Ahhh, Venice, your humidity was overwhelming. Your vaporettos achingly slow. But your Pavilions, a joy. There are a LOT of pavilions, so I'm listing my Top 5 below:
Dutch Pavilion. Group Exhibition Opera Aperta / Loose Work
Lovely building. Amusing installation. Loved the sound bites near the front door. Gotta love the Dutch.
French Pavilion. Presenting: Christian Boltanski's Chance
The French pavilion is a labyrinth of metal scaffolding with a whirring film strip flying around the structure. A buzzer sounds off, the film strip stops, and an individual baby's portrait shows up on a screen. The pamphlet explained the rather optimistic tone of the work--that this one child, by total chance, has been chosen to have a certain type of life...a good life.
German Pavilion. Presenting: Christoph Schlingensief, Fluxus oratorio A Church of Fear vs. the Alien Within
The pavilion's main building has been turned into a church sanctuary. Large video screens and speakers hang above an altar. You sit in the church pews watching old home movies of a child playing on the beach. I sat in the sweaty darkness and listened to a voice describe how he received a diagnosis of lung cancer. His doctor told him that he was "walking on different ground", now. Heavy, heavy, heavy. The most emotional of them all.
Nordic Pavilion. Sweden Presents: Andreas Eriksson
I liked the pavilion's layout and airy quality more than anything. And I loved that the tiny bronze sculptures were casts of birds that had died crashing into the artist's studio window. I imagine the artist's studio to look a lot like the pavilion itself.
Great Britain Pavilion: Presenting Mike Nelson
This was by far my FAVORITE work. It was enveloping (as you can see by the video above). I was no longer in the British Pavilion--I was in a bombed out shelter of some sort...a forgotten apartment that perhaps housed fugitives or victims of war. It was sensory overload. Read the Telegraph's take on the installation/"intervention" here.
That about wraps it up for my Venice rundown. Until next time--a presto!
Ciao tutti! Sono tornata! Finalllllly, a little rundown on my Venice visit. I'm posting today with some photos, primarily focused on the main pavilion.
First room--ceiling installation and series of drawings installation, and (see below)
A detail from Nicolás Paris' Classroom: Partial exercises installation.
The second room had an enjoyable installation by Gianni Colombo: Spazio elastico, a dark room with a glowing grid of elastic bands, which you were to move through in space. Felt a bit like Tron. Too dark for a picture though.
Next up was my favorite room--R.H. Quaytman's I Modi, Chapter 22. Courtesy the artist and Miguel Abreru Gallery, NYC.
In the second or third room I looked up, horrified, and started to back-step slowly out of the door, thinking a pigeon attack was brewing. But, upon closer inspection...
...these taxidermied birds (scattered throughout every room of the pavilion), were intentionally placed. Unfortunately I didn't catch the name of the author of this work.
I simply had to share this shot of the Cafe. It was, well, dizzying. Only in Venice.
Stay tuned for Part 2--USA, France, Germany, and other individual pavilions!
Heather and Courtney were busy, busy last week with road trips, one of which was up to North Adams, MA. First stop: Kim Faler's studio (above).
Next stop: Mass MoCA. Katharina Grosse's One Floor Up More Highly. After some super long, strained stares, HDB & CS determined that the enormous "icebergs" were in fact made from huge blocks of styrofoam shaved into shape. coooool.
"How did that Airstream get up there?"
"Do you think we're supposed to go inside it?"
"There's no way any human can go inside that. Isn't it balanced on that rig?"
"Yeah, there's no way you're supposed to go inside it."
You're supposed to go inside it. You will be so thankful that you did.
*continue walking to the brick building (tower), and climb the metal stairs (yes, past the giant boilers, up up up, out across the walkway and through the open door)
Inside you find a living time capsule of a journeyer, a space adventurer, a lone sole who apparently lived inside the flying trailer for a very long time. Canned tomatoes served as sustenance.
The sense of a moment frozen in time is well documented through bookshelves stocked with pre-1976 publications, and 70's Playboys on the wall of the bathroom.
A space/time-traveler's scribbled equations on a chalkboard ceiling. Read more about Matthew Oatman's incredible sculptural installation here.