Friday, July 10, 2009

Venice Biennale: Giardini

Venice Biennale: Giardini.
The 53rd International Art Exhibition, titled Making Worlds, directed by Daniel Birnbaum and organized by La Biennale di Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta, it is open to the public until November 22nd, 2009 in the Giardini and in the Arsenale, as well as, in various other locations around Venice. “The title of the exhibition, Making Worlds,” says Director Daniel Birnbaum “expresses my wish to emphasize the process of creation. A work of art represents a vision of the world and if taken seriously it can be seen as a way of making a world.”
Above: Chen Zhen’s Back to Fullness, Face the Emptiness, Aluminum, steel, neon, 1997. Chen Zhen’s work is based on the encounter between different economic, social and political realities. This “transexperience” enriched him and became his source of inspiration. Zhen also embraced an open and tolerant philosophical vision: indeed, his works reveal a profound understanding of the problems of the world and of society, but at the same time are full of energy and hope for the future. This can be seen in the work exhibited here, where human rights are placed at the center of the world (fullness), and good conscience (emptiness) can serve as a guide towards a future of peace.

Seen inside La Biennale Pavilion.
Tomas Saraceno’s Galaxies Forming along Filaments, like Droplets along the Strands of a Spider’s Web,
elastic ropes, 2009. Saraceno’s interest in innovative architectural projects is part of the artist’s ongoing fascination with utopian theories and astronomical constellations. His conception of what constitutes an architectural structure is admirably broad, and his new installation examines how the Black Widow’s gossamer filaments are able to suspend extreme weights through the use of complex geometry.

Seen in the Giardini.
Art critic, Gillo Dorfles.

Venice Biennale: Giardini – The Illy Collection Cup.
The latest Illy Art Collection coffee cup is designed by Tobias Rehberger. Rehberger, was chosen by the director of this year’s Biennale, Daniel Birnbaum, to be the designer who signed the artistic project of the new restaurant-bar inside the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, and also won a Golden Lion for Best Artist for it. The Leitmotif of his project is mimesis: in fact, his cup seems to fade away within the bar, to hide from view in a fascinating and unusual optic effect.

Venice Biennale: Giardini – American Pavilion. The American Pavilion won the Golden Lion award for best National Participation. Bruce Nauman: Topological Gardens was organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and presents a thematic survey comprising four decades of Bruce Nauman’s innovative and provocative work over three exhibition sites: The U.S.A. Pavilion in the Giardini della Biennale, Univerista Iuav di Venezia at Tolentini, and the Exhibition Spaces at Univerista Ca Foscari. Commissioners: Carlos Basualdo and Michael R. Taylor.

Venice Biennale: Giardini – American Pavilion.
Bruce Nauman’s Washing Hands Normal, Dual Channel video (color, sound), 1996.

Venice Biennale: Giardini – American Pavilion. Bruce Nauman’s Three Head Fountain,
Epoxy resin and fiberglass, wire, clear hoses, immersible pump, rubber –lined basin, water, 2005.

Seen in the Giardini.
Designers, Idarica Gazzoni and Marie Brandolini d'Adda.

Venice Biennale: Giardini – German Pavilion. A detail of the cat in the installation titled, How Are You Going to Behave? A Kitchen Cat Speaks, 2009 by Liam Gillick and curated by Nicolaus Schafhausen in the German Pavilion. Gillick has transferred his own daily working environment – his kitchen used as an improvised studio – to the German pavilion. Sitting for months in his kitchen with his son’s cat he considered the question “Who speaks? To whom and with what authority?” While the cat tried to disrupt his work.

Seen inside the German pavilion – a detail. Inside, a kitchen-like structure has been constructed from simple pinewood. Lacking in appliances the ‘Kitchen” exists as a diagram of aspiration, function and an echo of applied modernism that resonates in opposition to the corrupted grandeur of the pavilion.

Seen outside the German Pavilion. Liam Gillick lectures to a group.

Seen outside the German Pavilion. The curator of the German Pavilion, Nicolaus Schafhausen.

Seen outside the Japanese Pavilion. Artist, Miwa Yanagi, whose installation titled, Windswept Women is shown in the Japanese Pavilion. Yanagi took the pavilion, built as a symbol of Japan’s prestige, and covered it with black, membrane-like tent, representing the fluidity and mobility of “death.” Transformed overnight into a temporary playhouse, “authority,” “convention,” “prejudice,” and various other “strong winds” that collect inside, the old girls that appear like visitors from another world. Their huge, life-sized forms, are enclosed in huge frames, the photographs that the women inhabit are nothing less than life-sized images of “death” as it truly is.

Photograph by Josh Raymond
Venice Biennale: Giardini - Australian Pavilion. Shaun Gladwell’s Maddestmaximvs, in the Australian Pavilion, brings together the artist’s trademark slowed-footage video installations of figures undertaking acts of physical virtuosity, with sculptural works and interventions into the fabric of the Pavilion itself. The result is a project rich in visual experience and conceptual interplay between elements.
Above: Shaun Gladwell’s Interceptor Surf: Daydream Mine Road, 2009.

Seen outside the Australian Pavilion.
An especially constructed, functioning 1:1 sculptural’ replica of the famous V8 ‘interceptor’ car driven by Mel Gibson's "Max" character in Mad Max 1 and 2.

Seen in La Biennale Pavilion.
British artist, Antony Gormley.

Venice Biennale: Giardini - The Nordic Pavilions. The Danish and Nordic Pavilions hosted The Collectors, a single exhibition curated and staged by artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset. With contributions from twenty-four international artists and artist groups. Elmgreen & Dragset transformed the pavilions into domestic environments where the audience is invited as guests. Dining rooms, bedrooms, furniture, fireplaces, a stained glass skylight and the artworks nestled within the households, reveal the uncanny stories of fictional inhabitants, with their obsessive characters and diverse lifestyles.
Above: Elmgreen & Dragset’s, Death of a Collector, 2009

Venice Biennale: Giardini - The Danish Pavilion. As part of The Collectors project, the public gets a guided tour by a real-estate agent through a “For Sale” and are be told the story of the family dramas that used to haunt the house.
Above: The exterior view of A family’s Home. For Sale sign designed by Elmgreen & Dragset and Jani Leinonen.

Seen in the Giardini. Vittorio and Ya Ya Coin.

Seen in La Biennale Pavilion. What or who is Angela Missoni photographing? See below… She is flanked by Io Donna’s New York correspondent, Analisa Milella and by her daughter, Teresa.
Note: John Baldessari with the white beard in the left-hand corner.

Seen in La Biennale Pavilion.
Art critic, Mariuccia Casadio playfully follows the choo choo train with the school children visiting La Biennale.

Venice Biennale: Giardini – French Pavilion. Claude Leveque represents France with an installation entitled, Le Grand Soir. The title, Le Grand Soir is a leitmotiv of revolutionary discourse: the Grand Evening of the “old world,” of the “anciens regimes.” Most of Leveque’s work consists of installations that articulate objects, sounds and lights that powerfully take control of places and spectators. The existential discomfort or disquiet that wells up out of his stagings, the ambiguity of the feelings aroused by his devices are emblematic of contemporary forms of social control and oppression – a servitude that is or is not voluntary. “The concave fa├žade of the French Pavilion is painted black it looks like a catafalque. (…) Your movements limited, your feelings restrained, your gaze has to flow between the bars. Here the light is intense; the pearly walls chill and diffract it. It’s the half-light, the darkness where reflections simmer. Day, night……” from the text by Christian Bernard curator of the French Pavilion.

Seen in the Giardini. Fabio Belloti, who was mistaken for Michelangelo Pistoletto.

Seen in the Giardini. Journalist, Daniela Morera.

Seen in the Giardini.
Art dealer, Antonia Jannone.

Venice Biennale: Giardini – La Biennale Pavilion. A detail of Nathalie Djurberg’s Experimentet, installation, Claymation, digital video, mixed media, 2009. Natalie Djurberg was awarded the Silver Lion for a Promising Young Artist. Djurberg’s intricately constructed Claymation films are both terrifyingly disturbing and artlessly sweet. The new works created for the Venice Biennale explore a surrealistic Garden of Eden in which all that is natural goes awry. She exposes the innate fear of what is not understood and confronts viewers with the complexity of emotions.

Seen in the Giardini. Designer, Xavier Lust.

Seen in the Giardini. Young photographer, Francesco Carrozzini.

Venice Biennale: Giardini – Venezia Pavilion. The Mille Fiori glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly, 2008 stand outside the new enlarged Venezia Pavilion. Inside the exhibition …fa come natura face in foco is dedicated to contemporary artists working in glass and is curated by Ferruccio Franzoia. For forty years, the Venezia Pavilion provided the most qualified showcase for the research and experimentation of the major glass artists and the current exhibition takes up where this great tradition left off, highlighting a capacity for renovation that is far from dying out. Their initiation into a world of ancient skills continues to shape the work of many authors from Italy and abroad, and their experimentation is what the display at the Padiglione Venezia documents.

Seen inside the Venezia Pavilion. A sculpture by Laura de Santillana entitled Teca, 2007.

Seen inside the Venezia Pavilion.
Toni Zuccheri's glass birds, in the foreground L'Esibizionista (Lui) and L'Esibizionista (Lei).
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