The 53rd Venice Biennial’s Own Pavilion in the Giardini

Palazzo delle Esposizioni della Biennale in the Giardini (c) photo by Premier Art Scene

Since this year the former Italian Pavilion in the Giardini park has been transformed into the Biennale’s own ‘Palazzo delle Esposizioni della Biennale’.


Is has been enlarged and equipped with a bookshop, a bar-restaurant and spaces for educational activities.


The Biennial’s director, Daniel Birnbaum, was asked to choose the artist to create the interior of these new facilities: German artist Tobias Rehberger designed the bar-restaurant in a Memphis design style and won the Biennale’s best artist lion for this project.


I think this is a strange decision, because there were a lot better contributions. (Could it have played a role that Birnbaum has been Rector of the German Staedelschule in Frankfurt where Rehberger is currently a professor?)


Nevertheless, I think the curated exhibition in the Biennale’s own pavilion is very good.



Tomas Saraceneo: ‘Galaxies Forming along Filaments, like Droplets along the Strand’s of a Spider’s Web’ of 2009 © photo by Premier Art Scene


I liked the large installation ‘Galaxies Forming along Filaments, like Droplets along the Strand’s of a Spider’s Web’ by the Argentine artist Tomas Saraceno. He is fascinated in innovative architectural projects and combines it with his interest in the complex geometric forms a spider web.


Natalie Djurberg: ‘Experimentet’ of 2009 © photo by Premier Art Scene


The Swedish artist Nathalie Djurberg created a strange room called ‘Experimentet’ with monstrous plastic flowers and a Claymation film projection. It is very dark and the video presents an absurd Garden of Eden in which all that is natural goes awry. I like her installations.


Georges Adéagbo in front of his installation ‘La creation et les creations…!’ of 2009 © photo by Premier Art Scene


Georges Adéagbo is one of the rare African artists, who still live and work there (in Cotonou, Republic of Benin) after they become famous. He became known to a wider audience by his contribution to the Documenta 11 of 2002.


For the Biennale he made one of his site-specific installations of a large number of found and newly made objects. Some of them are of European origin; some of them are of West African origin.


Georges Adéagbo: ‘La creation et les creations…!’ of 2009 and ‘visiting’ André Cadere: ‘Six barres de bois rond’ of 1975 © photo by Premier Art Scene


In the whole exhibition you can find minimal works by Polish born artist André Cadere (1934 – 1978): These are wooden poles ‘visiting’ the work of other artists. In the 70s the artist carried his ‘Barres de bois rond’ through the city or inserted them into other artists’ shows. The six works visiting the Biennale belong to the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, France.


It is interesting to see them ‘communicate’ with the installation of Georges Adéagbo and others.


Biennale’s director, Daniel Birnbaum, explains: ‘The exhibition is anchored historically through the presence of a number of works by older artists such as André Cadere, Öyvind Fahlström, Gordon Matta-Clark, Yoko Ono, Blinky Palermo and Lygia Pape. Typical for these artists is their relevance as constant sources of inspiration for younger artists.’


Yoko Ono: ‘Shadow Piece’ of 1963 © photo Premier Art Scene

From the 1960s Yoko Ono shows her conceptual ‘Paintings to be Constructed in your Head’. At that time she was one of the first to question the necessity of an actually present (and sellable) ‘work’ of art.


I like her work very much, as it is highly conceptual and very poetic too.


Toba Khedoori: ‘Untitled’ of 2008 © photo by Premier Art Scene

According to the currend trend, there was traditional drawing too:


Toba Khedoori is an Australian artist, who now lives and works in Los Angeles, USA. She does very detailed large graphite on paper drawings of single objects: a chair, a tree, a crumpled sheet.


They are somewhat academic, but quite beautiful.



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