Venice, Venice, you are so beautiful.
Yes, I just got back from Venice and I am still excited about my visit. Now I am sitting at my desk still recovering from a post-holiday sugar coma.
I love Venice, what is not to like? The weather was great, the food was way too good, the coffees were not that expensive (yes I am not lying, I have managed to get few espresso for less than €2) and on top of that I met my lovely mum there for a family gateway.
We went to check the Biennale and few collateral events, the sites were not that busy so we had the opportunity to really enjoy the shows. What I really love about the Biennale is the Giardini, walking around surrounded by pines, discovering works of art from all over the world. I had the chance to see so much art in so little time, this is incredible.
Walking throughout the pavilions you can get a taste of different cultures, traditions and trends in the arts. There were many video installations as well as few interactive works. The best video and sculptural installation I have seen was Ryan Trecartin’s ‘Not Yet Titled’, this takes up a whole room of the Arsenale. There are four videos, all referencing reality tv, a sort of window on pop culture and youth, a very original take on contemporary culture.
I liked Massimiliano Gioni’s curatorial selection for the show in the Arsenale, however some of the rooms were filled with too many works, it made me feel overwhelmed and it was difficult to enjoy some of the works.
Here are my favourite pavilions, I selected them for different reasons, if you have visited them too then share your thoughts!
Vadim Zakharov, Russian Pavilion, curated by Udo Kittelmann (Director of the Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen Berlin). This is the first time that Russian Pavilion is curated by a citizen of another country. An attempt to secure attention? Well, it works. One of the best pavilions.
If you want to experience death while you are alive then you must visit the Korean Pavilion. Kimsooja transformed the venue into a place of transcendental experience, dealing with issues relating to the body, self and others, death and life.
Israel Pavilion, Gilad Ratman’s The Workshop is based on a fictional journey from Israel to Venice taken by a group of people. This epic trip starts in the caves of Israel, before emerging through the floor of the Israeli pavilion. Once inside the pavilion, the group turn the space into a workshop, sculpting themselves in clay they have transported from Israel.
Don’t miss the Venice Biennale.
Art Everywhere has finally started, the project is really exciting and ambitious. This enables audiences to connect with art works in a new way, bringing them into a closer relationship with the arts and creating new ways for them to engage with British art. I had a look at the website and I have discovered so many interesting works of art. I look forward to seeing the billboards across London.
Also it is worth mentioning the fantastic app Blippar created for the project, all the Art Everywhere poster sites are interactive via your mobile phone. It is really simple and fun to use.
Follow Art Everywhere on twitter @arteverywhereUK
Showcasing great British art across the UK, Art Everywhere is the largest exhibition of its kind in the world. From the 12–25 August 2013 some of the nation’s greatest art is on display across 22,000 poster sites and billboards up and down the country. Artists, curators, media owners and entrepreneurs joined by a love of art have fuelled this massive charitable celebration, and the general public crowd-funded over £30,000 to help make it happen
Last Saturday I went for a walk at Southbank Centre, the weather was lovely and everywhere was full of families and tourists. There is a food market that always have an incredible selections of delicatesse from all over the world, it nearly took me twenty minutes to make my mind up and buy a tomato focaccia, umm delicious. Since I was there I of course went to check the current exhibition at the Hayward gallery, Alternative Guide to the Universe.
“Alternative Guide to the Universe surveys an artistic landscape that stretches to the far horizons of our imagination. Featuring contributions from self-taught artists and unlicensed architects, fringe physicists and visionary inventors, it serves up bracingly fresh perspectives on the world we live in.”
I enjoyed the show, it was nice to walk around and discover many interesting drawings and projects. I particularly liked Eugene Von Bruenchenhein’s work, I would love to show you some images but at the Hayward gallery they obstinately not allow you to take pictures of the works. I went on their website with the hope to find some images of some of the works I like but I am afraid they are only featuring 5 images which I don’t think well represent the exhibited works and certainly they don’t do justice to the whole show.
I was also really intrigued by the work of Paul Laffoley.
I recommend this show to anyone who likes unusual works on paper and architecture projects and drawings. The show is definitely a good treat for family and children.
We are extremely excited for the opening of The House of PERONI tonight. For the month of July, The House of Peroni opens its doors at 41 Portland Place in central London. The House of Peroni celebrates the new wave of contemporary Italian culture.
You can see the contribution of our friend Carlo Bernardini – The celebrated artist creating dimension shattering, futuristic light installations The celebrated artist creating dimension shattering, futuristic light installations that bring interior spaces to life.
Here is our friend and artist Ludovica Gioscia inside TimeOut. She has exhibited with us in PREPOSTEROUS
Last Sunday I went to the Tate Britain to see its new two blockbuster shows, Patrick Caulfield and Gary Hum.
I love them both so I must say I was quite excited about it. I started with Hume’s show. This was nicely curated, I did not feel overwhelmed by the quantity of the works, these were nicely selected and ordered across the exhibition space. I wish I could show you some of my favorite paintings but visitors are not allowed to take pictures. However you can click here and visit their website or even better go and check the exhibition yourself.
Gary Hume, The Moon 2009
Here I just want to say, as previously mentioned in some of my writings, that Tate is really missing an opportunity to engage with their audience, people want to share with friends and family and often with strangers what they are up too. We live in a digital world and a decision not to allow visitors to take picture is really ancient especially for such a striving institution such as Tate Britain, her sister, Tate Modern lunched Magic Tate Ball app last year, this was an incredible success and a perfect example on how to engage the public. I have often heard curators say that the reason why pictures are not allowed is because some works are on loan from private collectors whom do not wish these works to be photographed. Well, perhaps is the time to think about a creative way to let the public takes pictures of their favorite pieces while respecting the will of these collectors. An invigilator could kindly explain to visitors not to take a picture of a particular work, or in the leaflet it could be explained that some works cannot be photographed while encouraging the audience to interact with the show through sharing their thoughts and pictures on Tate’s social networks.
Ok let’s get back to Hume, as Tate Britain says: “this exhibition highlights Hume’s innovative use of colour, line and surface in his distinctive compositions” and I couldn’t agree more with this.
The large scale works literally hypnotizing you and make you feel calm, they have however a bitter aftertaste as they carry with them a feeling of melancholy. I find Hume work really hard to read as well as irresistible. Gary Hume is for me one of the most interesting contemporary artists we have.
Then I went to see Caulfied’ s exhibition and I felt in love with him, once again! Patrick Caulfield’s use of color is something hard to be described, the way the artists played with different color combinations is extraordinary, he created a perfect equilibrium of cold and hot tints, all his compositions are perfectly balanced in a triumph of harmony and proportion. Yeah, I’m excited about it! I totally recommend this show to everyone, especially to folks working or interested in fashion. I found it to be very inspiring, a joy for textile designers!
Patrick Caulfield, After Lunch 1975
Go, go, really go and check these two shows.
Representing the UAE at this years Venice Biennale, Mohammed Kazem, presents an immersive work comprised of a 360-degree projection of the sea and illuminated interchangeable GPS coordinates within an enclosed circular space.
This work is one within a binary position, that of the actual and the poetic. Allowing us to be submerged within the moving landscape of the sea. Slightly disorientating the viewer, Kazem sets up an environment that could easily have become theatrical but steadily stays fixed in its place and seriousness. Balancing the panorama of the ocean and all of its romantic connotations, Kazem stabilizes us in reality, perhaps in an uber sense, stating our projected position with absolute accuracy through the means of a Geographical Positioning System (GPS). The execution of his concept existing within a convexed amphitheatre and echoing this circularity in the viewing platform and GPS display Kazem suggests larger notions, both mathematical and romantic, at times harmonising and conflicting both concepts.
Until the 2nd of September, Katja Strunz is showing work in the entrance hall of the Berlinische Galerie. Four pieces, 3 sculptural works and one work on paper, whilst the curation of the show seems balanced, the necessity of having four pieces seems perhaps doubtful. The space is rightfully dominated by two large-scale sculptural works titled ‘ Tellurische Kontraktion’ and ‘Tellurischer Riemen’.
Tellurischer Kontraktion greets you on entrance into the space resembling a scrunched up piece of paper, its close resemblance to the everyday object allows us to imagine an aspect of movement and a closeness that is quite unexpected from blackened steel and aluminum. The piece, when unfolded holds the capacity of the exhibition space questioning notions of space and perception. The scale of the work allows the steel to, in itself achieve a successful execution of its own materiality whilst at the same time embodying the materiality and structure of paper.
Behind Tellurischer Kontraktion, commanding attention from the get-go is Teller Riemen, again, blackened steel, but this time the piece stands at a height of 8 meters, supported by a steel rope and an internal frame which gives the piece its form. Again this piece references the everyday object allowing us to imagine how the work would materially function yet in reality removing that function and creating a space in which to look at the formal in another context.
I have always believed that I am a lucky person. I have got a wonderful family, I am healthy and I had the opportunity to gain a sound education and to work in the sector I love the most, the art world.
I think that nowadays, many people confuse the word lucky with the word easy. What I have learned in life is that things never come easily and you must work extremely hard to make your dreams a reality. You must be passionate and of course follow your heart, always remembering not to be greedy. As you are ready to take, you must be ready to give back.
In this climate of austerity, with cuts in education and art institutions alike, I feel more than ever the need to contribute to a nonprofit institution. I am not sure where I would be today if I had never been given the opportunity to visit a free exhibition or a museum during my youth. When I go to a museum I feel that there are people working for me, making sure I will experience a certain show, a performance or a certain type of art. I feel part of a community and that makes me feel proud. With that at the forefront of my mind, a few months ago, I decided to volunteer at The Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, where I am currently helping the museum team deal with visitors and organise activities for children.
At The Museum of Childhood I have met so many people with a whole host of different stories. There I can share the same passion for the arts with likeminded people, who want to feel part of something bigger than them, helping the community to engage with our exhibitions. The volunteers are an incredibly diverse group; they are of different ages and have different reasons to volunteer and that is what makes the whole experience even more interesting.
When you are volunteering you are not only helping a museum to achieve its goal, you are developing yourself and gaining valuable experience. Ultimately you can develop skills that can help build a career.
Volunteering has helped me on several levels; first of all it has improved my diplomacy. In a place like a museum you get come into contact with various people, whom profess different beliefs, do different jobs and come from different educational backgrounds. The idea is to understand how to effectively engage with all of them by altering your vocabulary, body language and perhaps your tone of voice. It is an experience that definitely improves your sensitivity, something that you can use to deliver excellent customer service in your daily job. Remember that whatever your job you always need to be polite. (Read here my post: Diplomacy is your passport to a happy job)
It helped me to reconsider my priorities and dedicate more time to things that really matter to me. Due to the great progress of technology and the fast pace of our working environments, we always feel we are in a hurry and must finish everything in the quickest time possible. This can mean that we forget the reason we did it in the first place; in the long run it affects our relationships and eventually makes us feel stressed and unhappy. When I volunteer I am there 100%, there is no phone for me, no email to get back to, and no social networks to check out. When I leave the museum I feel calm and full of lovely stories to tell to my friends.
It gives me great energy to see so many passionate people dedicating their time to someone else for no monetary return. This might sound a bit naïve but I truly believe that if each of us can do even a small thing to help our society to improve, the world will be a better place, but most importantly we will all feel much better.
Volunteering is a great way to recharge our batteries, push our boundaries and have fun. There is always something new to learn and experience, I doubt you will ever get bored. I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone!