Grammy Award-winner and visual artist Solange Knowles has released a new art book celebrating her closing performance at the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale de Venezia in Venice, Italy.
Titled In Past Pupils and Smiles, the 188-page monograph features written contributions and conversations with creatives such as Aaron Cezar, Chloe Wayne Sultan, Greg Bryant, Kyle Luu, Carlos J Soto, John Torres, Imogene Strauss, Virginie “Gin” Moreira, and Solange’s musical ensemble.
According to the press releases, the book was “concepted by Saint Heron, designed in collaboration with Querida and published by Anteism,” and “mirrors the live kinetic energy of the Biennale performance, through revealing negative portraiture photography, set and lighting design and precise die-cuts.”
Knowles spoke about her curating the book and how it reveals her creative process and philosophy.
"It really was a pivotal moment for me: the negotiation between my practice as a theater-based practice versus a performance art practice,” she said. “Those two spaces got to sit alongside each other in this piece, and it clarified a lot for me. The ways that those two worlds need to exist together, and both are valid expressions in my work."
"That this piece was at the end of a run of performances was very symbolic for me,” she continued. “Removing myself from the center and the pulse of this performance opened up a lot of space for me to create worlds without having to be seen in the world. That was a powerful moment for me to recognize the power and the strength of each individual’s intentionality for these performers and these artists."
Cezar, who's the Director of Delfina Foundation and Co-Curator of ‘Meetings on Art’ at the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale De Venezia, lauded Knowles for her artistic ingenuity and her ability to flow seamlessly through several methods of creative expression.
“For the Venice Biennale’s first official performance program, we spotlighted artists who are defining this and the next generation of performance,” Cezar added. “Solange is at the forefront of this movement of artists who understand performance not as a medium but as a way of processing the world around us. Spanning music, movement, design, and visual art, her practice breaks out of accepted categories and genres, and critically questions why these boundaries exist in the first place.”
In Past Pupils and Smiles is currently available for purchase from Knowles’ website.