Venice: Palazzo Franchetti – Genius Loci Exhibition Lunch Party. The Lisson Gallery and Berengo Studio presented, during the Architectural Biennale, the exhibition Genius Loci or Spirit of Place, until November 23, curated by Lisson Gallery’s Greg Hilty and conceived by Patrizia Spadafora of the Berengo Foundation, sculptures and installations that go beyond the museum or gallery space, addressing instead the complex spheres of public realm and the built environment. Displaying a range of major pieces by nineteen artists, both inside and outside the historic Venetian Palazzo Franchetti. The show includes models, sculptures, drawings and projects by Anish Kapoor, Ai Weiwei, Daniel Buren, Lawrence Weiner, Shirazeh Houshiary and Lee Ufan, among others, all of whom have made significant contributions to art in the public domain through works that challenge, complement or elucidate their surroundings.
Above: Julian Opie – Jennifer Waling, 2010. These double-sided animations feature images of a walking female figure. While these types of screens are typically used outdoors as store signs, billboards, or on public transport, Opie transforms simple signage and pictographic information to evoke real people and places.
Genius Loci. Lisson Gallery’s Nicholas Longsdail standing in the garden of Palazzo Franchetti, behind him Ai Weiwei’s sculpture entitled Forever, 2014, 1,179 bicycles. Ai has created a monumental new installation of bicycles on the lawn facing the Accademia Bridge, as part of his ongoing series, Forever. Ai’s groupings of stainless- steel bikes, configured in modular shapes and layers of geometrically stacked structures, refer to the famous ‘Forever’ brand of bicycles that have been mass-manufactured in Shanghai since 1940. As in other works by Ai, the concepts of assembling and copying play an important role.
Genius Loci. Shirazeh Houshiary – Glass Tower (Berengo), 2014 and Spin, 2011. These works are constructed of hollow and solid blocks of anodized aluminum forming a configuration of twisting veils that stretch, pierce, tear and curl the space within and smoothly deform their exterior skin. Houshiary deals with revealing invisible forms that are somehow otherwise unnoticed in the observable realm.
Genius Loci. Joana Vasconcelos - Glasshouse, 2014. A house is meant to be a shelter, a protective, interior space. Vasconcelos’s Glasshouse, a reproduction of a child’s playhouse made entirely from vitreous material, however, denies the cozy environment of safety associated with such structures, while also questioning architecture’s delineation between the public and private spheres of life.
Genius Loci. A detail of Koen Vanmechelen - In Captivity – C.C.P., 2014. Known for exhibiting live chickens in his gallery shows, here Vanmechelen has instead caged glass eggs, produced at Berengo Studio, Venice, in a steel frame. “The egg is a protected environment and a source of life. Yet it is also a cage, a restriction from which we have to break free.”
Marina Spadafora, Adriano Berengo, Patrizia Spadafora and Mara Sartore
Lillo Scaringi Raspagliesi and Gilda Bojardi
Genius Loci. A detail of, Tatsuo Miyajima - Life (Corps sans Organes) No.15, 2013. Miyajima’s recent collaboration with an artificial life expert, Professor Takashi Ikegami of Tokyo University, resulted in a computer program that generates number sequences responding to the rhythms and speeds of others in the system. So, instead of a collection of randomized counting circuits, these networks or clusters of flashing digits come together to create intelligent, ‘living’ organisms.
Genius Loci. Daniel Buren - 4 Colours at 3 Metres High, 2014. This newly constructed walkway, which washes the visitors, the walls and floors with coloured shadows, is a variation on the theme of the pergola or an ‘attrape soleil’, which Buren has explored in several public works. It plays with outdoor light, the movement of the sun and changing visual effects.
Genius Loci. Richard Wentworth - In Plain Sight, 2014.Wentworth has intervened directly in the exhibition space to create a porous, architectonic wall, punctuated with numerous recent works from his photographic series Making Do and Getting By (begun in 1974). The artist uses photography as a means of documenting what might be called ‘the sculpture of the everyday’ and the examples printed here include found images taken in Istanbul, Beijing, Spain and London. “I live in a ready-made landscape,” he remarked early in his career, “and I want to put it to use.”
Rafael Herman and Roberta Rossi
Genius Loci. Lee Ufan - Relatum – She and He, 2007–08. Lee’s sculptural series Relatum is essentially minimal: each work includes one or more light-colored round stones and dark, rectangular iron plates. Consisting of untreated stone and iron, Ufan’s installations explore such dialectical topics as emptiness and the void, natural and man-made phenomena, while the sculptural compositions themselves are both silent and richly suggestive.
Goffredo Chiavelli, Carla Picardi and Aldo Cibic
Sisters, Patrizia and Marina Spadafora