We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Biennale 2013 - The Encyclopedic Palace

As I mentioned in my last post, I now have my permanent Biennale pass, which allows me entry into any of the Biennale exhibits anytime between June 1 and the closing day, November 24.  With this in my possession, I decided to go spend a few hours soaking up some culture yesterday.  Mike still needed to get his pass, which required him to show up in person with his identification documentation. Off we went to  the Giardini ticket booths as soon as they opened at 10 am. Our plan to go early paid off- the lines were short, no one cut in front of us, we moved quickly. Before we knew it, we had a second pass in hand. 

We'd taken a look at the exhibition maps the other day and had already decided to begin our Biennale exploration at the Arsenale.

This year Italian born Massimiliano Gioni, the youngest curator of the Venice Biennale, chose the theme Il Palazzo Enciclopedico after Italian-American artist Marino Auriti's concept of a museum (the Encyclopedic Palace) to contain all the world's knowledge. The exhibition, The Encyclopedic Palace, housed at the Arsenale, includes works by 92 artists (hope that's correct, I counted the list) from around the globe.

The exhibition hall is huge, it's contents almost overwhelming.  My plan was to carefully view each exhibit, pay attention to which artist did which work, and to read whatever information was available for each exhibit. I took notes. I took photos. I looked. I learned. I liked. I disliked.

There were many exhibits that were videos, and in general these did not appeal to me. I can't even put my finger on exactly why, they just did. After watching a few of them, I found I was quickly walking past these after just a moment or two perusal.

Here's my list of likes from this collection, in no particular order:
Lin Xue, Hong Kong, 1993-1995 untitled scroll - ink drawings using bamboo pen, with incredible detail

R.Crumb , Philadephia,2009 Illustrated book of Genesis- a monumental number of illustrations depicting the entire book of Genesis, including who begat who, with Crumb's interpretation of what every person looked like.

Shinichi Sawada, Shiga Japan, clay figures and masks.

Matt Millican, Santa Monica California- collage on paper and cotton, Learning from that Persons work


Pawel Atthamer, Warsaw Poland, 2013 - "Venetians " - Polyethelyene Resin and metal sculptures . A collection of 90 scultures

Yes, I really enjoyed all the Venetians!

And for the winner of the Dislike category?  Here you go:

This is part of a series of works by Carol Rama of Torino, Italy, painted in 1939.  Each of the paintings were a bit disturbing to me. Can you guess what rating I might have given this?  You got it.

Following several hours inside this main exhibit, I visited the nearby exhibits of the Vatican, exhibiting for the very first time this year; United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Republic of Kosovo, Turkey, Kingdom of Bahrain and the Republic of Indonesia.

My favorite of these ?  Definitely the exhibition of the United Arab Emirates titled Walking on Water by Mohammed Kazem 2005/2013.  You enter a chamber surrounded by the images and sounds of a very rough dark sea. You feel as though you are lost at sea, and even though you are stationary, you feel very wobbly upon leaving the chamber. An interesting experience.

Outside the Biennale exhibit spaces, here in Castello you can't escape art. The latest installation  to arrive on Via Garibaldi- a line of blue tempra paint. I've witnessed more than a few locals having some choice words to say about the blue line.  After this morning's rain- no more installation!

1 comment:

Dianne said...

I also am not a fan of contemporary or modern art. I prefer things to look like things (people, landscapes, still lifes of flowers, fruit, etc). But I make exceptions -- I liked the Venetians and I suppose if I could have seen the scroll better I would include it in my "likes". I guess my dislike of contemporary/modern art stems from a field trip in college (during my art and interior design period) where our teacher pointed to a grocery list on a brown paper bag hanging in Chicago's Art Institute and called that "art". Yech!