Venice Biennale Collateral Event – Glasstress 2015 Gotika Exhibition. At Palazzo Franchetti, until November 22, the exhibition Glasstress 2015 Gotika is a joint project between The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and the Fondazione Berengo and is curated by Dr. Dimitri Ozerkov, Director of Hermitage 20 / 21 Project for Contemporary Art and Adriano Berengo of Berengo Studio. It is an exploration of the effect that Gothic and medieval ideas have had on the modern conscience and contemporary art. Glasstress 2015 Gotika combines historical medieval glass and objects from the Hermitage’s collection that have rarely if ever been seen by the public and contemporary art works created in glass by internationally renowned artists who were invited by the curators to work with the glass masters in the furnaces of Murano. The artists, who are from over 20 countries, were asked to respond to the Gothic concept in their creations in glass.
Above. Adel Abidin – The Reward – 2015 – pryex glass, overlook the Grand Canal and are framed by the Gothic windows of the palazzo.
Below. Armor from The State Hermitage Museum – St. Petersburg.
detail photograph by Francesco Allegretto – courtesy Glasstress
Palazzo Franchetti – Glasstress 2015 Gotika. At Palazzo Franchetti, Glasstress not only harmonizes with the neo-gothic interior of the spaces and the palazzo’s Gothic windows, it also refers to the Gothic architecture of Venice, the Gothic capital of the world.
Above. Penny Byrne – Hurt Locker – 2015 – glass and wire.
Palazzo Franchetti – Glasstress 2015 Gotika. The projects all refer, directly or indirectly, to Gothic style and mythology, religious themes, King Arthur, alchemy, techniques of stained glass making and the sounds of broken crystal, the main reference remaining is the glass itself.
Above. Song Dong – Glass Big Brother – 2015 – glass and metal and Armor from The State Hermitage Museum – St. Petersburg.
Tony Cragg – Untitled – 2015 – glass
Marian Goodman and Patrizia Spadafora
Palazzo Franchetti – Glasstress 2015 Gotika. A showcase with inspirational historical works from The State Hermitage Museum – St. Petersburg’s main collection of Gothic and neo-gothic oeuvre are in dialogue with the newly commissioned works made in glass in the furnaces in Murano. Gothic monstrances, reliquaries, and crosses done with and out of glass and other medieval objects from the Hertimage archives, some of which have never been seen by the public are exhibited with the contemporary works.
Joana Vasconcelos – Via Iluminata – 2015 – glass and textile matter
Hans Op De Beeck – The Frozen Vanitas – 2015 – glass
Petah Coyne – Mirror Mirror – 2015 – mixed media
Dede Young and Petah Coyne
photograph by Francesco Allegretto – courtesy Glasstress
Wael Shawky – Cabaret Crusades, The Secrets of Karbalaa
glass marionettes - 2014 – glass, fabric, enamel and thread
Pascale Marthine Tayou – Colonne Coloniale – 2015 - glass
Palazzo Franchetti – Glasstress 2015 Gotika. During the research for the show, Californian artist Bart Dorsa rediscovered the statue of Jeanne d’Arc in the southern transept of Notre-Dame de Paris. Categorically, the central female symbol of Dorsa's work has its place in the sanctuary of the new Gothic ideal. Crystal clear and filled with light, the sculpture is devoid of corporeality, despite its meticulously accurate representation of the body. Here the process of crystallization, both literally and metaphorically (as defined by Stendhal) is in action.
Above. Bart Dorsa – Relic Glass #1 – 2015 – glass and silver.
Palazzo Franchetti - Keon VanMechelen – Awakener/Lifebank
Palazzo Franchetti – Glasstress 2015 Gotika. The top floor of Palazzo Franchetti was the former site of the Banca di Venezia. Here, the Belgian artist Keon Vanmechelen installed a ‘gene bank’ of heritage seeds from around the world, including those sourced from AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center in Arusha and a selection made by Piergiorgio De Filippi in collaboration with Slow Food. The interactive multi-sensorial garden forms the central part of this work including two colossal bronze hands, glass jars containing thousands of rare varieties of seeds and references to the artist’s Cosmopolitan Chicken Project; a cross-breeding programme where the chicken becomes the universal symbol for all species. Based on these same ingredients, renowned chef Pietro Leemann has created a new culinary combination ‘The Shape of Life’ which will be served to Biennale visitors at the B Restaurant on Murano. This restaurant is located next to Fondazione Berengo where the Awakener/Lifebank installation of the Dromedary, Mushroom and Chicken breeding takes place.
photographs by manfredi bellati
Keon VanMechelen – Awakener/Lifebank
The “Gothic Garden” dedicated to bio-diversity with a monumental installation featuring ancient seeds and interactive, multi-sensory spaces.