Tuesday, July 10, 2007

52nd Venice International Art Biennale

Thursday 7th June – I Giardini: at the American Pavilion – Felix Gonzalez-Torres – America. The day started sunny, so, no need to take one of the two raincoats or one of the four umbrellas from the apartment. Around midday, it poured and poured and it was so uncomfortable I was wet through and covered in mud that I went home. This was the first Biennale opening that I remember, over the past twenty years or so, that it rained. The Two Circular Pools of Water installation by Felix Gonzalez-Torres outside the American Pavilion certainly didn’t need filling up. The late Cuban-born American citizen, Gonzalez-Torres is best known for his immensely generous yet rigorously conceptual art in the form of endlessly replenishable paper stacks, take-away candy spills (see below), light strings, beaded curtains and public billboards. With its minimalist refinement and quiet referentiality, his work treads a fine line between social commentary and personal disclosure, equivocating between two realms and obscuring the culturally-determined distinctions that separate them.

A detail: "Untitled" (Public Opinion), 1991: Black rod liquorice candies individually wrapped in cellophane, endless supply. Overall dimensions vary with installation. Ideal weight: 317.5 Kg. These were much enjoyed by the public especially around lunch time.

Pin It