Institut Ramon LLull

”Bestiari”, the exhibition by Carlos Casas showcasing images and sounds captured in the natural parks of Catalonia, debuts at the Venice Biennale of Art

Arts.  18/04/2024

The Minister of Culture, Natàlia Garriga, visited the exhibition accompanied by the director of the Institut Ramon Llull, Pere Almeda, the artist Carlos Casas and the curator, Filipa Ramos. The inauguration featured a performance by the composer Marina Herlop.

Catalonia in Venice | Bestiari | Carlos Casas, curated by Filipa Ramos and produced by the Institut Ramon Llull, opened on Thursday, 18 April in Venice at the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. The exhibition, which is part of the Eventi Collaterali, will run until 24 November.

Bestiari is an immersive audiovisual experience that immerses visitors in a hypnotic environment of sounds and images emitted by animals and creatures that inhabit the natural and imagined landscapes of Catalonia. As a starting point, it uses the medieval text Disputa de l‘ase (The Dispute of the Donkey), which was written by Anselm Turmeda in 1417.

The Minister of Culture, Natàlia Garriga, emphasized that Catalan creation is once again present at the Biennale, which consolidates “the power of Catalan art on the major international stages”. Garriga described the installation as "a unique experience, which tells us about the health of our natural environments through sound and makes us rethink our relationship with nature". The Minister congratulated Carlos Casas and Filipa Ramos for devising an artistic proposal that establishes "a dialogue of our literary heritage with nature and current challenges", which are "signal ideas of a strongly committed artistic culture". The minister stressed that the artistic proposal "reminds us that in a time of so much noise, listening is more important than ever."

Pere Almeda, the director of the Institut Ramon Llull, stated during the inauguration that "Carlos Casas and Filipa Ramos are expanding on the slogan of this year's biennial (Foreigners everywhere) in a world where we have made nature and animality strangers. This project allows us to rediscover, reconnect and listen to nature and animal life like never before, and doing so is a way to avoid collapse.” Almeda added that "the installation is surprising, technologically very elaborate, and takes us to a hypnotic state, like the dream that Turmeda explains in the Disputa de l’ase”

Carlos Casas, a Barcelona artist, has documented the natural landscapes of Catalonia to preserve them for future generations. He believes that these landscapes bear witness to the impact of turbulent times for our environments. Casas stated that “the installation in Venice aims to provide a relaxing experience and for visitors to take time to connect more directly with other species.”

The curator of the exhibition Filipa Ramos said that "with this work, Carlos Casas updates and confirms the relevance of the Disputa de l’ase in the context in which we live, significantly acknowledging the rights of nature, and raising awareness about the drastic environmental effects caused by human action".

The inauguration featured a performance by the artist Marina Herlop. The Catalan composer participated in Bestiari by creating a sound piece that is part of the installation.

The recordings for Bestiari were made in the natural parks and protected areas of Catalonia, including the Ebro Delta Natural Park, the Cadí-Moixeró Natural Park, the Montgrí Natural Park, the Medes Islands and the Baix Ter, the Montseny Natural Park and Biosphere Reserve, the Sant Llorenç del Munt i l ‘Obac Natural Park, the Mas de Melons i Secans Natural Reserve in Lleida, the Montsec Mountain Range Protected Natural Area, the Boumort Mountain Range Protected Natural Area, the Boumort National Hunting Reserve, the Alt Pirineu Natural Park and the Cap de Creus Natural Park. The managers and teams of the Department of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda of the Generalitat of Catalonia and the Area of Natural Spaces and Green Infrastructure of the Diputació de Barcelona assisted in the recordings of the scenes.

Filipa Ramos' curatorial proposal echoes the theme of the Biennale Arte 2024, Foreigners Everywhere, curated by Adriano Pedrosa, and goes beyond an anthropocentric vision to include the natural world.

The IRL has been producing and organising the participation of Catalan culture in the Eventi Collaterali of the International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia since 2009.

The press dossier of the exhibition, and photographic and audiovisual material are available on this link.

This website only uses session cookies for technical and analytical purposes. It does not compile or assign users’ personal data without their consent. This website does, however, use third-party cookies for statistical purposes. You can obtain further information or manage or reject cookies by clicking on "+ Info".