Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Venice Biennale: Arsenale

Venice Biennale: Arsenale – Lygia Pape. Tteia I, C, 2002, installation, gold thread in square forms. Having worked in painting, printmaking, sculpture, dance, film, design, performance and installation, Lygia Pape, born 1927, was one of the most innovative artists of her times. Tteia I, C represents her late and very ambitious research into three-dimensionality. Based on experiments she begun in the late 1970s, these works are made of carefully lit gold threads appearing to be of cosmic immateriality.

Venice Biennale: Arsenale – Michelangelo Pistoletto.
Twenty-two Less Two, 2009, mirrors, wood, 22 pieces. The mirror has always been an integral part of Michelangelo Pistoletto’s poetics, is the subject of inquires whose roots lie in the artist’s search for his own identity. With the first “Mirror Paintings” made in 1961 Pisoletto imagined not only a new way of conceiving the self-portrait, but also emphasized the mirror’s universality, a theme he explores also in Twenty-two Less Two.

AFTER: During the opening day of the Biennale the mirrors exposed in the Arsenale were broken by the artist during a performance.

Venice Biennale: Arsenale – Sara Ramos. Quase cheio, quase vazio, 2008, digital video, double projection. Sara Ramos displaces and rearranges everyday scenes in her videos, photographs, collages, sculptures and installations. Time and again her work triggers the viewer’s imagination to complete fragmented narratives. Quase chei, quase vazio was shot in the neighborhood of Madrid where the artist spent her childhood, the empty alleys around and between brick houses appear as a stage for seemingly magical occurrences: a ball rolling, a cardboard box moving, Styrofoam flakes falling.

Venice Biennale: Arsenale – Aleksandra Mir.
Venezia (all places contain all others), 2009, one million postcards for distribution by Aleksandra Mir. The visitor has the fundamental role of activating Mir’s Venezia (all places contain all others) and of extending work’s confines beyond the exhibition space.
Contessnally tip: click on the image to enlarge it.

A million free postcards – of one hundred places characterized by the presence of water, on which the work “Venezia” is printed can be mailed out to the world.

Seen at the Arsenale. Dagospia blogger, Roberto D'Agostino.

Venice Biennale: Arsenale – Pascale Marthine Tayou. Human Being, 2007-2009 is the title of Pascale Marthine Tayou’s installation. For Tayou, the ceaseless movement between places and contexts has become a permanent condition. The work on show evokes the architecture of a small African village, and includes representations of everyday life events from around the world, establishing new connections between forms and histories supposedly belonging to radically different cultures and places

Venice Biennale: Arsenale – Renata Lucas. Venice Suitecase,
2008,2009 is the name of Brazilian artist, Renata Lucas’s installation. Lucas offers a critical interpretation of the effects of our built environment and an examination of how these structures are situated in social and behavioral relationships. The manifestations of spatial thought throughout her work provoke ideas that force us to consider the malleability of our environment, and consequently, our ability to manipulate it.

Seen at the Arsenale. Beauties, Tahilita Puri and Carlotta Testori.

Venice Biennale: Arsenale – United Arab Emirates Pavilion.
The UAE Pavilion marks the first participation in the Venice Biennale by the United Arab Emirates. The pavilion is titled It’s Not You, It’s Not Me, an unconventional name for the country’s first pavilion at the world’s most prestigious contemporary art event. “By and large, art professionals around the world dismiss the notion that a pavilion can truly represent a nation.” the curator, Tirdad Zolghadr explains. “There still remains much to consider – your citizenship can still largely determine your career, and the way your art is produced, circulated and received.” The title “It’s Not You, It’s Not Me might therefore be interpreted to mean, it’s not the art that’s the problem, it’s the audience, or vice versa, or look, it’s the UAE’s turn now.” he concludes.

Venice Biennale: Arsenale – United Arab Emirates Pavilion
. The exhibition entitled Familial by Lamya Gargash conisists of a series of 31 photographs, which document one-star hotels in the UAE. A number of the anonymous rooms photographed have been altered by the artist, who has added framed pictures of her own family to the décor. Through this intervention, Gargash both confronts and undermines the semi-mythical raffish reputation of places that are always nearby and yet can seem alien.

Venice Biennale: Arsenale – United Arab Emirates Pavilion. One of the 31 photographs in the Familial exhibition by Lamya Gargash. “The series plays on the aesthetics of hospitality, the politics of interior design and the disingenuous lure of documentation,” Zolghadr comments. “Although the work successfully stands on its own and for itself, the connections to the Pavilion as a whole are perceptible, and even tangible.”

Venice Biennale: Arsenale – Tamara Grcic. Gaggiandre, 2009 conists of 17 life rafts, 17 microphones and 12 loudspeakers. Tamara Grcic’s sit-specific installation looks almost as if it is set-up for a film shoot. Brightly colored life rafts drifting on the water are juxtaposed with an audio composition. The picture and the sound, though, are not directly interrelated, but as in films, the soundtrack creates a temporal dimension that sets the scene in motion.

Venice Biennale: Arsenale – Ceal Floyer. Overgrowth, 2004 is a large format slide projection/installation by artist, Ceal Floyer. Overgrowth consists of the projected image of a Bonsai tree. The British artist enlarges the manicured miniature to the scale of other trees, “rescuing” it from excessive care and returning it to a more “natural” dimension. Time and again, the artist uses literality as a conceptual tool to reveal hidden or repressed truths.

Seen on the way to the Arsenale. Russian art curators, Oleg Novikov and Masha Savelyva.
Note: her funny "Mickey Mouse" sunglasses.

Seen on the way to the Arsenale. Pakistani artist, Maimuna Feroze Nana, whose performance below attracted a lot of attention explains her art "My work is based on two main themes. Hands: a holy symbol in Islam with embroidered holy words, or mirrors, the mystic’s search for mirroring the Absolute. They become minor symbols of consumerism and bondage in works like “Heineken”. Figures: mostly of women from my family, those who worked in our homes and women I’ve known in the West who have been hurt by injustice, by society, religion, family and prejudices. Bleeding, healing and waiting."

Seen on the way to the Arsenale.
In the streets of Venice a performance by Pakistani artist, Maimuna Feroze Nana. A group of three women dressed with the Burqa, the cultural symbol of masses of Muslim women, which today has become in many countries the symbol of enclosure and of the rights denied to women. Silently they stand and symbolically represent women with no voices.

Seen on the way to the Arsenale. Cotto Veneto's Armando Sutor
, who also organized the Maimuna happening in Venice and took the photos for the press information sheet.

Seen on the way to the Arsenale. Christie's, Paola Gradi.

Seen on the way to the Arsenale.
Patron of the Arts, Jenny and Roderick Hall.
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