VENICE BIENNALE 2013

Real Art, Real Vibes. A whirlwind trip to a sinking city.photo 3

I thought I wasn’t going to make it this year – but some last minute rearranging had me back on track. And the 55th Venice Biennale did not disappoint. From Ireland’s own outstanding Richard Mosse to the more underground vibes of Palazzo Peckham, this year at Venice was once again Art overload in the best kind of way. There’s far to much to name check everything we saw so here’s a brief guide to our five (and a bit) favourites on show this year.

Returning to Venice is Iceland’s Ragnar Kjartansson, with S.S. Hangover, a beautiful boat that ‘will sail between two landings in the canal in the Arsenale. The boat will be manned by a brass sextet continuously playing a piece by composer Kjartan Sveinsson that was created specifically for this kinetic sculpture. The S.S. Hangover a haphazard hybrid of Greek, Icelandic, and Venetian ship design, was originally a 1934 wooden fishing boat from Reykjavík. It has been transformed by the artist into a replica of a theatrical boat that appeared on dry land in a swanky party scene in the 1935 film, Do You Remember Last Night.’ I mean what’s not to love.

Bedwyr Williams, The Starry Messenger, for Wales pays homage to Galileo who presented his first telescope in Venice.

Theirry De Cordier’s sea painting were absolutely captivating, I wanted to stay the day with them. So beautiful Tempete en Mer du Nord – Etude No3 was utterly stealable.

photoTheirry De Cordier

Palazzo Peckham completely nailed the vibe, a super fun pavilion with a great young team with infectious levels of energy and creativity.

Richard Mosse raised the bar considerably for Ireland at Venice with his meticulous and highly immersive five-screen multimedia installation, The Enclave. ‘The Enclave is a mythic conflation of many discrete rebel enclaves in Eastern Congo. These pieces were absolutely incredible, visually mind blowing, shot over a period of two years Mosse, and his collaborators Tweeten, and Frost inserted themselves as journalists within armed groups, which fight nomadically in a war zone plagued by frequent ambushes, massacres and systematic sexual violence.’ This is one Pavilion not to be missed.

On a side note the Lithuanian & Cyprus Pavillion had what must have been the most interesting promo video doing the rounds, but the work was less than memorable.

Oh and then there’s the parties of course, Ireland nailed it again taking over an old anarchists building and producing a full on rave with DJ Suspect. If there was a roof to be taken off the courtyard of the Palazzo where Nicolas Jaar played for Chile’s party he would have lifted it for sure. Alfredo Jaar Nico’s father is the representing artist for Chile this year. Neon Neon played for Wales opening and Rosa Lux played a cracker of a set for the Danish one.

Hotel Bauer keeps the vibe alive late into the night – my charging iPhone got accidentally taken by an art star on Thursday night, leaving me phoneless for the rest of the trip, luckily when I got back to Ireland I rang it and the unintentional thief answered and posted the phone back to me, complete with the charger, 22 missed calls and 63 messages.

The art is, of course, world class and the vibe is beautiful, so go visit one of the most beautiful cities on earth, soak up the culture and lose yourself in others imaginations.

The 55th International Art Exhibition runs in Venice from June 1st to November 24th, 2013.

-MN

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