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Home / Resources / News / EA at 55th Venice Biennale

EA at 55th Venice Biennale

Joan of Art: Towards a Free Education System’, is a multi-year cultural program which aims to deliver a free education system. In the first stages the very notion of education will be explored so that a new system can be delivered which recognises the value of sharing knowledge between peers and across disciplines.

 In its first year the project has collaborated with founding partner Nomas Foundation, Macro and European Alternatives.

From late May until November 2013 the project will be continued in residence with Gervasuti Foundation – location of the Maldives Pavilion – Venice, with additional support by Worm Foundation (Rotterdam). Opening and closing events will contribute to the development of a new free course on art, politics and education, to be delivered from art spaces internationally: an archive of cultural knowledge initiated during the 55th biennale, the Encyclopedic Palace.

28 may, 6pm / Fondazione Gervasuti / Fondamenta S.Anna (via Garibaldi)

Dutch artist Harold de Bree will cook a ‘golden calf’ inside a metal plinth bearing the inscription in Venetian: ‘Savèr xe segno de tirannide, far domande xe segno de libertà’. (Knowing is the mark of tyranny. Questioning is the mark of freedom). The 50 kilo calf – covered in gold leaf – will be served at 8pm. The golden calf makes reference to the worship of false idols. Today we worship false knowledge, delivered through expensive hierarchical institutions

The carving of the cooked calf will initiate an open discussion on the subject of free education. The discussion will open to the public and will involve occupants of MACAO, SALE docks, the curator Mike Watson, EA’s Lorenzo Marsili and invited guests.

You may download a press release here.


The Joan of Art Bar will be handing out limited edition beer bottles produced in collaboration with Birra del Borgo. Half-quotes on the importance of education will be printed on the labels. The sentences can be completed by finding the corresponding half-quote on the labels of beers being drunk by others, giving rise to the sharing and exchange of reflections, which can be written on a space left on the bottles. The labels will be exhibited over the following days in the bar.

The project has been developed by the curator Mike Watson in collaboration with artist Andrew Rutt and assistant curator Donatella Giordano.