Now through November 26th, 2017
Highlights from the 57th Venice Biennale : Post-War to Post-digital”
SWITZERLAND : WOMEN OF VENICE CURATED BY PHILIPP KAISER
A catchy title for the pavilion whereby the tote bags were abundantly armed by women around the city made me recall Shirin Neshat’s series “Women of Allah” from over 20 years ago, of whom the women depicted in the photographs were armed with guns. “Women of Venice” is Kaiser’s interpretation of national identity. Giacometti’s lifelong refusal to identify with a national exhibition and thus not participate in any of the Venice Biennales of which he was invited. The arresting film by artists Teresa Hubbard/Alexander Birchler created a partially fictional and truthful film on the romance between Alberto Giacometti and the artist Flora Mayo in 1920s Paris. It is a compelling story where Flora finds herself lost in love and obsessively saddened by Alberto’s often absent nature, reflecting on his voluntary absence from the Venice Biennale during his entire career. The portrayal of Flora Mayo is of remarkable character, guesswork on the little information known about the artist.
In the indoor and outdoor areas of the pavilion, recent sculptural marvels responding to the work of Alberto Giacometti, by Carol Bove, New York based, Geneva born artist takes over the space with surprisingly gestural, interacting sculptures: “a ‘collage sculpture,’ seven bright cyan colored columnar structures, and a white glyph work” bended and morphed, made of metal and steel loosely referencing Giacometti’s “Les femmes de Venise” (1956). The cyan sculptures ‘dwell” in lightness, but indeed are heavily stationed. The ‘collage sculpture’ and the white glyph echoes numerous historical masters including John Chamberlain, Franz West and Alberto Giacometti, yet Bove’s sculptures feel alive and animate, in the post-digital age indicative of our times, like bodies moving in and through each other and the space around them.