The Absence of Paths, the first Tunisian Pavilion in Venice since 1958, uses performance and installation staged in different venues across Venice, as well as an interactive online platform theabsenceofpaths.com featuring text, video, audio, recipes, and photography, to generate further inquiry into issues surrounding human migration. For the exhibition, Mounir Fatmi presents a series of photos from The Exile Pavilion, a traveling project he launched in 2016 that inverts the established structures of temporary exhibitions, questioning ideas of nationhood, exile and various forms of displacement. Curated by Lina Lazaar and commissioned by The Presidency of the Tunisian Republic and the Tunisian Ministry of Cultural Affairs, The Absence of Paths collaborated with MOAS, the Migrant Offshore Aid Station, a charity that has helped approximately 35,000 people, mostly refugees escaping violence, persecution, and hardship.
Fatmi's video, History Is Not Mine, 2013, will be exhibited in the NSK-State Pavilion, a unique, independent pavilion that aims to rethink what a contemporary state can be, offering an open form of citizenship which contrasts with that generated by spatially defined states. In the video, 'History is not mine', a man repeatedly strikes the keys of a typewriter with hammers, the red ribbon streaming across the white paper like a stream of blood against the otherwise black and white imagery. The noise and action become increasingly disturbing, at times violent, calling into question not only the difficulties of language and communication but the danger in not learning from history, which too often repeats itself, particularly when it comes to land, territory, and nationhood. NSK State in Time was founded by the artist collective Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) in 1992. NSK State Pavilion will take place at Ca'Tron, Iuav University, Santa Croce 1957/Calle del Forno 1960, from May 11-July 15, 2017.