Venice Biennale, Part Three

Chief Curator Janice Driesbach recently travelled to Italy where she experienced the Venice Biennale 55th International Art Exhibition. This is the third post in a series of three. Read the first post here and the second post here.

Venice is awash with tourists, although we had a nice conversation with a native Venetian one day. Among visitors, Italian seems to be the predominant language, followed by German. British and Australians are numerous among English speakers.

An English couple we encountered directed us to the Richard Mosse installation at the Irish pavilion, about 15 feet from a vaporetto stop or, since swimming in the canals is discouraged, half a mile following passageways around the canals. A marvelous multi-screen video captured in outdated military infrared film, part of which we had seen when Mosse spoke in Cleveland last year (pictured below and here is a link to an interview of Mosse at the Biennale)

Richard Mosse installation at the Irish pavilion
Richard Mosse installation at the Irish pavilion

Iraq offered both food and food for thought…

Iraq pavilion

…while Cyprus and Lithuania shared space in an arena/warehouse near the Arsenale:


At the Correr Museum was a very nice installation of Tony Caro sculpture, many pieces in spaces by themselves. That led to the Cuban pavilion in the adjacent archaeological museum, which featured a number of artists. An installation with birdcages with videos by Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons and Neil Leonard was superlative.‎


And, back at the Arsenale, we discovered amazing digital animations in China’s display, including one by Zhang Xiaotao called Sakya (approx. 15-min video viewable online via this gallery site). Was incredibly complex and defies description (cosmic, perhaps?).


Unfortunately, it was impossible to take in all the collateral Biennale exhibitions. And certainly with the hour+ long line to see San Marco (hordes of people pour out of gigantic cruise ships each morning), we missed the usual tourist destinations. At the end of our final day in Venice, we could have easily spent another several days just taking in Biennale events.

Explore the official Venice Biennale 55th International Art Exhibition site here.