Saturday, July 20, 2019

Venice: The 58th International Venice Art Biennale – PART ONE - May You Live in Interesting Times – Giardini Central Pavilion

 The 58th International Venice Art Biennale  
May You Live in Interesting Times
GIARDINI - Central Pavilion

The 58th International Venice Art Exhibition, titled May You Live In Interesting Times, until November 24, is curated by Ralph Rugoff and its title is a phrase of English invention that has long been mistakenly cited as an ancient Chinese curse that invokes periods of uncertainty, crisis and turmoil; "interesting times", exactly as the ones we live in today. All the 79 artists exhibit different works at the Giardini and the Arsenale, in order to highlight their artistic practice rather than a single work. It is also trying to highlight the fact that just as art has many levels, each artist’s practice has many different dimensions and aspects to it. The artists are trying to defy whatever categories and whatever conceptual boxes we might want to put them into.
Shilpa Gupta – Untitled – 2009
MS Mobile gate which swings side to side and breaks the walls

Curator Ralph Rugoff and Paolo Baratta
President of La Biennale di Venezia

“I bring in even more physicality to an image - moving or not - to exaggerate the underlying affective relationship we have with it”
 from an interview by Rachel Wetzler - - Apr 2012

Antoine Catala – It’s Over - 2019

“My curiosity about all sorts of strange things, or Sun Yuan’s
strong feelings for the material world can’t be expressed
by painting alone. We have to develop a more direct way to connect
with both our spiritual and material worlds.”
Peng Yu

Sun Yuan and Peg Yu – Can’t Help Myself
– 2016

“Being a queer woman is the air that I breathe, and it’s inescapable, and it’s going to be part of the work.”
From an interview by Debora Solomon - The New York Times - 2016

Nicole Eisenman - Going Down River on the USSJ-Bone of an Ass

“Teresa Margolles’ wall comes from the city of Juarez in Mexico; she has reframed it as sculpture. It was a wall in front of a school where a number of young people were assassinated in drug-related violence. From 2006 to 2015 over 15,000 teenagers were killed in Mexico in
drug- related violence.”
Ralph Rugoff

Teresa Margolles – Muro Ciudad Juarez – 2010

“Sound is a property of physics; vibrations of air. Music is, in essence, a property of mathematics; without mathematical structures, sounds are merely sounds.”
From an interview on MoMA PS1 Blog

Ryoji Ikeda – Spectra III – 2008-2019

“Many works in the exhibition, including Gonzalez-Foerster’s
virtual piece, deal with the impact of new technologies in creating parallel worlds.
The diorama is really one of the earliest virtual reality technologies.
The space on the other side of the window becomes a virtual space that you enter imaginatively.

Ralph Rugoff

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Joi Brittle – Cosmorama - 2018

“In my works, I try to refer to actual processes taking place in society and in the world. Often, through art, I draw the viewer’s attention towards one problem or another, and I try not to give a clear position, leaving the viewer with enough ‘space’ for their own interpretation.”
From an interview by Anna Savitskaya on - Oct 2015

Zhanna Kadyrova – Second Hand – 2015

“Spirituality is everything. It’s ultimately more important than anything else. We’re clearly spiritual beings because we can’t locate where life exists in someone’s body.”
From an interview by Paul Dallas on

Kahlil Joseph – BLKNWS - 2018/ongoing

“I think objects and images are tools to reveal social or natural phenomena, and my works focus on the relationship between them, the object and the image, but there is also the body – ‘pre-born’ or ‘already- dead’, human and animal, whole and in fragments, declined, allegorical etcetera.”
 From an interview on - Elephant - Apr 2016

Jean- Luc Moulene – La Faucheuse – Paris – 2015

“I wanted to know what causes a given kind of work
to be regarded by women as embarrassing,
both in the past and in the present:
whether this has to do with the way the material is handled
or whether it really lies in the material itself.”

Rosemarie Trockel – Group of Articles – 2019

“I map the movement of my
own face to that of the CGI model. It’s
my face contorting, performing behind
this immaterial mask - attached to my
traumas and losses, whatever they are.”
From an interview by Timo Feldhaus on - Jan 2019

Ed Atkins – Bloom 6 – 2018

“Without a doubt, without a doubt, without a doubt, Detroit has damaged me. I’m very much influenced by that place, but
on a level that I’m still barely coming to terms with.”
From an article by Rachel Corbett - - Feb 2015

Michael E. Smith – Untitled – 2019

“I think of each work
as a documentation of a transformative performance. I am interested in every facet of what it means to be ‘genuine’, especially when performing in a role society would never cast me in.”

Gutierrez - Demons – 2018

“Masculine/feminine, culture/nature, order/chaos, evil/good, are mere discursive constructions to disguise, perpetuate and legitimize domination. And so, if this discourse was behind the metaphysical paintings I was studying, what was left out of their reductive avantgarde? Infinite possibilities.”
From an interview by Gaby Cepeda – Rhizome - Feb 2106

Ad Minoliti – Mural – 2019

"I think of the art as dead when it leaves my studio. I don’t even own it anymore. Installing in a museum or a show that’s coming up, I’m not allowed to touch my own work ever. It just seems strange to me.
If somebody puts me in front of my drawings, I’d put more text in it. It’s never finished, but none of my work is ever finished.”
From an interview by Josh Lucas -

Kaari Upson – View From The Interiorized; You are a Pervert  

Apichatpong Weerasethakul – Ghost Teen – 2013

 “I’ve been painting since ever; it comes natural to me.
I can’t pinpoint a precise moment when it all started.
Painting has always been around me.”
From an interview by Stefano Pirovano on  
Nov 2018

Jill Mulleadry – Interior – 2019

Lara Favaretto – Thinking Head – 2019

“I think every day we’ve got to be accountable. I would like to think I’ve represented some people. It’s not like I’m making a conscious e ort, but I do feel like I’m a sincere artist.”
From an interview by Duro Olowu - - Mar 2017

Henry Taylor – Hammons Meets a Hyena on Holiday – 2016

“You’re no longer listening to what you say, but how you say it. And this kind of shift really complicates the idea of free speech. Before we thought the freedom of speech also extended to the form the speech takes, but it seems it’s not really as simple as that.”

Lawrence Abu Hamdan – Walled Unwalled - 2018

“In lieu of what, let’s rather turn to how we should remember or forget.
 We believe in resuscitating history,
And we use this word ‘resuscitation’ deliberately: putting one’s lips onto the subject matter, onto history, onto language,
and breathing in and out of it.”
From an interview by Deena Chalabi - Liverpool Biennial - 2018

Slavs and Tartars – Tranny Tease – Pour Marcel – 2009-2016

“I spent a lot of time at doctor’s surgeries and hospitals this year and it got me thinking about what it means to be wounded, or sick, or otherwise ‘defective’ - and what it means to submit yourself for healing.”

Jesse Darling – Epistemologies – Shamed Cabinet – 2018

“Socio-political elements are a part of prejudice, control, power and people interacting with each other. To ignore this aspect of culture in my work would be like trying to ignore the impact of death and sex on life.”
From an interview - Artuner

Michael Armitage – Untitled – 2017-2019

“Working in fashion for many years was a training for sculpture – fashion’s living sculpture. Art doesn’t have the same functional qualities as fashion, but something that’s worn on the body is very much sculptural.”
From an interview -

Alexandra Bircken – Angie – 2009

Nabuqi – Do Real Things Happen in Moments of Rationality? – 2018

“I don’t like complaining, showing crying people – hopeless, vulnerable and desperate refugees. I prefer to focus on the good parts of really di cult situations.”
From an interview by Amanda Ribas Tugwell - - Sept 2016

Halil Altindere

“If you’re going to make an original statement in painting,
you also have to address its history. All artists, but especially painters, have to deal with the issue of art in the age of mechanical reproduction.”
From an interview by Rachel Small - Dec 2017

Avery Singer – Sensory Deprivation Tank – sad face – 2018

  “I consider myself an ontologist with a heuristic methodology.”

Gabriel Rico - Veinticuatro – 2018 – detail

Photograph and copyright Manfredi Bellati

“Representation matters. People want to see themselves. It’s what makes you feel you matter in the society you exist in.”
 From an interview - Financial Times - Women of the year 2016

Njideka Akunyili Crosby


“You are worthy. You count. Nobody has the right to undermine you—because of your being, because of your race, because of your gender expression, because of your sexuality, because of all that you are.”

Zanele Muholi – Inkanyiso I – Paris - 2014

Poetry makes sense of the parts of human experience that are confusing and not decodable in any other way. It makes accessible the inaccessible. I think if art has one underlying value, it’s that.
It reminds us that there are things we don’t know, and in that not knowing, we find strength.”
From an interview by Matt Mullen -  Mar 2017

Tavares Strachan – Four Hundred Meter Dash – 2018

“I’m not “working” with marble, I’m conversing with it; 
I’m in a relationship with it.”
From an interview by Izabella Scott - - Nov 2018

Andreas Lolis – Untitled - 2018

Swatch - Joe Tilson Venetian Watch – The Flags – 2019
The Flags – 2019
24 bespoke double-sided flags – site-specific installation

Originally associated with British Pop Art in the early 1960s, Tilson continues to evolve and push the boundaries of his practice.  The Flags depict enlarged details from the artist’s latest Stones of Venice series of paintings.  These works draw upon Tilson’s love and knowledge of the city that has inspired him for over sixty years.

Joe Tilson

Illy Caffe

Quotes Courtesy - VENEWS
The Bag Biennale Arte Guide – 2019

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