The Venice Biennale: All the World's Futures, 2015 was so much more than I could have imagined. Such a wonderful city with art practically everywhere you looked, so much so we coined the term "Art-blind" as after a day in either of the main sites of the Giardini or the Arsenale we were unable to process what we were seeing.
The Arsenale was the venue for the Slovenian performance piece by Jasa, named 'Utter', which captured my attention and I found myself in their space numerous times in the day. It had a trance like beat with artists creating work directly to the walls and spoken pieces merged all together. It was mesmerizing. I've found that performance pieces need to be experienced and this piece caught me at the right moment and I was hooked.
David Maljkovic's - New Reproduction, which were boards of MDF with photographic images atop of more images ripped and torn and placed in a way that made me reminiscent of vintage photography and objects you may find in a drawer of your home. Since finding out more about this work, he stacks work in such a way to describe the layers of history and having to filter through. The boards themselves are quite imposing and I enjoyed seeing them.
The exhibit by Samson Kambalu - Sanguinetti Breakout Area, had photographs on top of a letter printed directly to the wall with a passive aggressive tone. It continued up to the rafters of the space so the viewer was unable to the see the photographs and I did try! I have looked on the artist's website and the artist Gianfranco Saguinetti was part of the 60's movement the Situationists which denied the art world the commodity of purchasing pieces whilst creating live art etc, recently, Saguinetti sold off his archive of situationist art movement for a princely sum to a library with the conditions it will be open to public, therefore somewhat contradicting his own theory on art. Kambalu spent time photographing this archive and presented it as his own, to which he was sued by Saquinetti for copyright issues - the court dropped the case based on his own art theories on commoditization . I found this history to the piece fascinating and it made the piece one of my favourites there!
The Giardini hosted many of the long standing pavilions from around the world. Noteable visits were the Nordic, Japan's, Russian and Venezuelan stand. Nordic for it's sheer beauty of the pavilion itself, Japan's for the Key in the Hand by Chiharu Shiota, Russia for my people watching (it's always interesting to see how people interact with work) and Venezuela for bringing me to tears.
Argelia Bravo for Venezuela made a video piece of women in balaclavas singing the national anthem whilst breastfeeding their children. It made me cry as they represented everything I wish I was in an artist. Confident women, mothers and artists.
Overall I believe I enjoyed the Arsenale site more than the Giardini but found pieces in both that I'll never forget. From the visit I gained a sense of the close community within our year group and how it brought us all together, along with the fact that I had experienced art in a way like never before. The presentation of some of the works helped me to think about how I would present my own work based on mostly the photographs on show in the venues. What an amazing week.