Anthony Moman Personal Structures during the 57th Venice Biennale


OPENING PERIOD: 13 May – 26 November 2017


Arriving in Venice last week, I was greeted by dark skies, rumbles of thunder and then incessant rain….but wait a minute ! Who cares about the weather.                                          I had been invited to exhibit my artwork at the preeminent cultural event in the most beautiful city in the whole world.

Sharing Palazzo Mora and Personal Structures is the Kiribati National Pavilion

The Venice Biennale draws hundreds of thousands of art lovers and professionals from all over the world and I am going to be a part of this for the next 7 months, so I repeat, who cares about the weather.

After checking in to my apartment, I decided to head off to Palazzo Mora early  to check that the lights did not reflect too much off the plexiglas cases.                                            This palazzo is one of the three palazzi taken over by the European Cultural Centre for the Personal Structures group exhibition and also the Kiribati National Pavilion as well as the Seychelles National Pavilion. Kiribati and Venice, although at different sides of the world both geographically and culturally, share similar environmental challenges in that they are both sinking.

As I feared, the lights were too fierce but I felt churlish complaining that the great Hermann Nitsch’s blood paintings were vividly reflected on my artwork. This calls for tact and diplomacy and actually lend another perspective to my syringes sculptures…think Anish Kapoor’s highly reflective sculptures.
I checked out my other fellow artists and who should be behind my wall but none other than the great Jeff Koons…how blessed am I ! Nitsch’s blood and gore paintings, Anthony Moman’s syringe sculptures and Jeff Koon’s balloon dogs. Well this is the Venice Biennale, after all.

Jeff Koons has got my back.

At 6pm there was a steady trickle of people arriving and by 6.30 it became a torrent as they arrived by the hundred. By 7pm with the Prosecco flowing, and trays of exquisite canapés passing me by, it was barely breathing room.

Crowd pleaser

I was gratified to see the many people who did a double take as they realized that my shapes were formed not by led lights or ball bearings (now there’s an idea ) but real, fully armed syringes. The reactions were mixed from surprise, disgust – phobia of needles, to incredulous, but at least no one was complacent or unreactive. That is all I wished for, to provoke a strong reaction amongst all this  amazing art.


To Be One 2017 Syringes on marine board
Divine Object, 2017 Anthony Moman Syringes on marine board in plexiglas box
Taking a closer look
Up close and personal

To take the Kiribati motto :  “Te Mauri, Te Raoi ao Te Tabomoa”

“Health, Peace and Prosperity”



Anthony Moman Passage to Venice Syringe Sculptures – Personal Structures Venice 2017

I guess my  interest in skulls and syringes can be traced back to my childhood where family dinner conversations usually centred around my father’s daily experiences as a family practitioner.  From the tender age of three I was aware of life, death and something vague in between.

I like to transform ugly, unloved materials into attractive and alluring objects without any structural interference.

Syringes are very symbolic, invoking a host of different emotional reactions, mostly negative. They can, however, alleviate pain, cure and protect against life threatening diseases and change the way we look and feel about ourselves. Our very existence can depend on one syringe and they deserve our respect and their place in the history of humanity.

I was invited to participate in the group exhibition Personal Structures hosted by the European Cultural Centre and organised by the GAA Foundation.

I was drawn to the exhibition’s title  “PERSONAL STRUCTURES – open borders” which shows the commonness and differences between Europeans in dialogue with works of non-Europeans. In addition, the exhibition stimulates a more conscious relationship from the spectator towards his daily surrounding aiming to increase the awareness of their own personal Existence as human beings influenced by a specific Culture within Time and Space.

Here in pictures is the passage to Venice.

Weapon of choice for sticking down syringes
Suffering for my art
Unfinished but required for the catalogue for Personal Structures
syringe-sculptures-enroute-venice-biennale (1024x1024)
Packed up and waiting for the 300 km journey – van, boat and crane
Special delivery Venice style
Blank walls in Palazzo Mora
To Be One syringe sculpture by Anthony Moman just hung
VENUES Palazzo Bembo, Palazzo Mora and Giardini Marinaressa
LOCATION Venice, Italy
HOST European Cultural Centre
ORGANISERS   Valeria Romagnini, Lucia Pedrana, Sara Danieli, Alesia Varnaeva, Bianca Bonaldi, Elena Volpato, Alessandra Valle, Anaïs Hammoud
OPENING PERIOD 13 May – 26 November 2017 (preview 11-12 May 2017)