Art. Party. Sun. City.
54th Biennale di Venezia
Venice is beautiful and loaded with history and culture. It’s romantic, the food and wine is ever so good and it is the place where locals randomly burst into opera in cafes (or so I found). However, I must say if I were to go sans Biennale I could have easily become rather bored, not to mention bankrupt after a couple of days. As a background to such an exciting, international event Venezia is… just… perfect.
The opening few days for the press were terribly fun… Champagne everywhere and much eavesdropping in order to find the best parties for the eve. My fave of these was hosted by the Finnish pavilion on a secret island, for which to get to, we had to spy a lady holding a balloon at the dock. Upon arrival, we discovered to much joy millions of buckets of champagne, to be dished out and replenished just as sparingly as peanuts in a pub. A tattooed burlesque dancer n icelandic DJs kept us entertained till 5am… we were Finnished!
Now.. the art…
Despite all the weird and wonderful participations, it was Germany that best impressed the Biennale judging panel. The late Christoph Schlingensief deservedly scooped the Golden Lion for the German Pavilion, with a collection of works entitled ‘Church of Fear vs the Alien Inside’. On speaking to The Art Newspaper, the curator Susanne Gaensheimer revealed that Schlingensief – who passed away last summer from lung cancer before the work was completed – was invited to shake up the German Pavilion which had in recent years “reached an endpoint”. The exciting multidisciplinary art did just this with a bold gothic swipe at politics and culture.
I was asked to review the exhibition for Under/Currents Magazine, so you can read all about Church of Fear, and some of the other pavilions here.
Some pix for y’all: