Graham Fagen: Scotland + Venice 2015 at Palazzo Fontana in Venice

9 May–22 November 2015

Graham Fagen 9 May — 22 November 2015 Palazzo Fontana, Venice

Hospitalfield’s proposal to work with artist Graham Fagen was selected by the Scotland + Venice Partnership in 2014 and Fagen is currently representing Scotland at the 56th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale, running from 9 May to 22 November 2015, in a solo presentation which takes place at Palazzo Fontana in the Cannaregio district of Venice, Italy.

Graham Fagen

Graham Fagen is one of the UK’s foremost contemporary artists. His work mixes media and crosses continents; combining video, performance, photography, and sculpture with text and music. His recurring artistic themes include plants, journeys, poetry and popular song as a means to focus on personal and shared experience and identity. His works offer a clear-sighted perspective on the powerful forces that shape our lives.

Palazzo Fontana

Palazzo Fontana is a new location for Scotland’s presentation at the Venice Biennale and this is the first time that the palazzo has been used for the Biennale. Graham Fagen has presented an entirely new body of work devised for the rooms of this historic and atmospheric palazzo.

Built at the end of the 16th century by pupils of the leading Renaissance architect Jacopo Sansovino, the palazzo is centrally located on the Grand Canal in the Cannaregio district of Venice; only a short walk from the Ca’ D’Oro vaporetto, and accessible on foot from La Strada Nuova.

See here for opening times and how to get to the exhibition

Venice Biennale

La Biennale di Venezia is the largest and most prestigious visual arts exhibition in the world. This will be the seventh presentation from Scotland + Venice, a partnership between Creative ScotlandNational Galleries of Scotland, and the British Council. For the partners Venice is an important project that helps to build Scotland’s profile and reputation as an international centre for the visual arts.

Graham Fagen Publication

On the occasion of the exhibition a catalogue has been published documenting the new body of work, showing extensive photographs of past works, and providing a range of insights/perspectives on the development of Graham Fagen’s practice, featuring new texts by: Katrina Brown; Penelope Curtis; and Louise Welsh with an introduction by Lucy Byatt, Director of Hospitalfield.

The book has been designed by Richy Lamb.

Excerpts from the introduction:

The title of Curtis’s essay, Palazzo Fontana / Fountain Palace: Hospitalfield / Campo Ospedale, reminds us immediately of how important site is for Fagen and how many of his works draw from, or are formed by their situation… Formers and Forms, Casts and Casting, the title of the essay authored by Katrina Brown references a very early yet influential work, Former and Form (1993).

… In their conversation Welsh compares her working process, ‘Writers are often thinking about what to leave out, in order to enable the reader to invest imaginatively in the experience. Are you doing something similar…?’ She is specifically referring to Fagen’s use of theatre scripts but it is an important question to ask more generally. Fagen replies ‘The artwork is neither the form nor the text … the artwork gets made in the mind of the person who has viewed and read the form and the text’.

To purchase the Graham Fagen book please contact us.

The Slave's Lament Limited Edition Vinyl Record

All the exhibition stock of Graham Fagen’s The Slave’s Lament limited edition 10 inch vinyl record has sold out.

The a double A-side featuring two mixes of the audio work made in collaboration with composer Sally Beamish, producer Adrian Sherwood, singer Ghetto Priest and musicians from Scottish Ensemble was popular with visitors to the exhibition and people buying online.

Matt’s Gallery partnered with Hospitalfield to produce the first edition of the record.We are hoping to make a second edition which will be available during Graham Fagen’s exhibition at Hospitalfield.


Curated by Hospitalfield, Hospitalfield House, Arbroath, Angus, DD11 2NH
Producer Jane Connarty
Design Maeve Redmond
Publication Design Richy Lamb



Visit the dedicated Scotland + Venice website…

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