Virtual tour at 55th International Art Exhibition Biennale, Venice.
Inspired by the utopia of Marino Auriti, the unconventional Biennale di Venezia chaired by Massimiliano Gioni, in an extreme pursuit of containing the whole Human Knowledge, gives an accurate picture of the plurality and ambivalence of the art world.
As stressed by Paolo Baratta, president of the Biennale “Gioni, much more than presenting us with a list of contemporary artists, wishes to reflect on their creative urges and seems to push the question even further: what is the artists’ world?”
The artists’ world presented by The Encyclopedic Palace is made of twentieth-century works of art, but also of memories, explorations, recollections, obsessions, collections, spoiled flee-market things or handmade with manic care, that alternate with new productions, stimulating performances, high-tech multimedia works. A staging halfway between art and architecture, art and design, art and crafts, art and cinema, past and future: manual skill and matter coexist with ephemeral and virtual. “These personal cosmologies, with their delusions of omniscience, shed light on the constant challenge of reconciling the self with the universe, the subjective with the collective, the specific with the general, the individual with the culture of her time” explains Gioni. Although with a clearer and more critical exam, one could refute, that the perfect container for the universal knowledge is not the Building but the City: this is the concept underlying Angola Pavilion (1st time at Biennale) winner of Golden Lion as the best National Participation. Others winners are Tino Sehgal (Golden Lion as best artist) and Camille Henrot (Silver Lion as young artist); special mentions to Sharon Hayes and Roberto Cuoghi. Padiglione Italia, Vice Versa based on reflective and dialectical approach, and in particular the dimension of duality, (curator Bartolomeo Pietromarchi) was not disappointing. Even the much-discussed presence of the Holy See (1st time at Biennale) went beyond all expectations thanks to the amazing Studio Azzurro’s multimedia installation. Among the recurrent elements, the Body stands out as a sort of fil rouge (constricted, mutilated, violated, extolled, controlled) and the strong integration between work of art – either object or performer – and Space: Art penetrates and blends with Architecture, sometimes (Pavilion Georgia) becomes itself a liveable Architecture.
Text by Renata Sias
1, 2 Camille Henrot, Grosse Fatigue, 2013, Video installation (color, 13 min), Courtesy the artist and kamel mennour, Paris. Production : galerie kamel mennour, Paris ; with the additional support of Fonds de dotation Famille Moulin, Paris ; Institut Français.
3 Angola Pavilion. Luanda, Encyclopedic City, Edson Chagas. Commissario: Ministero della Cultura. Curatori: Beyond Entropy (Paula Nascimento, Stefano Rabolli Pansera), Jorge Gumbe. Sede: Palazzo Cini, Dorsoduro 864.
4 Marcello Maloberti, La Voglia Matta, installation Italia Pavilion “Vice Versa”.
5 Karl Gustav Jung, a page of the handwritten Red Book.