Open call for artists, scholars and activists

18 August - October 1, 2017


Power Structures and Hidden Borders”, Venice, 1-26 November 2017

About the project:

With “Power structures and hidden borders” we aim to critically recurate the existing exhibition “PERSONAL STRUCTURES: Open Borders” organized by the European Cultural Centre at the Venice Biennale. We invite artists, activists, and researchers to submit proposals for creative interventions in the existing works of that exhibition, and the context in which they are presented, in a physically non-invasive way.

“PERSONAL STRUCTURES: Open Borders” is claimed by its creators to be “an open forum for discussion to take place on the different expressions of contemporary art that break away from any ideological, political and geographical barriers”. In "Power Structures and Hidden Borders" we take up this call by creating a platform for other artists, researchers, and activists to question the problematic terms in which "PERSONAL STRUCTURES" frames the discussion itself, as well as unsettling that exhibition's position within it.

“PERSONAL STRUCTURES” plays on themes of globalization and proposes an idealistic future for its visitors in which they are afforded “the chance to live their lives as free global citizens.” However, it neglects addressing such issues as where this conception of "free global citizens" comes from, who is allowed to live such a life in our world as it is, as well as what hidden relationships of exploitation and subordination it is dependent upon.

Through an investigation of these questions within the exhibition itself we hope to interrogate the colonial power structures constitutive of the process of globalization more broadly. Our aim is to make the hidden borders of this exhibition, and of the (art) world more generally, explicit in order to question them and facilitate their subversion and destruction.

We do not want to limit the target audience to a community of experts, although the exhibition will address some problems that could be considered specific. Rather than continuing to start conversations on the problematic trends present in contemporary cultural institutions that appeal exclusively to the "the art world" and its actors, we will create a space in which locals in Venice, as well as the many tourists and other visitors, will be able to reflect upon their positions in
relation to the present global power structures.

“Power Structures and Hidden Borders” will be realized in the space of existing exhibition (Venice: Palazzo Mora; Palazzo Bembo) beginning in November, and will run parallel to the closing program of Venice Biennale.


Who can participate?
Artists, scholars and activists with a critical interest in globalization.

What is expected?
Artists and researchers will be invited to build upon existing work in a physically non-invasive way. The media with which this can be achieved includes, but is not limited to, video art projections, digital art, multi-media (augmented reality, light art, internet art), performances, audio art, guided tours, open tables and lectures.

The proposed project should be non-invasive in physical terms (there will be no opportunity to destroy/move/etc. existing objects) and connected to the existing exhibition and/or its context (site-specific).

The scarcity of space. This can be seen from the virtual tour of “Personal Structures: Open Borders”. It is completely filled with the objects to which a possible solution could be, for instance, a literal or conceptual blackout.

Artists featured in “PERSONAL STRUCTURES” will be contacted to agree on the proposed interventions.

All participants will be informed about the decision before the 5th of October.
Participants will be provided with travel costs, accommodation and technical support while in Venice, and a participation award of 500€ per project*.

*Because the fundraising process is not yet finished we cannot give the number of projects which will be accepted at this time. We are going to create conditions in which all projects will be provided with the stated support, but we would like to warn all the applicants that some inconveniences might appear. Although we do not expect any changes in the stated responsibilities, in case of any we will inform all the applicants before the 5th of October to give the opportunity to give informed consent.

Further links to “PERSONAL STRUCTURES: Open Borders” for use in
developing proposals:

Catalogue -

Virtual tour -Palazzo Mora

Virtual tour -Palazzo Bembo

How to apply?
The curatorial team will examine all the applications received before the 1st of October. Your application should include:

- CV. If you are applying not as an individual but as a collective, a collective portfolio is required.
- The Project proposal which consists of the main concept (700 words max.), and a list of materials and equipment needed (if applicable). Pictures can be included in the document or attached to a separate email.

All documents should be attached in PDF format and sent to the email

All additional questions can be sent to: