Venice Biennale

Fiona Hall for Venice

December 5, 2013
Fiona Hall, A selection of intricate sculptures carved from sardine cans, Royal Academy, London

For more than 20 years Fiona Hall has been the obvious, dead-set, undeniable first choice to represent Australia at the Venice Biennale. It is a testimony to the acumen of our arts bureaucracy that in 2015 she will become the first artist to occupy a newly-built pavilion. Any other country might have rushed her into … More

Venice Biennale 2013: The Encylopaedic Palace

June 8, 2013
Vadim Zakharov, Danaë, Installation view, Russian Pavilion

Every Venice Biennale is a talk fest – a place for the beautiful people of the art world to exchange opinions and business cards at endless parties. Unfortunately most of the talk is of a very tawdry nature: “I just loved the Ruritanian pavilion!” “Oh yeah, I loved it too!”  And so on, ad infinitum. … More

54th Venice Biennale

June 17, 2011
Photo: Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Never has a more glamorous bag accompanied such a tawdry exhibition. A dazzling gold carry-all, advertising Hany Armanious’s installation in the Australian pavilion, was to be seen all over Venice during the vernissage of the 54th Biennale. The only more prominent bag may have been the bright red one with ‘Free Ai Weiwei’ emblazoned in … More

A terrible beauty in Venice, sort of…

June 11, 2011

This much delayed blog comes from a train, speeding towards Aarhus in Denmark, where the second Danish Sculpture by the Sea is being held. I’ve just finished four exhausting days in Venice for the Biennale. Lest you think this sounds glamorous, I can’t remember when I’ve felt so zonked every evening. Too tired to write … More

I survived…

June 2, 2011

An exhibit in the Arsenale anticipates audience responses to this year’s show More

Biennale car crash

June 1, 2011

Biennale as a car crash – Hajnal Nemeth’s work in the Hungarian pavilion More

Mao in Venice

June 1, 2011
Stelios Faitakas_Mao_Byzantine

Chairman Mao as a Byzantine icon, by Stelios Faitakas, on the outer wall of the Danish pavilion. More


June 1, 2011

Hany Armanious’s ‘Happiness’ in the Australian pavilion. Viewer = not happy More

Doubletake: The Anne Landa Award

July 4, 2009
Cao Fei, Whose Utopia?, 2006, Video installation, 20 minutes

It may enjoy a ‘cutting edge’ reputation, but too much new media art translates into an aimless, shapeless sequence of images grouped around one or two central ideas. These works are not valued for what they are, but for what they represent. Australia’s official contribution to the Venice Biennale provides an excellent example. To read … More

53rd Venice Biennale

June 20, 2009
Yelena Vorobyeva & Viktor Vorobyev, Artist Asleep, 1998,  Installation (bed in front), Central Asia pavillon

Making Worlds – Fare Mondi is the theme for this year’s Venice Biennale, the 53rd installment of the world’s leading contemporary art exhibition. In the words of Daniel Birnbaum, the Swedish-born, Frankfurt-based director, the title expresses a wish “to emphasise the process of creation.” This may sound a very modest ambition but Birnbaum does have … More

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