On Sonia Gomes in Venice

With My Eyes

Museum Exhibitions

The Holy See Pavilion presents a group exhibition for La Biennale di Venezia at the Women's Detention Centre in Venice-Giudecca, titled With My Eyes. Curated by Chiara Parisi and Bruno Racine, the show features a major work by Sonia Gomes, who participates in the pavilion alongside eight additional artists.

Staged by a collective of artists, the Pavilion becomes a transformative space for personal encounters, encouraging a deeper understanding of the word “care” and its relationship to art. Parallel worlds that never usually converge meet and interweave through specific artist-led projects. By opening the external universe to the isolation of incarceration, With My Eyes hopes to foster encounters laden with potential synergies.

The is distinguished by the coexistence of a collective, an artistic community that challenges the conventions. A new entity that reflects diversity and unity of distant lives where the names of artist’s merge with those of the participating detainees, using their real names, pseudonyms, heteronyms, or artistic names - a constellation of creative minds formed instinctively with the desire to collaborate. Every initiative, from workshops to installations, dance to cinema, performance to painting, expresses this shared energy, in line with the urgency of the multidimensional dialogue proposed by Pope Francis.

The visits to the Pavilion, available by reservation and guided by detainee-guides, will challenge voyeuristic desires towards artists and detainees, eroding the boundaries between observer and observed, judge and judged, thus reflecting on power structures in art and institutions. This will birth a cosmos where norms are negotiated and reinterpreted, creating a heterotopia—a ‘world within a world’, in which the recognisably distinct spaces of detention on one hand, and art on the other, are subverted. This artistic collaboration opens a unique field of political and artistic inquiry, exploring spaces, and the people that populate them, from novel perspectives.

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  • Museum Exhibitions — On Sonia Gomes in Venice: With My Eyes, Jan 1, 2024