The provocative and often comic Belgian art duo Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys present in book form their collaborative contribution to the 2019 Venice Biennale
The Belgian artists Jos de Gruyter (b. 1965) and Harald Thys (b. 1966) have collaborated for more than two decades on artworks in a variety of media, including film, photography, drawing, painting, and sculpture; they are known for thought-provoking works, often imbued with an antic sense of humor. The pair was selected to represent Belgium at the 2019 Venice Biennale, and this book accompanies and documents their exhibit, also titled Mondo Cane. The book is composed of a series of original, illustrated texts, written alternately in English, French, German, Dutch, and Italian. The texts are intended to evoke a variety of human conditions in an environment reminiscent of present-day Europe. Its title refers to a 1962 Italian film that documented-in a style intended to provoke Western audiences-cultural practices from around the world. Lavishly illustrated and designed by the artists themselves, this book both reflects de Gruyter and Thys's contribution to the Venice Biennale and is a work of art in its own right. 150 color illus.