Two internationally important shows provided me with context for the start of the new academic year.
One ceramic orientated, the other one focused on modern international art helped me position myself between these two and bring plenty of inspirations.
Both featured great number of sculptural works, but the Venice Biennial provided much larger scope and form, in many cases challenging the field of sculpture on an international level.
In Venice, I could become sculpture, through the form of action, or rather interaction.
A large, old and abandoned wooden hut by Georgian artist Vajiko Chachkhiani transports you to a very real place with the strong sense of angst, loneliness, and the weight of history, politics and religion. The air is full of musky wooden aroma, escaping from the crafted wood structure, which is echoing with irregular water drips as they fall on the interior wooden floor.
Only to be later confused by mirror maze where objects merge into new forms in their reflection, by Alicja Kwade from Poland. Furthermore, her large stone planets reminded me about the fundamental materiality of our world, and its dominance on our lives.
Venice allows you to wear art
or be totally engulfed in the city’s colours, light and reflections, material richness and the history of architectural cultivation.
The light, shadow and materiality was further explored in an installation by Gerard Kuijpers and Karyn Taylor.
Materiality was very much one of the themes running through the Venice Biennale.
French-Vietnamese artist Thu-Van Tran presents to us a historic, as well as sensory and physical perspective on rubber. A substance with strong materiality, potential and abstract, that can be moulded and stained. History is story of occupation, contamination, interaction. Same as there’s no one that hasn’t been stained by the nature, the world.
The Italian pavilion presented a sculptural landscape determined by materiality. Of its decay and rebirth, and persistence of our ideals, believes and hopes.
The anti-monumental qualities of the decaying body were interestingly reflected in the British Pavilion, monumentally presented by Phyllida Barlow. It gave a sense that everything is rather one big complex mess, and we humans are somewhat tiny, but can still trip and contribute to the cascading disarray.
In the Danish pavilion natural greenery and simple geometrical sculptures – soaked and dripping, beautifully overtook the architecture, to become a complex sculpture, a maze.