57. La Biennale di Venezia (strolling around the city)

As I had the whole second day on my disposal at the Venice Biennale, I’ve actually managed to visit also some of the pavilions scattered around the city, which I usually have no time to do (fyi, I did visit more than the number described here). And it is quite a detective work to find them. Now I know what people mean when they say that sometimes you need to get lost to experience more.

SEYCHELLES

The pavilion of Seychelles is at the beginning of Giardini and everyone can visit it, as it is positioned in a small park. And it is beautiful. Animals, animals all around. But yeah, it does make you think..

WALES

It was a complete accident I found it and I was really glad I did (stumbling across the Venetian canals can be a good thing, you see). Their powerful in situ sound installation is in a small church (or a big chapel?), connected by the videos and photographs in the neighbouring house. I felt a nice presence there and feel like I should look more into James Richards, as he intrigues my mind.

MONGOLIA

Their pavilion is exploring contemporary Mongolian society through universal themes, forcing the symbols of power to correspond with the actual reality of the destruction of the world.

RYSZARD WINIARSKI

Ok, I admit, I really really needed to use the toilet, so I went to see this exhibition, which is a part of the Biennial. And of course, they do not have a toilet for visitors, even though it is in a beautiful Palazzo Bollani. But as I was there, I wanted to explore what lurks inside. In short: Ryszard was using mathematics to create art. Hell, was he the creator of the QR code?? All in all, the modernistic art was nicely incorporated in a non-white cube palazzo.

TEHCHING HSIEH

Another a part of Biennale exhibition not to miss. In the building, there is a presentation of 5 year-long performances of the artist. And I must say, Hsieh is hardcore! He begins every artwork with a strict set of rules that govern his behaviour for the whole year, as he believes that art is a living process, challenging human existence and persistence. Essentially, an exhibition is an archive of his life.

GUATEMALA

The first association you get when you enter this pavilion is nature and this feeling accompanies you through every room. However, when you read the descriptions, you can be surprised, as the subject is not that innocent. What shook me the most was the location of this exhibition: it was incorporated in an office building (?). I guess the Biennale really uses every single space that is available, which is not a bad thing. If you are interested in how they incorporated the exhibition in the rooms, used for other every day work, you will have to walk a bit; however, it is worth it, if only to see the curatorial decisions made.

 

Now I can safely say that I was really enthusiastic about the Biennale and it inspired me more than documenta (taking into account that I didn’t experience the Athens’s version, which would probably explain the connections between Kassel more). However, both perennials can be located all around the city, connecting the venues and its people through art. But the signage was much better and more prominent in Kassel, leading to more easily finding the venues. Then, I already pointed out that playing a detective can be an awesome way of exploring Venice.

And if one had more time.. There are so many amazing exhibitions in town I wanted to visit. But that would mean staying another few days in Venice. Next time!

Aaaaand, I was not able to visit Damien Hirst’s exhibition. Too expensive for my taste. The ticket has the same price as the one for a 2 day Biennale….

LIST OF PHOTOGRAPHS:

  1. featured image: personal archive
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