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September 26, 2011
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The Venice Biennale

I am a lucky woman. I attended Art Basel and the Venice Biennale this year. Somehow I managed to squeeze this trip into the middle semester, doing what I do best, getting every moment out of every moment.

Here I am about four hours after landing in Venice at one of the collateral events. These events take place in various apartments, churches and palazzi all over the city. One must traverse bridges and figure out which of the tiny alleys to take to find the event. OR, sometimes as you walk, you just discover one of them, and you find yourself in a building with very few people (a rarity at this time of the year in Italy), someone playing the piano, and a mix of contemporary and classic art.








Here’s a great review of the Biennale from the New York Observer. I completely agree with Lindemann when he says, “The portions of the Biennale curated by Bice Curiger (the primary curator of this year’s Biennale) —the Arsenale and the “Italian pavilion”—were both disappointing.” Very few pieces stood out, craft was often questionable, and I was only interested in Christian Marclay’s movie, The Clock, which won the Golden Lion.

Lindemann also goes on to remind us in his review that just because the Biennale is curated, doesn’t mean that nothing is for sale, that just as much buying of art happens during the six months of this epic extravaganza as at any fair, if not more.

I had a great time, at least momentarily, in the American Pavilion. The United States was represented by Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla. A husband and wife duo, chosen for their performance art pieces and experimental practices, and not for their commercial appeal. One of their pieces featured an ATM embedded in a sculpture of church organ pipes. Random sounds emanated from the pipes when “patrons” withdrew money. Pretty gimmicky. Pretty silly. Read the NYTimes review here.

I could go on–maybe I will in another post. But I know this, I hope I get to go 2013.

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