LONDON: MAY   4 – 26  
VENICE: MAY  10 – 12  

Venice Agendas 2017: The Contract is a programme of events including an exhibition, a publication, talks and performances in London, Venice, Margate and Folkestone.

The theme of this edition, The Contract, is particularly relevant both politically and socially. Contracts, whether written or spoken, are promises and agreements that we make with each other, within our communities and across society in general.

The project brings together artists and professionals to share and discuss what a contract means to them, their experiences of relationships governed or suggested by contracts and what might be anticipated or expected in the context of contemporary visual arts and current world events, including the UK Brexit decision.

London Exhibition – The Contract

Psalms, 1998, Donald Rodney © The Estate of Donald Rodney. Courtesy of 2017

May 4–26

DACS 33 Old Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 6AA
Hours: Monday–Friday 10am–5pm

The project launches at DACS with the exhibition The Contract curated by Gilane Tawadros, including works by Keith Arnatt, Hollis Frampton, Hew Locke, Donald Rodney, Monica Ross and Carey Young.

Newspaper Publication – The Contract

A newspaper publication includes written and creative contributions from artists including Jon Adams, Maria Thereza Alves, Michael Armitage, Jordan Baseman, Anne Bean, Gayle Chong Kwan, Jimmie Durham, Yara El-Sherbini, Tony Heaton, Hew Locke, Melanie Manchot, Hayley Newman, Tatsumi Orimoto, Terry SmithRichard Wilson and Carey Young.

Download Publication PDF  THE CONTRACT


Scuola dei Calegheri, Campo San Toma, Venice

Breakfast Discussions

Venice Agendas HQ at Scuola dei Calegheri, Campo San Toma, Venice

Now & Forever: Ownership in the Ephemeral Arts, Film and Video

Fari Bradley in conversation with David Gryn, Tony Grisioni, Rose Lejeune and Mark Waugh

Wednesday 10th May
09.30h – 11:00h

Copyright of recordings of the ephemeral arts, performance and time-based works has come under much discussion since the proliferation of new platforms for digital media, as well as the increased interest in the screening of modern performance art archives. Questions arise; once a performance commission has been recorded to whom does the documentation belong, and in archiving the work, the immediacy of the performance been lost and thus it is a completely different work.

In these and other circumstances what are the questions of authenticity that arise, and who carries the agency to transmit that work, the artist or the commissioners? By holding the film, is an institution thereby forced into or granted a default, directorial and ‘validated’ format of presentation of that work? How will that work be updated and preserved by archivists as technology advances?

With this in mind, we question what the arts can learn from cinematic works in the film industry, where the differences in ideas of ownership between large group productions and solo films make for a much more rigorously explored and tested idea of the contract. Considering these changes in materiality and the representation of the body, space and time we ask how can the contract grow with the work?


The Cost of Free Speech

Thursday 11th May
09.30h – 11:00h

Sacha Craddock in conversation with Vassiliki Tzanakou, David Birkin and Bernard G Mills

The concept of free speech is a basic requirement for society. The premise of course is the truth, however complicated that concept might be academically, but in political and social terms there is even more ambiguity.  With the current rise of fake news, divisive propaganda and media bias, the freedom of speech allows also a freedom to lie. In Europe there are constraints on what can or cannot be said; In the US under the First Amendment, that freedom is enshrined in the constitution.

With the right to speak there is also the responsibility to listen. This discussion asks the question: What are the consequences of free speech?



Thursday 11th May
09.30h – 11:00h

Act of Memory – Venice Agendas 2017

Images from Acts 01-28 (2008-2010) photos: Alex Delfanne, Bernard G Mills, Joel Chester Fildes, Georges Torode

You are invited to participate in the recitation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as part of Monica Ross’ work Act of Memory. Please register here.

The events will be live streamed on Periscope and will be highlighted and broadcast later on air and on digital (in London) and online at Resonance 104.4FM and at Clocktower NY.
Periscope: @Venice_Agendas

Pop-Up Performances Venice

Bread Man in a Morning Cafe, Kathmandu, Nepal 1994

Pop-up live art performances May 10–12

Young In Hong invites participation in her performance work, Echoes, accompanying her original soundtrack through the preview days of the Venice Biennale. Further information here.

Gayle Chong Kwan requests public contributions to her new work Artist + Partum =  on Thursday, May 11 at 7pm in Campo Santa Margherita, Dorsoduro, Venice and on Friday, May 12 at 12pm along Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, Castello, Venice.

Tatsumi Orimoto invites participation in his performance work, Dressing up as Mama and Carrying Cinema, audiences are invited to have an intimate audience through the preview days of the Venice Biennale. Getting lost daily between Piazza San Marco, Venice and the Giardini, Castello, Venice and live streamed from 12pm on Periscope: @waughoffice.


Margate and Folkestone

Further events are planned for Turner Contemporary, Margate (Saturday 17 June 2017) and Folkestone (Saturday 23 September 2017) including further performances of Acts of Memory, and new commissioned performances and projects. Live artists are invited to submit proposals to our open call.

Venice Agendas 2017: The Contract is financially supported by DACS, Turner Contemporary, Shape Arts, the Creative Foundation, The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust and The National Lottery through Arts Council England.

For press enquiries and requests for images and/or interviews please contact: Chantelle Purcell: / mobile: +44 (0)7766937677

Sign up to our newsletter for regular updates on performances and events through the preview days of the 57th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia and in England later this year: newsletter


Download the 2017 press pack.



Follow us on Social Media:

Twitter: @Venice_Agendas     Facebook: VeniceAgendas     Instagram: VeniceAgendas



Leave a Reply