06 Dec 2019

This content is tagged as Visual arts .


After Post hoc Biennale Arte 2019 wraps up in Venice

Post hoc, Dane Mitchell’s exhibition for the New Zealand pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, has been described as unmissable, powerful, and devastating.

Extending beyond the New Zealand pavilion to multiple sites across Venice, Post hoc garnered widespread international media attention during the six months of the biennale. Post hoc was featured by numerous international and domestic media outlets, including Art forum, Monocle, Wall Street Journal, ArtNews, Radio NZ, The Big Idea, ArtNews NZ, NZ Herald and Contemporary HUM. It was also highlighted in various non-English publications, including Lifo (Greek), Le Journal des Arts (French), Vogue Poland (Polish), Der Spiegel and Taz (German).

“Post hoc – which translates from Latin as ‘after this’ – could hardly be more timely. The tree towers which artificially resemble nature, suggest we are living in a state of after nature, while the lists – which rely on the availability of recorded ‘facts’ – signal the contingent process of constructing knowledge in this post-truth moment. It’s no accident that the public sites framing Post hoc nod to questions of epistemology, philosophy, and religion, helping to contextualise Post hoc’s challenge to systems of knowledge and belief.” Artlyst’s 20 Unmissable Pavilions

The International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, is widely regarded as the leading international event for contemporary art. The 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia officially closed on 24 November attracting 593,616 visitors over its six-month duration, on top of 24,762 visitors during the pre-opening Vernissage week in May.

Media highlights

The Economist: “In the New Zealand pavilion, Mr Mitchell has gathered a list of 3m things that no longer exist— extinct species but also ghost towns, discontinued perfumes, vanished borders. The list is being declaimed in what amounts to an epic poem of loss; the history of progress, it implies, is also a history of obsolescence. The roll-call is so long it can be read out for eight hours a day, seven days a week for the six months of the Biennale, and no item will ever be repeated.”

Berlin Art Link: “The ambitious project, Post hoc, is perhaps his greatest foray into the world of the unseen, constituting an encyclopaedic inventory of vanished, defunct, bygone, destroyed or otherwise nonexistent phenomena, and symbolically revitalising them via their inclusion in his project.”

Metro New Zealand: “The depressing truth at the heart of Dane Mitchell’s excellent exhibition Post hoc, New Zealand’s official presentation at this year’s Venice Biennale, is that when Venice sinks, nothing at the macro level will change — because despite constant processes of erasure, extinction and loss, the weight of the world never really shifts; matter just transforms. Mitchell’s fascination with this material conundrum is at the heart of Post hoc: a project generated by loss, not as an idea but as an actuality.”

The NZ Listener: “And amid the international pavilions filled with faceless group shows and celebrations of past glories, Post Hoc proves that New Zealand’s tradition of providing ambitious artists with an opportunity to create large-scale works is an approach well worth continuing.”  


What visitors thought of the NZ pavilion

“Post hoc – Adhoc. I loved it! Thank you NZ, you’ve done it again.” – Amanda (Australia)

“Love the focus on lost things and the Anthropocene: Sad but timely. Thank you for the excellent work.” Congratulations – Marian (South Africa)

“Very inspiring – interesting light – silences – the traces to the past – I can feel them by this piece of art.” – Regine (Germany)

Behind the scenes

Blogs from our Exhibition Attendants
We are grateful to our wonderful exhibition attendants for their contributions over the past six months. You can read their blogs on the NZ at Venice website.

Erin McFarlane: Nostalgia and connection
Brook Konia: What is printing?
Moya Wilson: Trees and Peripheries
James Hope: The Pavilion in Summer
Benny Chan: Making connections at the New Zealand Pavilion
Hope Wilson: On Venice, vernissage and the vaporetto

Biennale Arte 2019 in numbers

The exhibition:

  • 79 artists invited to the Exhibition
  • 90 National Participations
  • 35 National Participations around the city of Venice

Visitor stats:

  • The Biennale Arte 2019 had 593,616 visitors in total
  • 24,762 visitors during the Vernissage (pre-opening week) in May
  • 31% of visitors were under 26 years of age
  • Group visits comprised 17% of the total number of visitors.

After Post hoc

Back home in New Zealand, Christchurch Art Gallery is working with Dane Mitchell on a possible presentation of Post hoc. Dane will also be discussing Post hoc with Te Papa curator Nina Tonga, details below:

Te Papa Artist Talk


Join Dane Mitchell and Te Papa curator Nina Tonga as they discuss Post hoc.
Sunday 15 Dec 2019, 11.00am – 12.00pm
Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington 
Rongomaraeroa, Level 4.
More info about this free event: Artist Talk at Te Papa: Dane Mitchell

Special thanks

Special thanks to New Zealand at Venice partners and supporters including Te Papa Tongarewa, Leigh Melville and the New Zealand at Venice Patrons,  Anthony Simpson, New Zealand Ambassador to Italy and our Embassy in Rome, our exhibition partner Institute of Marine Sciences of the National Research Council of Italy (CNR-ISMAR), Akin, Man o’ war, and Hopkinson Mossman.

For more information on New Zealand’s presentation at the Biennale Arte 2019 visit www.nzatvenice.com or follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube.