From Venice, with...

A Review by Jane LaFarge Hamill, Michael Kagan and Jason Bereswill (MFA 2005)
(I'm typing on my phone standing on a bridge over a small canal where I've found decent wifi. Who knew?)

Italy speaks fluently in art and food, both to be consumed at risk of catching Stendhal's syndrome. And so, my trip this week to Venice is inspired 75% by the opening of the 54th Biennale and 25% by antipasti, primi piatti, pasta, secondi, and dolce.

"Just an intro to Venice, really."

I'm traveling with fellow alums Jason Bereswill and Michael Kagan and we will all be sending in reviews and photos for NYAA from the pavilions.

This year's Biennale is curated by Bice Curiger- art historian and co-founder of Parkett magazine, on the theme and titled ILLUMination. (word of the day: coruscating) There are 82 international artists showing from 89 nations, 32 of whom are under the age if 35. Countries of interest participating for the first time this year are Bahrain, Haiti, and Saudi Arabia. Artists I'm looking forward to seeing are Pipilotti Rist, the American pick; Puerto Rican based duo Allora and Calzadilla; and the big hitter Urs Fischer.

Venice was formed by exiles, pushed off the mainland by Huns and Goths in the 5th c. It has always been an open city, a haven, built on mud and water. In many ways Venice has no roots. It is an apt stage for an international Biennale of art, with artists from around the world reclaiming the islands for a spell, so that a refugee parade of people like us can come to marvel.

This should yield a good blog post or two! But if all art fails, we'll post photos of gelato. Please check back!

With love from Venice,
Jane, Michael, and Jason

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