Mondo Cane, the Belgian project for the Venice Biennale


To mark the 58th edition of the International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale, the Belgian pavilion is hosting the MONDO CANE project, conceived by the Brussels-based artistic duo Jos De Gruyter and Harald Thys.

The exhibition, which will be set up in the Belgian pavilion, features around twenty puppets, most of whom are automated. Steel grids demarcate different areas. At the centre are craftsmen, performing their activities in a static and repetitive manner, and at the sides are marginalised people, including hoodlums and lunatics, but also poets, according to the descriptions of Harald Thys, one of the two artists.

"Two worlds exist in the same space, but do not give the impression of reciprocal awareness. They do not interact. The segregation is obvious. The pavilion appears as a reminiscence of Europe, while offering a personified stroll through, which is similar to a tourist or anthropological experience", remarks Anne-Claire Schmitz, the curator of the exhibition.

The French Community of Belgium selected and financed the participation of these two Brussels artists this year, alternating with the Flemish Community. A total budget of €450,000 was allocated to their project, which will be on display in at least two institutions in Belgium, one French-speaking and one Flemish, once the Biennale, held from 11 May to 24 November 2019, has finished.