaborating with nonprofit cultural organizations.
What better occasion than the esteemed director’s exhibition? John Akomfrah (Accra, 1957), whose works, characterized by an investigation of memory, aesthetics, postcolonialism and diasporic experiences, are fully in line with the theme chosen by the curator Adriano Pedrosa for the 2024 Art Biennale, Strangers everywhere. Famous in England, where he lives and works, Akomfrah is also a founding member of the influential group Black Audio Film Collective (founded in London in 1982 with artists David Lawson and Lina Gopaul) and has been recognized with awards such as the Artes Mundi in 2017 and a Knighthood for Services to the Arts in the 2023 New Year Honors.