from MArte

The Holy See Pavilion at the Biennale Arte 2024

by the Editorial Team

The catalogue for the exhibition at the Holy See Pavilion for the Biennale 2024, published by Marsilio Arte, is edited by the graphic designer Irma Boom. We asked her a few questions

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On the island of Giudecca, in the women’s prison, is where the Holy See Pavilion stages its exhibition for the Biennale. Eight international artists explore the theme of human rights in an extraordinary setting. Irma Boom, who edited the catalogue for the exhibition, talks about the features of the book.

You designed the catalogue for the Holy See Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, published by Marsilio Arte. How will the volume present the concepts behind the project and how will it accompany the visiting experience?
If you make a catalogue for a group exhibition like this you have to have an overall concept. An idea which gives all the artists participating visibility. Also, the book should have an object quality. We want to use specific paper stocks to identify the different aspects of the book. The overall look of the book is conceptual and sober.

Would you like to give us some hints about the graphic design of the catalogue and the visual solutions you have chosen to adopt?
The nook has a size approx. 240 x 200 mm. The type we are using is Neuzeit S, a sans serif bold font. The book is printed in full color and has a “cahier” binding. The prison is an interesting space which we prefer to print in black and white. The art objects we print on thin transparent paper. This combination will be very interesting with respect to art and the location. Of course we will also show installation shots where art and location merge.

What future do you wish for the book that accompanies such an unprecedented event as the exhibition of the Holy See Pavilion at the Venice-Giudecca Women’s Prison?
The exhibition will go and the book will stay. The book should serve as a tool for further conversation after the exhibition is ended. The book as evidence of what is shown in the women’s prison. The interaction between art and the reality of everyday life.

As a graphic designer in constant dialogue with the art world, from your point of view what kind of reflection can the work of the artists invited stimulate?
In answering this question, all the work has yet to be installed. I do know that upon arrival at the prison, Maurizio Cattelan’s work will already make a big impression. And then the other works entering the building will continue to impress with the works of Bintou Dembélé, Simone Fattal, Claire Fontaine, Sonia Gomes, Corita Kent, Marco Perego & Zoe Saldana, Claire Tabouret!

Interview by Arianna Testino

Irma Boom is an Amsterdam-based book designer. Her experimental approach often challenges the conventions of the traditional book, both in design and content. Since 1992 she has collaborated with Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, and has given lectures and workshops around the world. She has received many awards for her book designs and, in 2001, was the youngest person to be awarded the Gutenberg Prize. Boom’s books are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Vatican Library, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam collects her complete oeuvre. In 2014 Boom received the Johannes Vermeer Prize, the Dutch state prize for the arts. In 2019 she earned an honorary doctorate from London’s Royal College of Art.

With My Eyes
from 20 April to 24 November 2024
Venice-Giudecca Women’s Prison

Cover photo: The Courtyard of Stroll at the Venice-Giudecca Female Penitentiary. Photo credit: Marco Cremascoli, 2024

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