Improvised gestural forms have a visible sense of spontaneity, balance, symmetry, and flow. They feel very different to self-conscious and perfected ones. The difference is difficult to describe but I think it is the same difference between a self-conscious actor compared with somebody acting with their attention outside of themselves. Drawn marks reveal a state of mind.
The Alma Zevi gallery sits in the centre and is currently presenting drawings by Berlin-born/London-based painter Frank Auerbach, for his first solo exhibition in Italy since he represented Great Britain in the 42nd Venice Biennale of 1986 – winning the prestigious Golden Lion prize.
The work that struck me hardest for was a fishing boat, which on April 18, 2015, more than 800 refugees died. The surprisingly small, brightly coloured yet distressed vessel was designed for a crew of 15 people. It was installed as an art exhibit by Swiss-Icelandic artist Christoph Büchel and titled Barca Nostra (Our Boat).
As a civilization we have erased the cult of the creatrix, and denied women the role of cultural producers (…). The Capitalist system adds yet another layer of enslavement, with its absurd expectations of productivity, pink taxes, beauty and fashion industries, glass ceiling, gender gap, and in the US, a complete lack of free or affordable childcare, not to mention issues that arise from the economy of huge disparities and production towards destruction of humanitarian values and the environment.
I sometimes even try to make ‘bad’ drawings as a means to make myself think or behave ‘outside the box’ or to create new patterns of behaviour. Surprisingly often, ‘bad’ ideas and situations have turned out to be ‘good’ in one way or another. I feel that allowing imperfections to be not only visible but in focus allows us to consider the life, history, and value of the hand-made object.
ITINERANT was created in 2010 by interdisciplinary artist Hector Canonge. Since then the festival has introduced, and featured the work of local, national and international emerging and established artists introducing and featuring their work at local museums, art galleries, performance art spaces, and public parks.
I discover that the audience had been packed full of brilliant artists, some of whom are exhibiting in the exhibition and across Venice during the Biennale. There are many professors from the arts and sciences and we talk until the early hours.
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.