• On Kawara - One million years (Reading)
  • from till
  • Opening hours:
  • 9-14 May -
  • 15 May - 30 July -
  • Closed on Monday except
Curated by:
  • Jonathan Watkins
Exhibition produced by:
  • Ikon
  • Nuova Icona
With the support of:
  • One Million Years Foundation
  • David Zwirner
  • Stephen & Sigrid Kirk
  • the Japan Foundation
  • emma@pelhamcommunications.com
  • milly@pelhamcommunications.com
San Ludovico Oratory:
  • Dorsoduro, 2552 (Calle dei Vecchi) - Venezia
  • Waterbus n.6, 2, San Basilio stop

On Kawara’s One Million Years (Reading) is an installation taking place at the Venice Biennale 2017 between 9 May and 30 July. It involves volunteers gathered from Italy and beyond reading from One Million Years, two sets of volumes produced by the artist that list dates one million years into the future and one million years into the past. Their dedications are “For all those who have lived and died" (Past) and "For the last one” (Future).

Through their actions the readers are engaged in a meditation on the nature of time. This theme is central to Kawara’s work overall, including Date Paintings of the Today series (1966–2013), telegrams with their simple message “I am still alive” (1970-2000) and daily postcards announcing when he got up after waking (I Got Up, 1968-1979).

The readings are spoken in English alternating between a male and female narrator, each date followed by the next. The readers are drawn from local residents, visitors to the Biennale and other tourists who have the opportunity to volunteer for sessions of either 60 or 120 minutes. Currently volunteers are being sought and bookings can be made through Elisa Genna at: volunteersKawara@gmail.com

A booklet, available from Ikon’s online shop, accompanies the exhibition with an introduction by the curator Jonathan Watkins.

This project, co-produced by Ikon and Nuova Icona, marks the launch of a fundraising campaign for the development of a new artistic program of exhibitions, residences and educational proposals to be held at the San Ludovico Oratory.