150609: La Biennale di Venezia – 53. Venice Biennale – Italian Pavilion

La Biennale di Venezia – 53. Venice Biennale – Italian Pavilion Inventing worlds without history The widespread medial popularity of the Venice Bienniale is remarkable. Maybe even understandable. Curator Daniel Birnbaum makes clear indications in the direction of a comprehensive consensus project. His exhibition at the Arsenale and the former Italian Pavilion in the Giardini successfully avoids the critical reflection, although the selected positions could tell another story. Obviously “Fare Mondi / Making Worlds” refers to late 20th century discursive developments, to Fluxus, to post minimalistic movements or to art forms, that take up a direct dialogue with urban developments, such as Gordon Matta Clark’s interventions. Even hints on dimensions of performative manifestations, such as André Cadarés’ interventions, to which an exiting exhibition in Bucharest was devoted last year, can be discovered. But Cadarés colourfully painted bars (Barres de bois rond), which he utilized as mobile markings beyond art venues in the 1970s, look lost. And Öyvind Fahlströms fabulous map transformations come across as somewhat incidental. And this does not only pertain to his works. Other presentations also seem subdued or torn out of their context. By referring to specific “worlds”, constituted during the course of artistic production in accordance with the motto of the exhibition, Birnbaum points to a central way of comprehension, but mediates this as an anthropological constant. He thereby directs the view to visual, grammatical systems, something that is definitely legitimate, but at the same time he marginalizes a significant component: the critical global reference. Other exhibitions in the past were successful in doing so: the NGBK Berlin with the project “Political / Minimal” last year and Cathrin David’s documenta X, with works by Öyvind Fahlström and Gordon Matta Clark. Daniel Birnbaum as the renowned editor, art historian, and Academy director, chose the approach of a skilful art-diplomat. In addition, hardly anyone worked with the lighting in the former Italian pavilion. Maybe that is the reason why George Adéagbo’s presentation comes across as sterile; just as reserved as the art-anarchist Tony Conrad’s film paintings. Refreshing on the other hand one of the few videos that Birnbaum decided to integrate: Dominique Gonzalez Foerster presenting an ironic view on the invitation procedure and the adventurous production circumstances in Venice. By Roland Schöny La Biennale die Venezia 30122 Venezia, Giardini della Biennale, until 22. 11. 09 www. labiennale.org

Österreichischer Pavillon - La Biennale di Venezia
30122 Venezia, Giardini della Biennale
Öffnungszeiten: täglich 11 - 19 h, Fr, Sa bis 20 h,
Montag geschlossen außer 25/07, 15/08, 5/09, 19/09, 31/10, 21/11

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