Saturday, July 29, 2017

280. The Venice Biennale #1

My prime reason forcoming to Venice - after being there just a couple of years back to gawk at all the touristy things - was this time to visit the Biennale Art Exposition ...

The Venice Biennale is an arts foundation - based in Venice - that has had a continuous existence supporting the arts since the first exposition in 1895. Each two years since then - with a few exceptions because of wars - the Foundation has held this event.
 
The first exhibition ( primarily established to promote Italian artists ... ) was opened on April 30, 1895 by the Italian King and Queen, Umberto I and Margherita di Savoia, and was seen by 224,000 visitors – and in more recent years that number of visitors has risen to over half a million in 2015.
 


The event became increasingly international in the first decades of the 20th century: from 1907 on, several countries installed national pavilions at the exhibition, with the first being from Belgium. In 1910 the first internationally well-known artists were displayed - a room dedicated to Gustav Klimt, a one-man show for Renoir, a retrospective of Courbet. A work by Picasso was removed from the Spanish salon in the central Palazzo because it was feared that its novelty might shock the public. By 1914 seven pavilions had been established: Belgium (1907), Hungary (1909), Germany (1909), Great Britain (1909), France (1912), and Russia (1914).

So ... leaving the comfort of my air-conditioned Airbnb apartment in Spinea - on the mainland - and heading out into the hot Italian sun, it's a half hour bus ride to the bus station in Venice at the head of the crazy-noisey-but-very-beautiful Grand Canal ...

 ferries & taxis & delivery boats & garbage collection boats
and emergency service boats all vi for passage with the
tourist-laden gondolas on this chaotic 4km water-way ...

... then it's onto a "water-bus" for another half-hour ride down the Grand Canal ...

and out into the lagoon past the famous landmarks of Venice ...
  

 and finally to the The Giardini site for my first day of the exposition ...  

The Giardini is the original and the main venue for the show and is a large parkland ( almost on the tip of the main island ) that houses 29 permanent national pavilions - and it is here that I start my gallery-crawl that is going to take me the best part of two days ...

Each of the pavilions throughout the exposition feature several works by just one artist -  chosen to represent their country - by that individual nations selection board - a great honour for any artist.

I am one of the first through the gate at 10am (  ... and no that is not me up front ... !!! ) - and for the first couple of hours the crowds are pretty much bearable - however, by noon the masses have arrived and the place soon fills up ...

Of course being the patriot that I am, my first stop is the Australian Pavilion ...

 Australia ...


The Australian exhibition: My Horizon – by indigenous artist Tracey Moffatt – is a series of powerful and emotional photographs and videos based on the theme of “false memories, history and fiction”.



 ... the pavilion from a canal

then it is on to visit the rest ... 

My apologies to the artists and curators of the exhibitions, but I just didn't have enough space on my camera to record the details of each artist - as it was - I came home with a flat battery and just under 400 images ... !!! ... If you Google the Country's entry in the Biennale you can find out more details. Also I have not featured all the national pavilions that I visited in my blog post - here are just but a few of my favourites ( the right of the wanderer ... ).

Czech Republic ...
 

.......................................  

I have awarded - First Prize - to the Brits ... 
for the most interesting and the most engaging ( for this artist )
exhibition of the Biennale ...
......................................

Great Britain ...
 




Canada ...
 


 Germany ...

The queue to enter the pavillion ...
I made a mental note to come back to Germany -
but forgot ... !!!
 
 South Korea ...


Japan ...
 



 Russia ...



The "Nords" ...
 


 Denmark ...


Switzerland ...
 


 Belgium ...


Hungry ...
 




United States of America ...
 

 Austria ...


Serbia ...
 



 Venice ...



 Poland ...


 Romania ...


Greece ...
 


The Giardini includes a large exhibition hall that houses a themed exhibition curated by the Biennale's director, and that's next on the agenda after a coffee and sandwhich and a foot rest.