The Giardini della Biennale, the gardens where the exposition is set up, are located in a large area in front of the S.Marco basin. In it, thirty separate buildings host as many independent art galleries; each of them features a different, distinctive architecture, and each contains works from artists of the represented country. In addition to those thirty buildings in the Giardini, other sites around the Venice island host works from artists from other countries of the World. You can see the layout of the site in the picture below.
The exposition has quite some significance for me, because I used to visit it frequently in my youth -even as a child- because my father was then the Director of the historical archive of the Biennale. He brought me and my brothers there several times, for the exposition or for vernissages and other events. So, since in later years I have visited the Giardini rather infrequently, the places still evoke memories in me.
This year, my wife and I decided to go, and bring our kids with us. Maybe not too surprisingly, they enjoyed it as much as we did. These are usually not static expositions of paintings and sculptures, but more innovative forms of Art, with which the observer usually interacts. Videos, sounds, pathways in the dark, shadows and ligths: the artists usually compose their works tailored on the exhibition space, creating interesting sensory experiences for the visitors.
Without much further ado, let me show you a few of the things you can come and see this year. The exhibit will continue until November 22nd -so you still have plenty of time to buy plane tickets!
Above, Filippo and Ilaria in front of the Gardens, before our visit.
Ilaria in front of a few beautiful vases in the Spain pavilion, by artist Miquel Barcelò. Both my wife and I liked the works of this artist.
This is in the Belgian pavilion. The artist, Jef Geys, collected herbs around New York and pictured them before drying them, creating a metropolitan herbarium. Not too exciting, but the idea is original (at least to me).
Filippo, Mariarosa and Ilaria in front of the main pavilion.
Filippo and Ilaria pose in front of a work titled "Cave Model", by Rachel Kedoori.
Ilaria and Mariarosa try to get through unhindered in the room hosting the 2009 work of Tomas Saraceno, titled "Galaxies Forming along Filaments, like Droplets along the Strands of a Spider's Web".
This was by Nathalie Djurberg, "Experiment", 2009. Impressive. The picture does not give full justice to the installation, which was set up in a dimly lit room.
Filippo finding his way through the maze of superclusters of galaxies.
I unfortunately forgot the name of the artist who built this setup. Filippo does not care, as he walks down the wall unbothered.
Hans-Peter Feldmann, Shadow Play, 2002-2009. Unfortunately, again the picture does not pay justice to the work.
This was quite interesting. A film is spinning in the projector, and the outside structure lets the film run up and down in vertical, surrounding the "ladder" of supporting poles. It is a work from Simon Starling, "Wilhelm Noack oHg", 2006.
This is just the open library of the main pavilion. I liked the shelves....
And this is nothing but the café. I wonder why nobody opens a similar one outside an art exhibition...
This was in the Brazil pavilion. It is a large acrilic painting on canvas, by Delson Uchoa. There were several of these, all rather interesting.
Outside of the Venice pavilion, a garden of glass was set up by Dale Chihuly. This is a 2008 work. Beautiful, if you ask me.
And this work and the next one are the two I liked the most. They are by Alessandro Diaz de Santillana, and I was awed by them. I would love to own one of these, so please remember it for the day when you will be thinking of a gift for me.
This is the other one I liked a lot.
And this is yours truly, courtesy Filippo Dorigo, in the Greek pavilion.
This is a rather shocking work, portraying a dead man in a swimming pool. His glass and cell phone lay on the bottom on the lower right. I forgot to ask the author's name.
After the exhibit we had time for a drink, a very nice seafood dinner at a place we never visit (the Giardini of La Biennale are on the opposite side of Venice from where we live), and a walk on the side of the S.Marco basin, where we enjoyed the sunset. I hope you liked the pictures -I liked the exhibition.