Five Exhibits We're Dying to See at the Venice Biennale
There are plenty of reasons to visit Venice, Italy, but this week, the sinking city kicked off the biggest and best art event in the world: The Venice Biennale. With over 150 artists from 37 countries, along with more than 50 auxiliary exhibitions and events, every corner and canal in Venice will be surrounded by art.
We'll also be there to bring you a full report, and we'll be on Twitter and Instagram sharing our favorite images so check back often. In the meantime, here's a preview of five shows we're looking forward to viewing, compiled by Rodrigo Mejia and Aaron Liu.
25% Catalonia at Venice (SPAIN)
Spanish artist Francesc Torres, and filmmaker Mercedes Alvarez (from Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, respectively), present a collaborative project that documents “the reality of unemployment." The project, entitled 25%, (for the percentage of people unemployed in Spain—26.7 percent as of March, 2013) follows eight people from a wide array of professions (an architect, blue color worker, etc.) as they live with Torres, who photographed and documented their lives. To complete the collaboration Torres then relayed their opinions on art's impact in their lives with Mercedes Alvarez.
The Starry Messenger by Bedwyr Williams (WALES)
Image via Moelwyn Thomas
In the early 1600s, Galileo presented his first telescope in Venice. Welsh artist Bedwyr Williams used this as a starting point for his contribution to the Biennale, which is an homage to amateur astronomers (one of his heroes is Phil Sheperdsons, “who built his own telescope using catering-sized baked-bean cans held together with coat hangers”). The piece itself is an observatory, but Williams holds that its focus is on the astronomer, not the astronomy. Williams sees astronomers as being unfairly derided as hobbyists—pointing out that their obsessive passion is responsible for many comet sitings and the like: “It's one of the few hobbies that is important for science: amateur astronomers spot comets, because the professionals are too busy to do the donkey work”.
Visitors will stroll in the dark around the observatory as ambient bird calls are played on speakers, connecting the experience to that of pacing through a suburban backyard or garden—a silly, but entirely honest portrayal of how people approach projects in their lives.
Art Is a Dear Friend (Syrian Arab Republic)