The British pavilion, which had a long queue last week, is quiet today so I walk straight in. The artist chosen by the British Council to officially represent Great Britain is Cathy Wilkes, an artist from Northern Ireland who lives in Glasgow. It is an exhibition that requires quiet contemplation, reflection and is subtly poetic – probably not to everybody’s taste.
This show brings together spiritually nomadic sex-positive radicals working in the mediums of fabric, installation, herbalism, healing, new media, glitch, sound and ritual performance.
As agreed, we perform for one hour in order to enter a meditative zone. I wear a blindfold to help focus on the soundscape and movements and I work on paintings which are on the pavement and also hung along the wall opposite the gallery, where Paul is set up on a table with his equipment.
Although it took Paul Morgan a great deal of time to assemble, the synth is built for an improvised performance with very little post-production, he will conjure a soundscape in conversation with my live-drawing performance, essentially using me as a proxy painter to draw the sounds.
There is no indication who the sign is directed towards but I wonder whether it might be collected to John Pilger’s recent article titled The War on Venezuela is Built on Lies (Feb 21, 2019) or the same line of thought. This year’s Venezuela Pavilion is organized by curator Oscar Sotillo, the founder of left-wing cultural journal La Mancha.
The art crowds are in the Giardini or Arsenale until 7 pm, on the far side of the island. Whichever day or time would have clashed with other major events but perhaps in hindsight, I might have been better off doing the opening on Thursday when the pre-biennale buzz was at its height. However, the opening of the exhibition Alive in the Universe was on Thursday, which is showing 6 of my films and on a personal level, I didn’t want to miss that.
This year, my project titled IMPRECISION: The Aesthetics of Failure draws upon work I have produced alongside an essay written for British philosopher Andy Hamilton’s forthcoming publication The Aesthetics of Imperfection. The show will run during the opening month of the 58th Venice Biennale. I will be writing a daily diary of the exhibits, experiences during my time here.