Friday, June 5, 2009

LA BIENNALE di VENEZIA 53rd International Art Exhibition: Making Worlds | Worldmaking...?

Tomas Saraceno at Palazzo delle Esposizioni

Nelson Goodman's "Ways of Worldmaking" (1978) stated how the facts of the “world” are not found but made: the worlds of science, arts and practices constantly prove this statement. Worldmaking was also a concept much in use in the nineties when cyberspace and virtual realities were expanding to our everyday world; the widespread use of computing and Internet reinforced the presence of virtual worlds and social interaction vs. the physical worlds.

The title of the 2009 Biennale is “making worlds” and the director Daniel Birnbaum emphasizes how a work of art is more than an object, represents a vision of the world and a way to construct a world.
Worldmaking in art is not new: for over 60 years contemporary art has expressed how process is more defining than the final product as art creation. Land art, arte povera, performance art, conceptualism and minimalism are art practices involved with the making of art beyond the production of objects: transformation of sites, use of text and ultimately the artist’s body itself create alternative worlds. Video art is another example of worldmaking where the projected moving images constantly transform the existing physical space and the viewer’s perceptions.
In this Biennale, but for some exceptions, I did not find so much of world making. The majority of works do not relate at all with the site. Although the Biennale exhibition spaces ---Giardini, Arsenale and Venice--- are not “white box” containers in the majority of works there was no relationship with the site. Worldmaking does not happen in a vacuum, but starts from an existing reality which get transformed, but still has a presence: space and time are definers of any possible world and should be expressed even in the most abstract worlds.

But…we are in Venice, the museum city where surreal and real worlds merge in a blend of memories, dreams, history, sublime and decadence. Enjoy!

Guyton Walker "Senza Titolo" 2009

The Cafe designed by Tobias Rehberger