Accueil > LIVE FROM THE 54TH VENICE BIENNALE
We are by now all familiar with the great wave of corporate underwriting of the contemporary art scene, and this was much in evidence in the run up to the official opening of the Biennale.
The best known corporate collection of contemporary art in Venice these days is that of French industrialist Francois Pinault, whose art is now housed in two grand spaces, the former customs house at Punta della Dogana, and the Palazzo Grassi. At the latter venue, a very nice luncheon was laid on for the press yesterday as a prelude to the official opening of the newest exhibition of M. Pinault's collection. The highlight is an enormous textile work by Joana Vasconcelos that fills the multi-story entrance way, but that was too difficult to photograph, so we offer instead Takashi Murakami hamming it up for the photographers. He seems to take his work about as seriously as it deserves.
Takashi Murakami, 727-272 (The Emergence of God at the Reversal
But not all was corporate and commercial. Just around the corner from the Pinault event, several countries' pavilions were receiving finishing touches.
Elizabeth Hoak-Doering, Amanuensis: Bed for under a tree (2009),
The Taiwan pavilion hosts several artists all working with sound, and the "Sounds Edgy!" party on Tuesday night was a spirited warm up for the press preview that begins tomorrow. A DJ created danceable electronica, and both Heineken beer and piles of CDs of various Taiwanese indie music groups were free for the taking.
Among the few visual artworks, the most affecting was Hong-Kai Wang's video of retired factory workers reflecting on their lives by creating soundscapes in their former workplace. Like Hoak-Doering's work, questions of agency and empowerment are thoughtfully and poetically addressed. We will hope for more art on this level when the Giardini opens tomorrow.