The segment travel to Venice started on June 23rd, the arrival date, and lasted
until June 28th, being dedicated to touring the 2022 Biennale Arte
10 years passed since I last visited the Venice Biennale - with an all women group-
big art consumer.
This year I joined a group, born out of a collaborative initiative between:
The tour was lead by :
Gilit Ivgi - an Art Scholar, who has guided her Ascolot's art students,also at Venice's previous International Art Exhibitions
The 59th Biennale's exhibits (Runs from 23 April to 27 November here).
is showcased in 2 main Exhibition Centers: at which the International Pavilions are situated in the Giardini and the Arsenale
Giardini - a park space constructed by Napoleon when he conquered Venice at the end of the 18c. Since 1895 the annual Biennale exhibits have take place (a yer after the invasion to Venice) and since then Venice is reshaped into an art center city
Arsenale - during the Golden Age of the 16 c a complete ship could be build over night as the legend tells, in this huge shipyard space of the past. The huge high space on site are used since 1999 for staging large public installations.
During the Biennale, on each of the 2 sites, a Centers Stage exhibit. is displayed, and
out of the 85 exhibit pavilions, 30 are in the Giardini, 30 at the Arsenale and the rest, also accompanied by many art pieces and related events/ parades, are spread
in rented spaces, all around the city..
95% of the art work is presented by women artists and only 5% by men.
To me , art is gender-less, but the exhibit director was bent on changing the above.
is the name given to this year's Biennanle which aspired to be an optimistic exhibit, but actually wasn't....
It was curated by Cecilia Alemani.
“As the first Italian woman to hold this position,"
Cecilia has resided for the past 10 years in NYC and has been involved with the HighLine public art of the urban park in New York, project, and was the past curator of the Italian Pavilion at 2017 Biennale
She has a valuable experience in.curating large public installations , but is very ideological.
Chaos At TLV Airport (here)
The taxi which arrived , on time, at 2:30 am , got to the airport׳s entrance gate in 20 minutes only, an advantage of taking a ride deep into the wee hours of the night
However the extended long car lines started queuing up at the gate itself, and became unbelievably much longer, crowded, and totally dismorphic, with the incoming swelled waves of passengers, inside the departure halls and at the Passport Security Check, .
Warning scare announcements had been broadcast on Israeli media for the past week , predicting that over 70k Israeli travelers would swarm the airport terminals, throughout the day
Our group, part of the forecast, showed up, on that same early morning of June 23rd,
for a departure flight to Venice .
Not only TLV airport , but many other airports, around the globe have suffered from many flight cancellations, piled up left behind luggage, and gross endless queuing lines , all due to a shortage in pilots, and ground operation stuff.
Non of the commercial airlines or travel operators, had predicted that travel craving appetite of the “incarcerated” Corona bound populous, would so fast bounce back and at such enormous magnitude..
Though relatively civilized travelers waited in the long ques, the disorganized security checking process turned into a a gross nightmare, just because of the sheer volume of people, and the slow speed of check-up, due to shortage of workers.
Life turned Surreal.
There was some cutting and pushing in line, and it took my friend Carmela and I , almost 2 hours , just with carry on, to make it through, into the boarding departure gate.
Then, the very full El Al flight, didn’t left on the 6:00am due time, as it was delayed by passengers, who got stranded behind, throughout the chaotic check in process.
Finlay, the flight took off, and that part seemed to pass fast, as I was asleep all through it shading off the exhaustion of the disrupted night, and the airport entire mad experience.
Getting out from Venice airport, on the other hand was by contrast, short, fast and efficient experience.
My heart always miss a beat, when I return to this sinking magical city, of most glorious historical past, busy gondolas gliding smoothly through its narrow canals, and electric ambiance, like non in any other city.
This year the extended heat wave, also added another "blazing" dimension...
A 15 minutes Taxi boat ride drooped the group, at the Palace Bonvecchiati hotel , by the main San Marco square, where we had a short half an hour - get ready for the day- time, and off we departed for the day's exploration.
Focal themes at this year's Biennale
1.One of the main focal items this year deals with the concept Surrealism, originally coined in the end of the 1920, and with the Neo-surrealism in use by younger artists who pays tribute to the original surrealism.
Surrealism - a cultural movement that developed in Europe in the aftermath of World War I, and its purpose is to describe Uber-Reality that may exist in fantasy or the imaginative sub conscious. Thus the art is magical, imaginative and legendary
The subjects depicted are unnerving and illogical scenes, with use of developed techniques to allow the unconscious mind to express itself.
Hieronymus Bosch is considered the Influential source of this art movement
Known artists in this Art Stream
Max Ernst- A German born 1891 after WW1 , a painter, sculptor, print-maker, graphic artist, and poet.who previously was identified as Dadaist artist and later embraced surrealism, as well as a French identity, In protest to the rise of Hitler to power, he renouncing his German citizenship. Arrived in the US in 1948
Leonora Carrington, also a surrealist - a British artist was one of Ernst's wives from 1937-1941, Her work is also exhibited in the main exhibit center and also in the temporary exhibit in the Guggenheim . Mutual artistic influence existed between these two
In 1941 Leonora tried to save Ernest from the Nazis when France was invaded, but while trying to get him a passport, she was abandoned by him (Ernest left France with Peggy Guggenheim to the US) and suffered a psychiatric breakdown in Spain,
Married to his 3rd wife Peggy for a while (1942-1946) Ernest then hooked-up with the artist Dorotea Tanning , also exhibited in the Biannale
"Surrealism and Magic"
Carrington's painting from the temporary exhibit at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum
Andra Ursuta (1979) a Romanian sculptor which creates marvelous colorful imperfect humans with beast-like parts, made of glass, which both are frightening and intriguing
Neo-surrealism, an artistic genre that illustrates the complex imagery of dream or subconscious visions and irrational space and form combinations.
The term has been given to the reappearance of well-known surrealism movement in the late 1970s, in use by the younger generation of artists who have payed tribute to the original coined term..
The hyper-Reality potrayed may exist in fantasy or the imaginative sub conscious , thus the art is magical, imaginative and legendary, and at times uncanny or repulsive
Visualization of the conquering sub conscious on the human being, which can be foreign frightening and threatening.
2.Additional focal themes dealt with revisiting mainstream historical constructions, and deconstructing prevalent conceptional frameworks of those who have been long in power, while reconstructing new frames of consciousness, and empowerment of populations as: blacks, women, a mix of gender identities and other minorities who have been marginalized in society throughout history.
Renascence of African conciseness, Wok culture, Religious symbolism of Saints, Muslim spirituality, were all in the presentation mix, viewed as being most appropriate for display at most Renaissance Venetian City
3. Social, Political, Ecological and Robotic activism, Feminism and other conceptual-ism-s were all present in a creative art mix.
The threat of Robot technology that may replace today's humans, or designs to fulfill their needs and fantasies. and Influences of hybrid mythological creatures as well as that of science fiction literature and movies on aliens, shape today's art work representation of modern bionic creatures.
First stop, at San Giorgio Maggiore - Kehinde Wiley Exhibit
At the back of the building complex, a rented space showcased Kehiinde's exhibit
"Archeology of Silence"
The exhibit, of the gay Afro American known artist Kehinde Wiley , in collateral collaboration with the Biennale, is named "Archeology of Silence" is free to the public.
Kehinde Wiley is best known for his flowery Obama portrait (see below)
He paints with lush decorative background in his portraits reminder of
Black figures float in colorful flowers
In this new body of work, Wiley highlights the brutality of the colonial, American and global past, using the figurative language of the fallen hero.
In the series of unpublished monumental paintings and sculptures, of prone black bodies in classical pictorial forms poses, and somber atmosphere.
Inspired initially by Hans Holbein's painting "The Dead Christ in the Tomb", as well as by historical paintings and sculptures of fallen warriors and figures in the resting state, a series of Kehinde's contemporary haunting art work, resonates with violence, pain and death. It corresponds with George Floyd events, and Blacks Struggle is portrayed in homo erotic expressions. and also symbolizes a vision of the Black Renaissance.
Expanded on these core thematic elements, that were once unspoken, is Wiley's way to break the silence : "This is the archeology that I am unearthing: the specter of police violence and state control over the bodies of young blacks around the world."
Homage to blacks killed for being black.
Wiley's fallen black figure is shriveled on the aggrandized hose
By the way a nationwide tour of
"The Obama Portrait tour" at the San Francisco De Young museum showcasing
Kehinde Wiley work took place from July 1- to Aug 14/2022
From the moment of their unveiling at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in February 2018, the official portraits of President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama became iconic.
Throughout his career, Wiley addressed the lack of Black representation in Western art history, using portraiture to explore complex issues of identity.
Second Stop - On the ground of Santa Maria della Pieta
The 18 c Baroque church was built between 1745 and 1760 according to the design of Giorgio Massari.
Even more famous than the church is the Ospedale behind it, the orphanage where Vivaldi gave his lessons.
And the ground is often used as a rented space for art exhibits, where the next 2 exhibits were presented.
The Zimbabwe Pavilion (here)
I did not leave a sign?
Located at a short walk from the Doge's Palace. Santa Maria della Pietà, (Calle della Pietà) a prominent 18c church, at a rugged space, which the Zimbabawe Gov rented to showcase the art work of these 4 chosen artists, product of the country's National Gallery
Wallen Mapondera, Ronald Muchatuta, Kresiah Mukwazhi, Terrence Musekiwa
Their work, an homage to their African traditions and folklore use arts and crafts consisting of local basic materials like eggs cartons, and also includes tech wire remedies. It corresponds to the magic and strange beauty in the unexpected, uncanny, disregarded, and unconventional. And it deals with questions on how to maintain the cultural legacy of the past yet also move to a better future
Carole Feuerman (here) - Master of Hyperrealizm
Just next door to the Zimbabwe exhibit, in a rented space, the work of another known NYC 's white artist, sculptor Carole Feuerman was on a commercial display.
Her hyper realistic outdoors beautiful grandiose sculptures of competitive swimmers, meant to highlight women empowerment.
Her works reminds some of the pop- art of Jeff Kunz, but with an emphasis on women.
Third -last Stop - San. Zaccaria Church
Considered a pearl of Venentian Renaissance, San Zaccaria church, is located just off the waterfront, in Campo San Zaccaria at the Castello district, very near by San Marco square.
Its history began in the 9th c with the construction of the first building to house the sacred remains of St. Zechariah,-father of John the Baptist., donated to Venice by the Byzantine Leo V the Armenian,
More recent history of San Zaccaria, after several destructions, began in 1458, with the Renaissance restyling, designed by the architect Mauro Codussi, (1440–1504) and includes the facade: characterized by the white stone, round arch as a frontispiece, and series of twin columns, "perforated" by high and slender windows.
The interior has the space divided into 3 naves. The church houses one of the most famous work by Giovanni Bellini, the San Zaccaria Altarpiece. made in 1505, which is one of the most important works of the History of Mo dern Art,
Bellini's painting describes a contemplative atmosphere with an holly conversation about Jesus future.
Another important artist of the early Renaissance the florentine- Andrea del Castagno, who added a cycle of frescoes, executed between 1442 and 1444.
Venice Scenes on the way back to the hotel
The "Moaning" Bridge A monument of king vittorio Emanuel
San Marco Square Palazzo Ducale Rio Orseolo
By Hotel Cavalleto- Rio Orseolo
Very near San Marco.
It is a known Gondoliers eating point, very reasonable priced but the food is only OK.
To be continued .....