Primož Jakopin, photo diary

Impressions from
La Biennale di Venezia 2015 / 56th International Art Exhibition
14 October 2015, 30 pictures

Most images are approximately 533 x 800 pixels in size. The numbers in front of the picture descriptions are the serial numbers of the original photo files.
Photos taken by and copyright (c) Primož Jakopin 2015.


27925. La Biennale is the oldest, since 1895, and now probably most prestigious non-commercial art exhibition, in the first lines of contemporary artistic trends. The usual crowds and lines in front of major exhibits were missing on this occasion, mainly because of rain, dull sky and even more repellent weather forecast. In the picture - view west north west from the Giardini quay, close to the exhibition entrance, with Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica left center.




27893. Elisabetta Benassi: M'FUMU (2015), composition of ceramic bones, Belgian Pavilion. The exhibit was the first reminder of the ominous future in front of us.




27894. John Akomfrah: Vertigo Sea (2015), three screen film installation, Central Pavilion. Three canvases with the same wider topic, the sea, one of which was sharply contrasting the highly aesthetic other two, with scenes of north sea carnage from old documentaries, mainly the butchery of whales and polar bears, kept bombarding the viewer with multifaceted, sweet-and-sour impressions.




27895. The audience




27896. Hans Haacke: Blue Sail (1964-1965), installation, Central Pavilion. A nice maritime touch.




27897. Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige: Latent Images: Diary of a Photographer (2009-15), video-accompanied reading, Arena of the Central Pavilion. A very persuasive performance.




27898. One of the venue restaurants - in black and white




27899. View west from the bridge over the canal which divides the southern and northern sides of the Giardini exhibition venue.




27900. Ivan Grubanov: Ujedinjenje Mrtve Nacije (United Dead Nations) (2015), installation, Serbian Pavilion. Piled trashed flags of countries that no longer exist - in the picture: Yugoslavia, 1918 - 2003.




27901. Adrian Ghenie, Persian Miniature (2013), oil on canvas, Romanian Pavilion. Paintings at the Biennale increasingly gave way to installation and videos, or were only distant echos of vibrant paintings from La Belle Époque, such as the Apotheosis (2015) by Jiří David, a very hard to watch (in the mirror) black and white reworking of Alphonse Mucha's Apotheosis of the Slavs: Slavs for Humanity (1926). In this bleak situation the above Ghenie's painting was a more than welcome opposite, a sign that all is not lost, the best example of hope in dire times.




27903. Fiona Hall: Wrong Way Time (2015), circular wall installation with round light sources, Australian Pavillion. This work could be a good starting point for a less vibrant, but possibly very attractive ceiling light installation.




27904. Fiona Hall: Wrong Way Time (2015), circular wall installation with wood, Australian Pavillion. Mondriaan style composed collection of mainly root wood pieces.




27905. Marco Maggi: GLOBAL MYOPIA (2015), pencil and paper, Uruguay Pavilion. The walls of this hall, as well as of many others in the Biennale, were virtually empty. Only a close view revealed some marginal outlines of streets and houses, as on a very much washed out city map.




27906. Céleste Boursier-Mougenot: Kinetic forest (2015), mobile installation, French Pavilion. The pine with roots and considerable amount of earth (several m3) around them moved at moderate speed around the hall, in a iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaner fashion, yet kept at a reasonable distance away from the walls. Along the branches small PVC tubes with water were installed to keep it moist. A distraction from dark-times-ahead themes.




27907. Sarah Lucas: Deep Cream Maradona (2015), sculpture, British Pavilion. A giant self-propelled, sausage inspired, mantis like male private part.




27908. Jasmina Metwaly and Philip Rizk: Draw It Like This (2015), floor tile installation, German Pavilion. (It) takes some time to recognize it as a work of art.




27909. Spectators in the main hall of the German Pavilion, with a blue LED grid on the ceiling, floor and the walls, are watching the video installation Factory of the Sun by Hito Steyerl.




27910. Chiharu Shiota: The Key in the Hand (2015), installation, Japan Pavilion. View of the first of the two derelict wooden boats, under the sky of read thread knitwork, with a myriad of keys instead of stars. A decent representative of the excellence from the Land of the Rising Sun.




27911. Red knitwork sky, up close




27912. First boat from behind




27913. The passage between the first boat and the second




27914. Russian Pavilion from the outside. The best looking building of them all.




27915. Camille Norment, Rapture (2015), Nordic Pavilion. Large window frames, thrown to the floor and with broken glass. Probably the most apocalyptic and ominous work of the exhibition. Would fit equally well at the eve of WWII as it fits to futureless and apparently knowhere-leading modern time.




27916. Unknown artist: Casabe (2015), mural, Venezuelan Pavilion. A colour composition, inspired by the national flag.




27918. Argelia Bravo (with Félix Molina): Te doy mi palabra (I give you my word) (2015), video installation, Venezuelan Pavilion. One more sharp contrast, this time between the breast feeding of a baby and covert war insignia.




27919. Pamela Rosenkranz: All the World's Futures (2015), liquid installation, Swiss Pavillion. The hall bottom (probably a meter deep, certainly at least 20 cm, measured by the author's hand) was filled with semi-transparent water of light rosy colour, and ceiling's neon rods reflections. At first sight, and feel, it seemed that the time span, half a year since the exhibition opening, has contributed to the water's colour and (non)transparency, but later inquiries revealed that the liquid colour was supposed to match the standardized northern european skin tone and contained, besides water, many other ingredients such as bionin, evian, necrion, neotene, silicone, viagra as well as bacteria and other water microorganisms.




27920. Joana Vasconcelos: Garden of Eden (2015), installation, Swatch Pavillion. A maze of trails, delimited by low fences of LED-in-the-stem illuminated artificial flowers. The most underground-cave-like exhibit, slight navigation problems - the way to the exit was not exactly straight-forward - added to its charm.




27921. Garden of Eden flowers up close




27922. Duo IC-98 (Visa Suonpää and Patrik Sőderlund): Hours, Years, Aeons (2015), installation with video, Finnish Pavillion. Biennale's largest pile of weathered wood pieces put to artistic use.




27926. The evening clouds were gray but ... no rain on return as well. In the picture - view west from the quay with the church Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute left center.




  Zelške jame Caves, September 24     Makalu, December 10  

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