The Scotland + Venice partnership presents SaF05, a new single-channel video by 2018 Turner Prize-winning artist Charlotte Prodger for the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

This commission – the artist’s most ambitious to date – is curated by Linsey Young  with Cove Park and takes place from 11 May – 24 November 2019 at Arsenale Docks in the utilitarian workshop of a boatyard, repurposed for Prodger’s installation.

Much of Prodger’s work looks at subjectivity, self- determination and queerness. SaF05 is the last in a trilogy of videos that began with Stoneymollan Trail (2015) and was followed by BRIDGIT (2016). This autobiographical cycle traces the accumulation of affinities, desires and losses that form a self as it moves forward in time. SaF05 draws upon multiple sources – archival, scientific and diaristic – and combines footage from a number of geo-graphical locations (the Scottish Highlands, the Great Basin Desert, the Okavango Delta and the Ionian Islands).

SaF05 is named after a maned lioness that figures in the work as a cipher for queer attachment and desire. This animal is the last of several maned lionesses documented in the Okavango Delta and is only known to Prodger through a database of behaviours and camera-trap footage logged across several years. These indexes of SaF05’s existence are intersected with autobiographical fragments from Prodger’s own life that fluctuate between proximity and distance. Her voiceover traces a chronology of intimate gestures and interpersonal connections from prepubescence to the present, inscribed with the incidental details of territorial delineation, sovereignty and land use. Central to these fluctuations is a tension between macro and micro, the experienced and the described.

Prodger’s preoccupation with perspective, framing and the physicality of the camera as a sculptural device is expanded in SaF05. Film industry cameras, static camera traps, drones and small handheld devices such as Prodger’s smart phone are each used for their inherent material properties. The effects and affects of these technologies are reverberated in the voiceover’s references to optical devices, while vibrating frequencies – bagpipe drone, cicada mating call, battery alarm – form aural equivalences between animal and human, instrument and machine.

How to see the work

Prodger’s work will be presented at Arsenale Docks, S. Pietro di Castello, 40, 30122.

Opening times: 11 May – 24 November 2019Tuesday – Sunday, 10:00 – 18:00 (free entry)

Vaporetto stops: Giardini, Arsenale or S. Pietro di Castello

Screening times: 10.10, 11.00, 11.50, 12.40, 13.30, 14.20, 15.10, 16.00, 16.50

Please note: Guests are welcome at anytime however to see the work in its entirety please reference the screening times above. Please be aware there may be a short wait.

Further information is available here.