(53. Biennale di Venezia: Eventi Collaterali)
At Venice Biennial there are not only country pavilions that are spread out all over the city, but also the collateral events ('eventi collaterali').
These 44 'eventi collaterali' are organized by institutions, who are not the official contribution of a country, but who want to be part of the Biennale. They just have to be accepted by the curatorial board.
'SubTiziano' by Russian artist Alexander Ponomarev is probably the most spectacular of these collateral events: Mr. Ponomarev is both, an educated naval engineer and an artist too. He made several versions of submarines and painted them in a colorful peace & hippy style. Then he put them into art related places. Now his art submarine surfaced in the Canale Grande in front of Università Ca' Foscari.
Next door to the submarine in the Ca' Rezzonico palazzo there is a nice selection of Russian art of the last decades from the Stella Art Foundation. I liked the communication between the Venetian palazzo and the 'Wall Aggregate' objects by Vadim Kosmatchof.
Italian artist Fabrizio Plessi showed the video installation 'L'Anima delle Pietra' at Instituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti. I think he did already better ones...
Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (T-B 21) commissioned an 'abstract opera' by the Welsh artist Cerith Wyn Evans and the German artist Florian Hecker. Mr. Evans was responsible for the visuals and Mr. Hecker for the sound. The title was 'No night no day'.
'Cerith has surpassed himself with this opera: Together with his fried, electronic composer Florian Hecker, he has made the final leap into complete abstraction. He is one of the few contemporary pioneers of the 21st century to bring abstraction back to the fore of the art world - after the Americans finally killed it tin the 1970s.' says Francesca von Habsburg, chairman of T-B 21.
The opera lasted about 45 minutes and was performed three times at the beginning of June at the Teatro Goldoni. The gala premier was attended by many art world VIPs, such as Mr. Okwui Enwezor (curator of Documenta XI of 2002).
At Fondazione Giorgio Cini there is a retrospective of John Wesley organized by Fondazione Prada. But I didn't go, because I don't like the work of Wesley. In the same place there is a Peter Greenaway performance of his version of 'Wedding at Cana' by Paolo Veronese.
There are many interesting eventi collaterali - but it is simply impossible to see all during the preview week...
La Biennale di Venezia: City of Venice form 7 June to 22 November 2009