SPP Media Professor Participates in Venice Biennale

May 17, 2017

SPP Assistant Professor Cameran Ashraf recently returned from a visit to the Venice Biennale, a trip he made not as a tourist, but as a participant in the Hungarian Pavilion. “It was a terrific experience – and not something I ever thought I would be doing when I joined SPP last fall as an assistant professor of media and communication,” he says.

Ashraf was contacted by the Ludwig Museum in February and asked to write a piece reflecting on the psychosocial history of technology. Ashraf’s text is part of the Hungarian exhibit, which features the work of Gyula Varnai, a neo-conceptual artist who is known for his large-scale installations. He has exhibited his work in Budapest, Paris, Istanbul, and Cologne.

“It was an interesting and challenging assignment,” says Ashraf. “I had some idea of the exhibit. I knew, for example, that the theme was the meaning and significance of utopias and was given pictures of several of the installations, but there was also a lot that I did not know.”

Ashraf’s visit to Venice – his first – was a real eye-opener. “The city is stunning of course, but I was also very impressed with the Venice Biennale itself.” He took full advantage of his preview access to visit the other exhibits before they opened to the public on May 13. Ashraf says that the Hungarian Pavilion in Giardini, which was designed by Geza Maroti and built in 1909, is especially impressive.