Venice Biennale of Art 2009

One of the most influential musicians ever to have come from Wales, John Cale represented Wales at the Venice Biennale of Art 2009.

Last updated: 06 October 2010

Images from Dyddiau Du/Dark Days © Wales @ Venice Biennale and John Cale

Images from Dyddiau Du/Dark Days © Wales @ Venice Biennale and John Cale

In December 2008 the Arts Council of Wales announced that former Velvet Underground front man John Cale was to represent Wales at the Venice Biennale of Art 2009.

This was Wales' fourth presentation at the Biennale, the world's pre-eminent showcase for contemporary art.

After just six months of intensive work and preparation, Cale unveiled a specially commissioned audio-visual installation on 4 June with Capannone 1 at the Ex-Birreria (a former brewery building on the island of Giudecca) the setting for the initial showing.

The film and sound installation, entitled Dyddiau Du/Dark Days, was a reflection of Cale's personal relationship with Wales, the Welsh language and wider issue of communication, and the uniqueness of the bardic tradition of his home nation.

Born in Garnant, South Wales, Cale is acknowledged as one of the greatest music collaborators and producers to herald from Wales. In producing the installation for the Venice Biennale, Cale has undertaken an alternative artistic journey, which he describes as an 'extraordinary adventure':

"This was for me an extraordinary adventure into my past, exploring that which has never been removed - the ties to ones heritage and self. I hope all of Wales will feel the pride I do in being offered the opportunity to present my work at the Pavilion."

The exhibition opened on 7 June 2009 and ran until 22 November 2009.

John Cale in Garnant © Bevis Bowden

John Cale in Garnant © Bevis Bowden.

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