Wednesday, May 6, 2015

7 Glimpses of the Opening Days (and a Night) of the 56th Biennale

The exhibition pieces start before you even enter the Giardini proper: this one (which I had no time to find out anything about) seeming to raise questions with its emergency service colors and material about what happens when a particular culture's very mode of dress starts to be interpreted as a hazard

My involvement in a Biennale project has left me with almost no time to do anything else but I wanted to post a few images from yesterday and today's opening days, even if I must do so with almost none of the explanation that the works merit.

At present I can only refer you to the Biennale's official website:

The Biennale opens to the public on May 9.

Oscar Murillo's heavy black drapes and Glenn Ligon's neon "blues blood bruise" adorn the front of the Central Pavilion

David Adjaye's beautifully-designed ARENA space within the Central Pavilion is the setting for a continuous series of live performances

If you look closely at the above photo you'll see a blond woman speaking into a microphone just beneath the "N" of FINLANDIA. But, like most people actually at the Biennale, your attention was probably entirely taken up by the table in the foreground laden with champagne bottles and the pourers handing out free glasses of it.
Isaac Julien's new installation Stones Against Diamonds received a very brief 1-day showing at Palazzo Malipiero-Barnabò. Its premiere will actually occur at the forthcoming Art Basel. Julien is the director, however, of the Biennale's Das Kapital Oratorio, shown in an image above on the ARENA stage.
One of the countless parties that punctuate the end (or beginning) of each of the Biennale's opening days--for a fuller depiction of which I refer you to Geoff Dyer's comic novella Jeff in Venice, in which a very contemporary English version of Thomas Mann's Gustav Von Aschenbach learns that even the consummation of one's desire for a younger beloved can leave a whole lot to be desired.

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