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Art Diary

 

Chronicles of an undercover reporter in Venice. By Nicolas Trembley.

The opening days of the Venice Art Biennale are always the stage for more or less comical scenes. This year, the Golden Lion went to the Prada Foundation, whose guest-filled pontoon collapsed in the Grand Canal during the opening of the Portable Classic exhibition (not bags, but antique sculptures). The locals were greatly amused, the press running the headline “Tutti i VIP nell’acqua per Prada.” No one drowned, but they probably all came down with strep infections...

 

The chief curator of this 56th edition  of the Biennale, the Nigerian Okwui Enwezor, gave it the title All the World’s Futures. Each morning, in the central space of the international pavilion, there was a reading from Karl Marx’s Das Kapital. “What? A communist Biennale?!” Behind this project was artist Isaac Julien, whose new  film, somewhat incongruously, was sponsored by Rolls-Royce. The Biennale has now become a society event that uncomfortably straddles the breach between hot political topics (immigration, revolt, racism,  unequal wealth distribution) and its ever larger and richer audience who make it the lagoon’s most lucrative event (far more so than the Film Festival or the Carnival). But in art, politics can have its limits, as demonstrated by the Icelandic pavilion: designed by Swiss architect Christoph Büchel, who turned a former church into  a mosque, it was closed down after only two weeks. Similarly, the films of Syrian collective Abounaddara, though awarded a Special Mention by the jury, were never shown, and the collective consequently withdrew from the Biennale (they can be viewed at: http://vimeo.com/126950191).

 

“It’s a scam,” you often hear in Venice, but not for the same reasons. Venetians don’t hesitate to quadruple prices during the Biennale’s preview days...

 

 

By Nicolas Trembley

 

 

 

Read the full story in Numéro 165, now in stands and available in our iPad app.

 

 

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  • Photo Jessica Craig-Martin
Tomás Saraceno's spiders at the Palais de Tokyo
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Tomás Saraceno's spiders at the Palais de Tokyo

Art His Berlin atelier houses one of the most important collections of spider’s webs in the world – which is perhaps only normal given that Argentine artist Tomás Saraceno, born in 1973, has become famous for the spider’s webs that he exhibits in open metal cubes. Paris’s Palais de Tokyo is currently giving him carte blanche. His Berlin atelier houses one of the most important collections of spider’s webs in the world – which is perhaps only normal given that Argentine artist Tomás Saraceno, born in 1973, has become famous for the spider’s webs that he exhibits in open metal cubes. Paris’s Palais de Tokyo is currently giving him carte blanche.

Maurizio Cattelan gets into copy (in art) with Gucci
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Maurizio Cattelan gets into copy (in art) with Gucci

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FIAC 2018 : Katharina Grosse's bonfire of colour at the Grand Palais
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FIAC 2018 : Katharina Grosse's bonfire of colour at the Grand Palais

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Elmgreen & Dragset storm Place Vendôme: "Will humanity disappear to give way to nature?"
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Elmgreen & Dragset storm Place Vendôme: "Will humanity disappear to give way to nature?"

Art Star fish have invaded the place vendôme! Who is responsible? Why elmgreen & dragset of course! Numéro art met up with the explosive duo, who are guests of honour at paris’s art fair fiac this autumn. Star fish have invaded the place vendôme! Who is responsible? Why elmgreen & dragset of course! Numéro art met up with the explosive duo, who are guests of honour at paris’s art fair fiac this autumn.

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Numéro art reveals new cover starring artists Elmgreen & Dragset

Art Discover Elmgreen & Dragset shot by Miles Aldridge for the cover of Numero art #3, out October 12th. Elmgreen & Dragset are taking over the place Vendôme during the FIAC and will be celebrated at Galerie Perrotin in Paris. Plus, do not miss their current show at Whitechapel Gallery in London.  Discover Elmgreen & Dragset shot by Miles Aldridge for the cover of Numero art #3, out October 12th. Elmgreen & Dragset are taking over the place Vendôme during the FIAC and will be celebrated at Galerie Perrotin in Paris. Plus, do not miss their current show at Whitechapel Gallery in London. 

Frieze London 2018 pays tribute to female artists with “Social Work”
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Frieze London 2018 pays tribute to female artists with “Social Work”

Art During Frieze London, from 3 october to 7, a group of ten female critics and curators pays tribute to women artists whose work during the 1980s created broader support structures for those around them under the title Social Work. Curators Lydia Yee, Fatoş Üstek and Melanie Keen discuss three of the artists featured in Social Work, and suggest why it is important to re-assess their legacy three decades later. During Frieze London, from 3 october to 7, a group of ten female critics and curators pays tribute to women artists whose work during the 1980s created broader support structures for those around them under the title Social Work. Curators Lydia Yee, Fatoş Üstek and Melanie Keen discuss three of the artists featured in Social Work, and suggest why it is important to re-assess their legacy three decades later.