Bar-Performance: Venice Biennale 2013

Performance during the VIP Opening of the 55th International Art Exhibition  – La Biennale di Venezia 2013


View of the performance at the Giardini, Venice Biennale 2013
May 30th, 2013, 3 – 6 pm

I'll be so glad

Conceived by Der Strich: Camilla Dahl, Heike Gallmeier, Sabine Groß and Sandra Meisel

On May 30th, 2013 at 3.15 pm, Der Strich illegally entered the Giardini at the Venice Biennale. We installed a Champagne Bar and began a three hour performance during the VIP opening, inviting curators, collectors and artists to enjoy a free glass of champagne.

The bar was built without legs and was supported only by the physical strength of us female artists. The performance “ll be so glad” was named after an Afro-American slavery song. Down on our knees, humming this song, while supporting the bar with our bodies, we subjected ourselves to the art world. Positioned in the Giardini, yet lacking an official invitation to take part in the celebrations, we “supported” the VIP event by literally supporting the bar on our shoulders.
With champagne, begging on our knees, we bribed ourselves to the inside of the VIP circle of the artmarket.

The relationship between the artists kneeling and the guests of the Venice Biennale, drinking at the expense of the artists, was highly intimidating. With the performance I’ll be so glad, Der Strich strengthens the discussion around power relations and gender issues. The predominance of male artists in this year’s Venice Biennale is a reflection of a general tendency of gender bias within the international art world.

Employing cruelty, humor and irony, Der Strich communicates an image of the ambivalent situation of artists today.


all photos on this page © 2013, Florian Japp

with many special thanks to Frida Schatvet, Kristian Schatvet, Agnete Løland Gjestang, Margherita Zanet, Conny Becker, Hubertus Mayer and Florian Japp.

supported by:
Barbara Hansteen Dahl,
Marius Hauge and
HAECCCC, 0+865.