Took a strong through the garden, but not to enjoy the nature. I hopped between pavilions at the Venice Biennale’s Giardini, traveling around the international art world all in an afternoon. Obviously I couldn’t fit all the pavilions we saw that day into this article, so I just picked out a few of my favorites. Check them out below!
Peek a boo! Poked my head into the Japanese Pavilion first to see their exhibition Turned Upside Down, It’s a Forest by Takahiro Iwasaki. Unfortunately pictures can never do it justice, for all of Takahiro’s work is so detailed and intricate that it can only be truly appreciated up close.
My friend Linda gave me a tour of the Korean Pavilion (or Corea as it’s spelled in Italy). The exhibition featuring works by two artists, Cody Choi and Lee Wan, explored deeply the internal politics and the history of South Korea, in a visually stunning but also informative way. I got to pretend I was the Thinker, but Choi’s bubblegum pink version. The piece below stood out to me the most, Proper Time: Though the Dreams Revolve with the Moon, comprised of 668 clocks for each researcher Lee Wan worked with to understand economic inequality around the world. Each clock has the person’s name, date of birth, occupation and nationality, and moves at differing rates depending on how long they must work to pay for a meal.
I’ve been a huge Mark Bradford fan for years, particularly his explorations of race, class and gender identity in Los Angeles, so I was ecstatic to hear he would be the one representing the USA this year. All of his works are nothing short of breath taking. Entitled Tomorrow is Another Day, you encounter a huge papier-mâché sculpture which hands from the ceiling the first gallery. It made the room feel all the more isolating and almost diminished, in a building whose architecture is meant to evoke the democratic values of the United States.
The most interactive pavilion was the Austrian Pavilion, which had sculptures throughout the galleries made of common household objects. On each work short instructions were written, directing people on how to interact with the art, which normally involved sticking some part of your body through a small hole. The pavilion allowed visitors to briefly become part of the sculptures themselves. It was one of my more active experiences with art at the Biennale, and allowed me to rethink how I viewed materials in my daily life.
Stay tuned for my favorites from the Arsenale pavilions and the group show!