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JM Coetzee to Curate the Belgian Pavilion at Venice Biennale

Following his collaboration with Belgian artist Berlinda de Bruyckere on the publication Allen Vlees, which placed quotes from his novels next to photos of De Bruyckere’s art, JM Coetzee has been asked to curate the Belgian pavilion at the upcoming Venice Biennale.

JM CoetzeeThe Childhood of JesusDe kinderjaren van JezusEen manier van vriendschapHere and NowSlow ManDisgrace

Flanders News reports that De Bruyckere approached Coetzee to act as curator of her solo exhibition representing Belgium at the Biennale and that the Nobel laureate agreed. De Bruyckere explained that the curator has to be somebody you are “able to talk to about your work, who you can show what you are doing and get a response”. Upon hearing the news, Blouin ArtInfo remarked, “It’s an interesting choice considering the author is South African and notoriously avoids publicity”.

De Bruyckere is not the first member of the Dutch nation to take an interest in Coetzee. Last year Belgian composer Nicholas Lens developed an opera of Coetzee’s Slow Man and Toneelgroep of Amsterdam staged a theatre production of Disgrace. Not only was Dutch publisher Uitgeverij Cossee the first to publish a collection of Coetzee’s correspondence with Paul Auster, they also released the first extract from Coetzee’s biography and will publish his latest novel, The Childhood of Jesus, a month before the South African publisher.

Belgium has asked the celebrated South African author J.M. Coetzee to serve as the curator of the Belgian pavilion at next summer’s Venice Biennale.
John Maxwell Coetzee received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003 and is seen as one of the world’s greatest living authors. He was born in South Africa, but today holds Australian citizenship.

J.M. Coetzee to Curate Belgian Pavilion: The Belgian pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale will be curated by Nobel Prize-winning novelist J.M. Coetzee. It’s an interesting choice considering the author is South African and notoriously avoids publicity. (He declined to collect both of his two Booker Prizes in person.) The pavilion will be devoted to the art of Ghent-based sculptor Berlinde De Bruyckere

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Image courtesy University of Texas


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