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Vernissage Week in Venice: Arsenale

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Vernissage Week in Venice: Main Pavilion

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Theaster Gates Salvages Lost Traditions

The Venice Trip Part 4

The Arsenale portion of the international group exhibition of the Venice Biennale is located in a 13th century munitions factory and fortress, connected by a bridge to the main Giardini location where the pavilions for the main show and 29 countries live. This giant brick warehouse has a big personality: fat columns, crude architectural details, and feels like a barn, whereas the Giardini pavilion is more traditional white cube museum.

Arsenale is a lively environment for bold contemporary art, especially installation or sprawling sculptural projects that need space to breathe. Works were hung from the ceiling, built into alcoves, and segued organically into one another. This exhibit felt like the main pavilion’s younger, hipper sister who wants not only to look at the art, but to party with it. Some of the works felt more like ‘projects’ here, rather than well thought out art exhibits, but I enjoyed the risk-taking and range with a special emphasis on craft materials.

If you want to check out a critical perspective on the work, check out: “The road to the Venice Biennale is paved with good intentions” by Christina Ruiz for The Art Newspaper. (ouch!) I’m still gnawing on this one.

Ernesto Neto “A Sacred Place”

LOVE this Installation by Irina Korina

Riccardo Guarneri, ItalianJeremy Shaw, Canadian

Maha Malluh, Saudi Arabia (detail below)

Rina Benerjee, India

I love this piece and the title is fantastic: “Additions to leaf and nut aroused, curled currency and culture to itch and moan as arrivals of plants from plantation, not just servants or slaves exploded, swelled to levels fantastic but without majestic magic hurt to ripen,” 2017.

Stitched paintings by Irina Korina, Russia (detail below) I LOVE THESE

More fiber based works (above and below) by Michele Ciacciofera, Italy

Julian Charriere Salt Sculptures

Portfolio (Manifesto) by Nicolás García Uriburu

Michelle Stuart, US “Flight of Time” (above and below)

Thu Van Tran, Vietnam “Overly forced gestures. From harvest to fight.”

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