VENICE - Coinciding with the 58th Venice Biennial, Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen initiated the birth of the evolving artwork Human Rights Pavilion. In 2021, he will present his completed Opus to the Venice Biennial authorities with a request for a recurring, international human rights pavilion.
Koen Vanmechelen firmly believes that art has a role to play in the current debate about human rights, a controversial issue highlighted by globalization. Are human rights culturally relative? Does the human rights project have limits? Is the existing Universal Declaration on Human Rights outdated and Western-centered, as some claim?
To answer those questions, together with international partners Global Campus of Human Rights, Fondazione Berengo and the MOUTH Foundation, the internationally acclaimed Belgian artist launches the Human Rights Pavilion. Over the next two years, the evolving work will gain weight and momentum through the dialogues, travels, correspondence, explorations and creations of Vanmechelen during a world tour on almost all continents. Roaming about, the evolving pavilion-to-be will gain form through contact with people and organizations involved or interested in human rights. The focal point is Vanmechelen’s adage ‘the global only exists through the generosity of the local.’