Support 2019 Venice Biennale Artist
Hello Friends, Colleagues, and Patrons of the Arts,
THE HONOR: My name is Billy Gerard Frank . I have been selected as one of the four artists chosen to represent the island of Grenada at the official National Pavilion of Grenada for la Biennale di Venezia 2019.
It is a great honor to participate in this most-prestigious world-renowned international art exhibition. Despite the abundance of talent in the Caribbean and its diaspora, Grenada is the only single Caribbean island nation to participate in this world-renowned globally recognized event for the third time, which proves Grenada as a leader in the Caribbean. Only Cuba has exhibited as a Caribbean country more often.
The relevance of my participation as a native to the island now living in United States for the past 20 years is both personally profound and deeply prophetic when questioning the themes of Home, family, Colonialism, and Identity.
The caveat to accepting the honor is that each artist must support their project independently. The costs for the security and rental of the exhibition the space in Venice, Italy was secured in partnership with the Italian not-for-profit organization on behalf of Grenada's Government, and the National Arts Council.
THE PROJECT: 2nd Eulogy: mind the gap
For the 2019 Venice Biennale Grenada's parti pris is defined as "Epic Memory". Taken from the acceptance speech of Caribbean Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott, "Epic Memory" speaks of the Caribbean as a place where "our" relationship with the landscape and the materials in+on it penetrate our collective souls in a way that facts from a history book or standing at the ruins of a fort could never do. Couple with my personal experience born and lived in Grenada, Walcott's poetry has always informed the lens to which I view the Grenada of my birth, and the Caribbean as a whole: the joy and pathos of its people and the place.
2nd Eulogy: mind the gap, will give voice, decontextualize, and deconstruct the mythology and legacies surrounding the present/absent fathers. This new body of work(s) explore themes of exile, migration, and memories around my family and estrangement, using as a departure point my narrative short film, Absence Of Love . My father who was a shipwright, sailor, fisherman, among other things, will be central to the rendering a multi-textured reading and re-positioning of memory and history. I will also be incorporating strands of thoughts from Ralph Rugoff, the chief Curator of the 58th International Art Exhibition chosen theme: “May You Live in Interesting Times”. In a speech given in the late 1930s, British MP Sir Austen Chamberlain invoked an ancient Chinese curse that he had learned of from a British diplomat who had served in Asia, and which took the curious form of saying, “May you live in interesting times.” “There is no doubt that the curse has fallen on us,” Chamberlain observed. “We move from one crisis to another. We suffer one disturbance and shock after another.”
In Rugoff words: “Ultimately, Biennale Arte 2019 aspires to the ideal that what is most important about an exhibition is not what it puts on display, but how audiences can use their experience of the exhibition afterwards, to confront everyday realities from expanded viewpoints and with new energies.”
THE FUNDING: I am seeking the generosity of individuals to help co-create my project in the amount of
( $176,000). Your support will enable me to produce the multi-media installation that I am currently mapping-out and assembling for the Biennale. The project costs are split into two phases, Pre and Post Production costs. Pre Production include the required travel and lodging expenses from NYC to Grenada for key video installation shoot, edit, and other material components that are to be incorporated into the installation of the work at the the Biennale. Post -Production Costs include shipping, and the required travel and lodging expenses from NYC to Venice, Italy during installation of 2nd Eulogy through the opening of the event.
I am kindly requesting your assistance to help produce the work and other expenses I've mentioned to represent Grenada at such an important art-world forum. Any amount would be greatly appreciated.
In addition, for anyone who would like a tax-deductible for any donations, you can donate through this link which is 100% tax deductible: Fracture Atlas Artist
Below are links to press about my participation in the Biennale.
MY DEEPEST THANKS AND GRATITUDE TO YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND GENEROSITY!
AND I HOPE TO CELEBRATE GRENADA WITH YOU LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA 2019