Thursday, October 6, 2011

Illuminations - Biennale di Venezia 2011

The 2011 Venice Biennale International Art exhibition is the Biennale of light and even the Enlightement. Illuminations (Illuminazioni), a title dedicated to the poet Arthur Rimbaud, defines how you left Venice : illuminated.
89 countries were participating this year with the newly entrants : The principality of Andorra, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh and Haïti.
I, of course, will not be able to post on everyting but I'll try to point my biggest crushes.

Maurizio Cattelan Turisti
Maurizio Cattelan in his first visit to the central pavillon said "it is a shamble filled with pigeons". The first creative thought of his piece "Turisti" in which he placed stuffed pigeons all over the pavillon. Like his horse displayed at Punta Della Dogana really questioned the viewers : is it real or is it Piazza San Marco pigeons (their temple) migration to Giardini ?

Urs Fischer Untitled
I award the best artwork to Urs Fischer. A 3 meters wax statue and an all installation are turning into a life-size candles and consuming itself slowly. As most of Fischer's work it's a kind of psychic transformation or collapse. Many chances that this piece will remain for the time of the exhibition. "No wax should be cleaned up" ordered Fischer, celebrating the happy accidents inherants to the artistic process.

Das Institut, Kerstin Brätsh and Adèle Röder
Das Institut is a fictive import/export agency and explores the ubiquitous nature of the commoditized artwork, its independence within a system of replications.

Amalia Pica
Nicholas Hlobo Limundulu Vampire
Nicholas Holbo examines the South African myth limundulu vampire bird described by Xhoza folk song.

Haroon Mirza The National Apavillion of Here and Now
Haroon Mirza built a triangle structure where viewers enter in a dark and small room with a hoop light abover their head getting more and more luminous while the sound strident, shrill and metallic sharpen the keen shapes of the wall. Electricity in both is physical and aesthetic form is taken as occurences in light, sound and movement.

Cyprien Gaillard Floods of the old and the new world
The 2010 price Marcel Duchamp winner has a preoccupation with talisman of a recent past and the historical energies inflated by the destruction of building and monument. The artwork presented at the biennale is a collection of tourist postcard covered with keen bottle labels. The pleasure-charged content of the images circumvents their political darkness, with and ironic take on the sleazi multiculturalism and cultural defilement of hedonistic globalism.

Norma Jeane Who's afraid of free expression
At the beginning of the biennale, a plasticine cube presentend the colors of the Egyptian flag in three horizontal strata. An aesthetical severity contrasting with the pliable, childish material, it is made for. Viewers could touch, shape and paint that inclusive artwork.

Nathaniel Mellors Hippy Dialectics
Mai-Thu Perret Flow my Tears II
A collection of fictional wrtiting build an imagined commune populated entirely by women. An utopian idyll and a great way to consider a non-patriarchal society.

Cindy Sherman Untitled
A series printed on Phototex adhesive fabric scaled to the dimensions of the walls on which the photograph are shown in the manner of 18th century toile de Jay Fabric. She wears no make up for once and suggest the kitsch of religions figurines staring at their viewers.

Monika Sosnowska Antechamber
An architectural art work challenging the perception of what is rational or even possible. It is custom-made and designed to have the feeling to have taken the wrong way.

Song Dong the para-pavillon Ensclosure movement
Song Dong had the privilege - with Franz West and three other artists - to buid one of the 4 para-pavillons of the Biennale. To welcom artworks of Cyprien Gaillard, and Yto Barada, he created a structure of 100 wardrobe doors suggesting a reversal of interior and exterior while referring to the Chinese habit of placin old wardrobe in the streets for extra strorage. He drew a parallel beteen the nieghborhoods of old Beijing and the community of La Biennale.

Navid Nuur Hivewise
Made of pipes, electric wires / neon tubes. A testimony of a spectacular transformation.

Angel Vergara Feuilleton
Representing the belgian Pavillon, Angel Vergara shows a combination of media images and paintings upon it questionning the western iconography, its never ending story. An phantom reality that reminded me the left hands of actresses, an artwork by Pierre Bismuth.

Hajnal Nemeth Crash - Passive Interview
The Hungarian pavillon presented the wor of Hajnal Nemeth. A complex installation of multiple components : theatrical, philosophical and realistic. Walls are understood as accoustic units with various layers of sound meanings, lyrics and voices. An experimental opera, a car crash and the sonic backdrop form the notes of a narrative score.

Shadia & Raja Alem The Black Arch
For the first time since more than a century of art celebration, Venice welcomes Saudi Arabia. The new pavillon show the work of two sisters exploring the meeting point of 2 visions and 2 cities. A monumental absence of color over a big black stone displaying a mirror image said to reflect the present. To me, it looked like a giant oyster displaying black gold and I'll keep that in mind. For a censored and sexist country such as Saudi Arabia I found that sculpture really sexual and the black stone illustrative of how it has become one of the richest country of the world.

Oksana Mas Post-VS-Proto Renaissance
Her workd shows one of the popular ukrainian custom of the kraskenki wooden eggs covered with decoration. For this daunting task Oksana Mas asked female prisoners over 42 different countries. The resut is extraordinary: giant religious icons appear accross thousands of delicately painted eggs.

The American Pavillon Gloria
A lot of auto-critic for the american Pavillon. Olympic athletes training themselves along the most fragile material of their country: planes and tanks. I really liked the work with the real cash machine embedded in an organ referring probably to the money-making churches of the United States.

Singapore Pavillon The Cloud of Unknowing

Christian Boltanski ChanceAnd other random images :


Anonymous said...

J'ai tellement hâte d'y être! ça donne très envie toutes ces photos

Olivier S. said...

I think the Venice Biennale is Disneyword...

J said...

J'en connais une qui a retiré du cash au Distributeur-orgues du pavillon américain et généra d'emblée une épiphanie critique du K !
Chouettes photographies !

Aliénor M. said...

Merci ! Chouette blog :)