At the Back of the North Wind

SITU Fabrication worked with New York-based artist and filmmaker Anton Ginzburg to engineer and fabricate several sculptural components for his solo show at the 2011 Venice Biennale.

Spanning two floors of the Palazzo Bollani, At the Back of the North Wind presented an array of sculpture, photography, video and visual works that charted Ginzburg’s expedition from the American Northwest to St. Petersburg and then to the White Sea, the site of the Soviet Gulag prison camps. Our collaboration with Ginzburg focused on the show’s central installation Ashnest and the Topology Shift bas-relief series visualizing his three-part journey.

Situated within the palazzo’s grand salon, Ashnest combined fragments of 40,000 year-old mammoth tusks with sculptural elements developed from a micro-CT scan of human bones. The challenge was to create a digital milling process that could capture the complexity of these structures, in terms of their sinewy, dynamic forms as well as their scale. We leveraged each axis of our CNC mill to cleanly and efficiently create the undercuts and pockets essential to the piece.


Anton Ginzburg


Venice Biennale


Venice, Italy; Houston, TX




Courtesy of the artist