“I don’t think of any one place in particular as home,” Corin Sworn was saying on the phone recently from the Venice Biennale.
It’s easy to understand why. Born in London in 1976, she grew up in Toronto (taking French immersion), graduated from Vancouver’s Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 2002, and now, between teaching dates at Ruskin College, Oxford, lives in Glasgow. Somehow this makes her an entirely apt choice to be one of the three artists representing Scotland at Venice.
It’s Sworn’s first visit to the big art bunfest as both participating artist and visitor. And as befits a Carr grad in integrated arts with a rising international profile – she was a nominee for the 2011 Derek Jarman Award recognizing innovative “artist filmmakers” – Sworn’s exhibit, in three rooms atop a 15th-century palazzo, is suitably polymathic and multilayered. Its centrepiece, The Foxes, mixes slides that her father, a cultural anthropologist, shot in Peru in 1973 and video from a trip she and her father made there earlier this year.
Venice is pretty much perfect, she said, because it’s “a site for cross-cultural discourse rather than an artist standing for something in particular.”