29.05.2013 - UNESCO Venice Office

Tuvalu Pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale. Raising awareness on the global climate change issues faced by small islands

©Tuvalu Pavilion - 2013 Venice Biennale: 55th International Art Exhibition

Animal Victims’ and an Oil Pump ‘Slaughter’ Machine-Taiwanese Artist Vincent J.F. Huang uses dark humour to raise awareness on the climate crisis engulfing the small paradise island of Tuvalu. The Pavilion of the island of Tuvalu located in the South Pacific will be on display for the first time at the 55th International Art Exhibition from 1 June until 24 November. Tuvalu, the Polynesian island is in serious trouble with climate change expected to push sea levels higher. The time is quickly approaching where the island will be unable to sustain life in any form. Facing a future whose only certainty is change, small island developing states are confronted with many problems and difficulties – some intrinsic and timeless, others extrinsic and new – in making progress towards survival, sustainable living and sustainable development. UNESCO is very much aware of this and active in its fields of competence, among which Natural Sciences.

Davide Poletto, Science unit, UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), will attend the inauguration of the Tuvalu Pavilion tomorrow, 30 May, and talk about Global Climate Change and the new vision and commitment of the Organization towards Small Islands Developing States (SIDS), and mitigation-oriented activities based on sustainably energy resources. Small island societies have a record of thriving in challenging times. Their long histories are rooted in new and innovative approaches, societal mobilization and technological adaptation.

Taiwanese artist, Vincent J.F. Huang, will create artworks that allow audiences to consider the global climate change issues we face today. A series of ‘black humour’ installations will be on display, namely a colossal oil pump installation, which will transform into a killing machine that will slaughter natural species; a live coral reef aquarium with the remnants of human civilisation submerged within it and an unusual spectacle of animal ‘refugee’ sculptures that have become endangered by global warming. The Tuvalu Pavilion titled ‘Destiny. Intertwined’ serves as a metaphor for the Developed World and Third World and how ultimately as humans, we all end up with the same fate.

The 6-metre high interactive oil pump installation ‘In the Name of Civilization’ will be situated at the Forte Marghera - a symbolic fortress dating back to the Napoleon period which was built for the protection of the city of Venice. The installation invites audiences to ‘fill up gas’ whilst contemplating the dying iconic New York ‘Wall Street Bull’-hanging from its noose above it, and the sea turtle, hopelessly waiting to be decapitated.

For more information about the Tuvalu Pavilion, visit the website: www.tuvalupavilion.com

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