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SAVVY Contemporary and Oscar Murillo present A Storm Is Blowing From Paradise in Venice

September 17–November 27, 2022

Opening, A Storm Is Blowing From ParadiseSeptember 16, 6–8pm

The exhibition A Storm Is Blowing From Paradise, which SAVVY Contemporary will echo, expand, and jam with the various tones, marks, gestures, beats, and temporalities deposited by thousands of children from all over the world in Oscar Murillo’s project Frequencies, is warmly invited to you by SAVVY Contemporary and Oscar Murillo. Through a series of “invocations” brought about through gestures of collective nourishment that include dancing together, cooking together, and listening to the incantations and readings of our past, present, and futures, SAVVY Contemporary amplifies the rhythms and murmurs of this multivocal and kaleidoscopic project throughout the course of the exhibition.

Frequencies was founded in 2013 by Oscar Murillo and is based on the distribution and delivery of unfinished canvas to educational institutions all across the world. The project has visited more than 350 schools in more than 30 countries over the past nine years, attaching artist canvas to tables for a semester, allowing kids to freely mark, draw, and write on their surfaces. After around six months of “sedimentation” in the classroom, the canvases are collected with their accumulated purposeful and unintended marking. To far, the expanding archive has amassed more than 40,000 paintings from all around the world.

Intervening in and attuning to the cadences, the pulses, and frequencies of these collective archives brought together for the first time in such magniloquence in Venice, at the Scuola Grande della Misericordia, SAVVY Contemporary will embrace the A Storm Is Blowing From Paradise—the title of the exhibition—by weaving together the winds, sounds, and water molecules, the thunders, lightning, and warm and moist airs in a collective orchestration of these forces and tempos to embody the plurality of Murillo’s project. 

The public program created by SAVVY Contemporary evolves through four distinct focal studies and viewpoints of study and involvement in response to the various moments and movements that Frequencies evokes. The first movement is called “Dispersal,” and it examines the experience of the diaspora—being cut off from one area and scattered over the globe—as the first stage of spreading the Frequencies canvases into the wider world. When considering the black experience, the second path is that of “Convergence,” which refers to the coming together and sharing of a struggle across differences and geographies. It invokes movements like the Panafrican, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Rastafarian, among others, as well as the combining of canvases from various parts of the world. The last tempo is “Reconfiguration,” which is the rubbing together of the canvases and the new meanings that are created, the paths that are opened by these encounters, and the new senses of belonging that are brought together. The third momentum is “Fragmentation,” which acknowledges difference in the common struggle and the importance of fragmenting to refine the struggle, “to become one, and yet many,” as Ralph Ellison put it.

This “Invocation” program will manifest as an encounter itself, as an ensemble of notes and voices, a score to imagine new possibilities of thinking the multidirectional pasts and futures through presence, where materiality and animateriality cannot be distinguished, by engaging with phonic, poetic, and corporeal elements, with their ruptures, collisions, and reciprocal responses.

This programme is a collaboration between SAVVY Contemporary and Oscar Murillo Studio.

Scuola Grande della Misericordia
Sestiere Cannaregio, 3599
30121 Venice
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