Venice Diaries: ‘Freesa’ by Gweni Llwyd

CSAD’s last new graduate from the Fine Art progamme to take part in the Arts Council of Wales Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice Invigilation Plus programme is Gweni Llwyd. Gweni is invigilating at James Richards’ exhibit at the Wales Pavilion and taking time to develop her own ideas and practice on her month in the city. The Biennale closes on Sunday 26 November so there’s still time to visit.

While visiting the Arsenale I encountered one of the Tunisian ‘The Absence of Paths’ kiosks. These kiosks are not the work of any particular artist, but are a result of a project by curator Lina Lazaar. This is the first time Tunisia has been part of the Biennale for 50 years.

The kiosks issue ‘Freesa’s’ – fictional universal passports that allow anyone to cross any border, free of any discriminatory travel restrictions and laws. You complete some simple paperwork and are given your document.

Intrigued, I walked up to the booth, and caught the woman working behind the desk off guard. She looked tired, and was gathering her things, as though she was attempting to leave the kiosk for a break. I apologised and said I could come back later if she wanted a rest. “If it’s not you it will be someone else!” she exclaimed, and went on to explain how the other invigilators who were supposed to be working with her, covering breaks and so on, were unable to get there due to visa complications.

The U.K. has access to 173 countries and territories visa free. Tunisia has access to 63.

It was so easy for me to get up and leave the UK for a month. I realised how much I’d been taking freedom of movement for granted, and wondered how much things might change post Brexit.

You can see Gweni’s work at Spit and Sawdust until 30 November in the show Fuzzy Bunny that she’s created with fellow CSAD graduate Carlota Nóbrega.

Spit and Sawdust
Rhymney River Bridge Road,
Unit B,
Cardiff CF23 9AF