These were our favorite works in the Giardini at ‘The Encyclopedic Palace’ Biennale keynote show curated by Massimiliano Gioni:
At a time of a seemingly never ending global contemporary art market boom it is a relief to see an art star like Tino Sehgal rise. He doesn’t allow images from or objects in his performances. We don’t know any artist, who drives the tactic of dematerialization that far. His work only materializes in the here and now in which it is featured.
The Anglo-German artist never appears in his performances himself. He trains his performers and gives them rules, within they can act themselves. The ‘constructed situation’, as he calls it, here in Venice consists of three people, who are interacting, kneeling, humming and singing at the floor of the pavilion. He says, ‘I view the 20th century as a century, where we had the idea we can do everything. (…) When you knee down, you don’t feel like a master.’ Great piece! We are quite sure, he will also win this year’s Turner prize, as he did also win the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale as best artist.
Click here for an interview with Tino Sehgal (courtesy by labiennale.org)!
Peter Fischli and David Weiss: Plötzlich diese Übersicht (Suddenly this Overview)
This was the first large-scale collaboration between the two artists. It started in 1981 and lasted until the death of David Weiss in 2012. The installation consists of more than 200 fragile sculptures made of unfired clay. Each of them represents a certain event, mindset or assumption of the world. Fischli and Weiss never lose their humor in their view of the world. Our favorite was: Mick Jagger + Brian Jones going home satisfied after composing ‘I Can't Get No Satisfaction’.
Roger Hiorns: Untitled
You walk into the rexhibition room and realize there is some dust on the floor. Reading the label you learn, these are the remains of a grinded altar. The British artist uses very unusual materials for his works: cow brains, antidepressants, semen and the like.
In 2008 he encrusted a regular apartment with shiny copper sulphate crystals or he atomized the engine of a passenger jet to dust. At the Venice Biennale he used the same technique to pulverize an altar stone and then strew it over the floor of the exhibition hall. Quite a contrast to this year's first Biennale contribution by the Vatican. Roger Hiorns is probably the legitimate successor of Damien Hirst.
Maria Lassnig's paintings
One could think that there must be a special climate in Austria for the exploration of one's mind - Sigmund Freud and Viktor Adler also were born there. Lassnig is best known for her 'body-awareness paintings'. These are nearly representational self-portraits of her, depicting her body in the state of mind, she seems to have been in, when they were painted.
As a contrast to her often depressed or desperate feelings, she uses bright pastel colors. In the painting 'Du oder Ich' (You or me) of 2005, the figure (herself naked) points one gun at the viewer and another gun at herself. We wonder, who she painted it for. Great paintings!
by Chris Neuschler
'Il Palazzo Enciclopedico' at the 55th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
Through 24 November 2013
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