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Edmund de Waal

The Library of Memory (symposium)
Ateneo Veneto, Venice
19 – 20 September 2019

Edmund de Waal, the library of exile, installation view, Ateneo Veneto, Venice, 2019 © Edmund de Waal. Courtesy of the artist, Photo: Fulvio Orsenigo
Edmund de Waal, the library of exile, installation view, Ateneo Veneto, Venice, 2019 © Edmund de Waal. Courtesy of the artist, Photo: Fulvio Orsenigo

An international symposium for the psalm cultural programme in Venice. This symposium brings together Edmund de Waal, Murray Baumgarten, Margaret Brose, Piotr Cywinski, Marc Epstein, Yoel Finkelman, Eva Hoffman, Mary Hoffman, Simon Levis Sullam, Fania Oz-Salzberger, Bill Sherman, Daniel Vogelman and James Young at the Ateneo Veneto, Venice.

The psalm cultural programme is a special series of events that has been curated together with the Center for the Humanities and Social Change at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Centred on themes of translation, exile, migration and diaspora, the programme aims to bring the experiences of contemporary writers in exile into focus and to celebrate works in translation. Symposiums, readings, performances and more are being held in several venues throughout the biennale. Special activities for children will also run during the summer months and into the autumn.

Edmund de Waal website

psalm cultural programme


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Edmund de Waal

Elective Affinities: Edmund de Waal at the Frick Collection (solo show)
The Frick Collection, New York
30 May - 17 November 2019

Edmund de Waal, Elective Affinities, installation view, The Frick Collection, New York, 2019. Photo: Christopher Burke
Edmund de Waal, Elective Affinities, installation view, The Frick Collection, New York, 2019. Photo: Christopher Burke

The Frick Collection presents a temporary installation of sculptures by acclaimed author and ceramist Edmund de Waal. Site-specific works made of porcelain, steel, gold, marble, and glass are displayed in the museum's main galleries alongside works from the permanent collection.

De Waal is known for his installations of porcelain vessels housed in minimal structures, often created in response to collections and archives or the history of a specific place. Past sites have included Waddesdon Manor and the Chatsworth House — this project marks his first such installation in the United States.

The Frick Collection, New York


Edmund de Waal

psalm (solo show)
To coincide with the 58th Venice Biennale
Canton Scuola Synagogue / Ateneo Veneto, Venice
8 May - 29 September 2019

Edmund de Waal, the library of exile, 2019, Ateneo Veneto, Venice © Edmund de Waal. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Fulvio Orsenigo
Edmund de Waal, the library of exile, 2019, Ateneo Veneto, Venice © Edmund de Waal. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Fulvio Orsenigo

Edmund de Waal is creating a major new two-part exhibition to be displayed in the 500-year-old Jewish Ghetto in Venice, coinciding with the opening of the 58th Biennale.

The first part is located in the spaces surrounding the Canton Scuola, the beautiful 16th century synagogue in the Ghetto Nuovo, which is now part of the Jewish Museum.

New installations of porcelain, marble and gold will reflect the literary and musical heritage of this extraordinary place. The intention is to animate spaces that are little known and little understood by visitors to the Biennale and to bring new audiences into the Ghetto.

The second part of the work will be a pavilion based at the Ateneo Veneto, the fifteenth-century building near the Fenice Opera House that has been an historic centre for cultural debate in Venice. Here, de Waal is constructing a small building within the main space that will house 2,000 books by exiled writers, from Ovid to the present day.

Edmund de Waal said: “This is the project I have always dreamed of doing. It is about exile – what it means to have to move to another country, to speak another language. It brings new installations based on the Psalms, the poetry of exile, into some of the most beautiful spaces of the Ghetto, the first time some of these spaces have been used for contemporary art. And my library for the Ateneo – two thousand books within a porcelain-covered pavilion – will be the most significant sculpture of my life. It will be a new library reflecting Venice’s thousand years as a place of translation, a space to sit and read and be.”

Edmund de Waal website

Museo Ebraico, Venice