Exhaustion is funding this stream of conscious breakdown of the pavilions at the Biennale Giardini for 54th Venice Biennale ILLUMinazioni.  Ten hours happily running around the pavilions like a child in a toy store and I can’t believe the day is over.  After seeing exhibitions and meeting artists, critics, buyers, gallerists, promoters and celebutantes, I felt like  seven days, ahem, minutes, in the art world. . .

Biennale Giardini Breakdown

  • Australia- best bags, loved the polyeuranthane reproductions, gut feeling:  a “Down Under” Duchamp
  • Austria- loved the space, felt upside down. Didn’t float, was I supposed to?
  • Belgium– nothing to write home about
  • Brazil- fishy and forced
  • Canada– O Canada, o Shearer! Beautiful paintings and sketches– felt like I was looking at two different sides of the Shearer’s brain, gentle versus agressive. Painterly versus rough. Loved them all. This is my choice for the prize
  • Denmark– thought the space was fun, had a lot of art from different artists but felt like an art showcase
  • Egypt– 5 video screens playing simultaneously, beautiful, peaceful, sad, simple
  • France- for the first time I liked Christian Boltanski, but thought it was all cock and not enough brain
  • Germany– felt like church, left me confused– not about art but about the space
  • Japan
  • Great Britain
  • Greece– tranquille, relaxing, place of reflection
  • Israel– beautiful and insightful.  Though not as provocative as I had expected/wanted
  • Holland
  • Venezia— loved the sound, vertical boats, felt a bit like a fashion display
  • Finland- cliche
  • Sweden— walking amongst the trees was amazing
  • Poland- The videos were shot beautifully, the color depth kept me watching. I need to know more about the subject matter, something very intriguing that pulls me in
  • Czech Republic
  • Slovakia
  • Korea
  • Romania
  • Russia– I loved the smell, sounds and how the light hit the wood
  • Serbia– a lighter Denmark, felt like a showcase of “Best of”
  • Spain– I find the idea of ongoing performances engaging, especially the risk of bad performance is a daily possibility. No fear here. Felt like warehouse too.
  • USA– probably one of the funniest installations I have seen, good to the see the US have a sense of humor instead of just posturing. Love the noise, love the gymnastics, and i love the fact that Allora is from Philadelphia.
  • Switzerland– Hirschhorn’s collection of junk put together with masking tape amazed me. Overwhelming, yet amazing.
  • Hungary-  car crash and opera
  • Uruguay– intimate, felt close to the artists, like I was sitting in their studio or spying on them
  • Venezuela- felt like I was almost floating with the street-style paintings on the walls

Canada, Steven Shearer: Exhume to Consume

Favorites? Canada, Switzerland, Egypt, USA, Sweden, Venezuela, Uruguay, Poland

Choice for Prize? Canada

Eva and Adele

It Bag of the Biennale, Australia

AustraliaBest Bag?  

Highlight?  Running into Eva and Adele, egg-headed art star twins from the future who I met in 1994 in a New York subway, and would repeated meet through out my incarnations in Philadelphia, Miami and Los Angeles. Only fitting that I met them in Venice in front of the German pavilion.

Best Bag?   Australia

Updates:   Germany/ Christoph Schlingensief was awarded best pavilion so I was way off with my disdain for this piece, whereas I was dead on with Australia as most coveted tote for the 54th Biennale.

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