Venice Biennale 2015 All the Worlds Futures: But Where Are They? (1/2)

Main entrance of 'All the Worlds Futures' at the Giardini (c) PAS


Okwui Enwezor curated ‘All the World Futures’, the signature show of the 56th Venice Biennale at the Giardini and the Arsenale. If you looked into the faces of the visitors at the preview (mainly art professionals, journalists and wealthy collectors), you could see a lot of confusion and disappointment. Often, even anger about the show.


My main problem with his all too narrow and dark show is that it lacks to point out any future for the world. Many works circle around urgent social issues like capitalism, colonialism, labor conditions, social issues and - also - Marxism.




View of Isaac Julien's 'Das Kapital' live reading of the book by Karl Marx at the Venice Biennale, 2015 (c) the artist; photo credit by PAS



If you thought history had closed the pages of Karl Marx’s ‘Das Kapital’, here in Venice, Okwui Enwezor reopens it and stages a lecture of it running every day through the end of the Biennale in November. Enwezor told the Guardian in an interview before the show, ‘I wanted to do something that has contemporary relevance and speaks to the situation we are in. And so I thought of Das Kapital, a book that nobody has read and yet everyone hates or quotes from.’



Installation view of Isaac Julien 'Das Kapital' two-screen video installation of 2013 (c) the artist; photo credit PAS



Many works are from, or look as if they were made in a time when Marxism was intellectual mainstream in the West, the late 1960s and 1970s. Sometimes you feel as if you were in a seminar on Marxism (like the video installation KAPITAL of 2013 by the British film-maker Isaac Julien), at other occasions you find an ironic approach to it (like Alexander Kluge’s ‘Nachrichten aus der ideologischen Antike: Marx, Eisenstien – Das Kapital of 2008 – 2015 featuring the German comedian Helge Schneider as masterblaster).



Installation view of Alexander Kluge's three screen video installation 'Nachrichten aus der ideologischen Antike: Marx, Eisenstein - das Kapital' 2008 - 2015 (c) the artist; photo credit by PAS



For many older visitors this show will be an unwanted reencounter with the fallen idols of their 1970s youth, or a surprising reappearance of a long time defeated enemy. I asked Russian artist Evgeny Svyatsky, member of the art collective AES+F, how he felt about this Marx lecture. He said, 'The readings reminded us about the 1970s (the epoch of Brezhnev) when we had to memorize Marx & Engels' texts just as a kind of a poetry or mantras for our exams in universities. For most of the  people in a so-called Socialist time in the USSR it was more or less a formal text, a kind of ritual.'



These individual issues are probably the largest potential of this depressing show. I simply doubt that theories of the past (may it be Marxism or Monetarism) will successfully serve as solutions for the future…




Robert Smithson 'Dead Tree' installation of 1969 (c) the artist; photo credit by PAS



If the show wants to point out all the worlds current problems - I ask, why is there no room to debate the questions circling around religious tolerance? Why is Christoph Büchel’s brilliant Mosque installation at the Icelandic pavilion not part of the Enwezor show?




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Ines, 13-12-15 21:05
There were so many quotes that rang true for me in this<a href=""> redniag</a>, but above all this one provoked me: “If you go after art and quality, the money will come later…We have to make the same decisions as the artists. Do they create great art or art that sells well? With the galleries it’s the same. Are they commercial or do they believe in something? We’re in a similar situation.”As we discussed in our last E-Journal, the questions of “art vs. business” and “money vs. integrity” are constant battles for modern day artists. All of us would love produce what we want to and get paid a fair amount for it, but in today’s society, that’s just not the way it works most of the time. I personally accepted this fact three years ago, deciding that as long as I was making art, I was happy. It didn’t always have to be about what I wanted to create; it could be commercial, I could get paid a lot to do it, and then in my free time, I could produce what I wanted. What’s so bad about that?I still don’t have to sit at a desk 10 hours a day, sell my soul to crunch numbers, or give up my passion for art. Am I really “losing my integrity as an artist” by coming to an artistic compromise to better suit my client? Is that really “selling out?” In a business sense, I still don’t see the end-all-be-all mentality. But at the same time, I understand the merit of Thornton’s statement in a gallery setting. Showcasing work in a gallery is about creating work that speaks to you. That’s what the viewers want to see—your voice, your experience. However, it’s hard to sit here and completely criticize artists for shifting their work to appeal more to the masses. If your artwork is good and your vision is wholly your own, but your execution is slightly altered to appeal more to a buying client, is that really selling out? What about if you show at art fairs year after year, but your passion is creating prints of dead animals that no one wants to buy (cough, cough Kiki Smith)? Is there a point of showcasing your work then? And how are you going to afford the materials to make the next series of works if selling the last set is what you’re depending on for income? How are you going to pay the monthly bills? Call it selling out, but artists are just humans like the rest of us, trying to make it by. And sometimes, as in every other area of life, we have to make sacrifices for a greater overall reward. ENOUGH about this quote though. I’m hopping off my soapbox. Good. NESS.To answer the next question:No, I’ve never been to the Art Basel in Miami, but I hear it’s the “Olympics of the Art World,” and chaoticly horrifying or not, I’m dying to go. I’ve experienced a few art fairs before and always come back with mixed reviews, but very rarely to I feel “horrified” by them. Inspired? Yes. Exhausted? Yes. Frustrated? Most definitely. Embarrassed? Sometimes. Horrified or alienated? Never. Maybe Art Basel will be a whole new experience for me. We’ll seeeeeeee!
Aneela, 15-12-15 22:00
There is an implied inpoccetenme. Out of everyone in the art world, collectors are the least professional. All they have to do is write a check. Collectors should be an earned gallery. An artist doesn't become an artist in a day, so a collector shouldn't become a collector in a day. It's a life long process. I never thought of art collectors to really be much of the process of art itself. I always thought of it more as artist and audience. Sure there are some middle men, dealers and what not, but I never thought of collectors to be their own category. They were pretty much lumped in with audience. To be honest an art collector doesn't really mean much to me. i would have a difficult time defining myself as a person who is just a collector. You collect things for hobbies. If I had the money, I would definitely buy art. If I could get my hand on as many pieces from my favorite artists I would be estactic but I would not call myself a collector and my role of being a collector would not be what defines me. I would buy art because I love and support it or if I had an emotional connection to the piece. I'm sure that is some of the motivation that some collectors have. I'm not sure why Mera Rubell's comment stuck out like that to me. It was a bit irksome. Along with how she seems horrified that Thorton could even ask to shadow them. She's a bit pretentious in my opinion. You're already surrounded by people for petes sake. It's not like you have much privacy anyways. I did know about Art Basel nor have I been to an art fair. I think I went to one on Park Ave two years ago. It was a nice afternoon spent but I don't recall seeing anything extraordinary. I only remember two artists. one who painting these abstracts paint drip landscapes on plywood, and another artist who painted these tiny tiles to create a larger image and then sold the tiles by groups. I definitely don't think it's an ideal way to view art. The only pro to it is if the artist is there at their booth and can talk to you about their work and their process. [url=]amksvig[/url] [link=]vyftifw[/link]
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