Gervasuti Foundation, Fondamenta S. Ana (Via Garibaldi) Castello 995, Venice
The Gervasuti Foundation is a young, alternative art platform located on the site of the Gervasuti family’s artisan cabinet-maker and joinery workshop, which for over 60 years has been one of the most respected and active in the Venetian working class area of Castello, itself renowned for excellence in wood craft and shipbuilding. The area of Castello Alto has changed enormously in the last few decades and no longer cultivates its once vibrant craftwork activities, nonetheless it remains one of the only neighbourhoods in Venice to have retained some of its authenticity and is home to the oldest community in this unique city.
The Foundation’s mission is focused on an innovative experimental Preservation-Through-Change Project, which aims to be both local and international: preserving the uniquely inventive and rich cultural traditions of Venetian history through the promotion and production of interdisciplinary contemporary art practice. The interdisciplinary nature of this production and form of presentation reflects the eclectic interests of its founders and the diverse cultural festivals and biennales the city offers. The aim is to forge a network of local and international artists to work with and to rethink and address the cultural context while developing experimental projects which make use of local realities and materials, thereby revitalizing Castello Alto’s intrinsic creativity, an area famous as having been one of the most dynamic and productive of the city. The Foundation has also set up a bar and courtyard project meeting point, offering a series of activities such as: performances, screenings, seminars, readings, concerts and the celebration of traditional festivities to actively engage both resident and visitor participation.
The objective of the Foundation is to establish strong collaborations specifically with artists, and with institutions and organizations, to construct a fresh perspective by means of workshops based on research and the use of context through contemporary discourse and production. While encouraging participation by the neighbourhood and involving the local community, the intention is to invite artists, as well as to build partnerships with organizations and institutions, to cooperate in creating projects that stimulate a respectful use and development of an area which, like so many others, faces the risk of being engulfed by global tourism leading to the inevitable result of loss of cultural memory.
The Foundation is situated at the north end of Via Garibaldi and equidistant from both Giardini and Arsenale, sites of the Venice Biennale.
Recent productions, exhibitions and events include:
University of Architecture of Venice, IUAV, Faculty of Art and Design, end of year exhibition 2009/2010: Ogni limite ha una pazienza (esperienze non lineari del tempo) / Every Patience has a limit (non linear experiences of time) curated by Cesare Pietroiusti.
Project-tion on the occasion of the Venice International Film Festival 4/5/6 September 2009, a project by Fiona Biggiero with participating artists: Ragnar Kjartansson, John Isaacs, Rä di Martino, Teresa Margolles, Paolo W. Tamburella & Davide Stampa.
53rd Venice Biennale, 2009 Collateral Event, ‘Distortion’ curated by James Putnam in collaboration with the Art Council of England. Participating artists:- Janet Cadiff & George Bures Miller, Oliver Clegg, Mat Collishaw, John Isaacs, Alastair Mackie, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Jamie Shovlin, Gavin Turk.
53rd Venice Biennale, 2009, Collateral Event, ‘Library’ – installation by Woojung Chun.
‘Bekini Bar’ in collaboration with Blacks Club, London, a project for the 53rd Venice Biennale, 2009. Participating artists: Bridget Hugo, Nancy Fouts and Giuseppe Mascoli.