By Claire Zakiewicz
Usually, the Biennale sites are closed on a Monday but today is the only exception until it finishes in November. Daniela heads to the Giardini to see the Venezuela pavilion, which had been locked up – leaves and rubbish piled up outside – throughout the preview and opening days. Paolo Baratta, the president of the Venice Biennale, said during a press conference that the pavilion was now scheduled to open on May 13 (today) and that the late opening is due to the humanitarian and political crisis over there delaying the artists setting up. However, the pavilion is still looking the exactly the same except today somebody stands outside with a sign that reads STOP LYING. 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 the left-wing cultural journal La Mancha. Titled ‘Metaphor of three windows.’ presenting artists Natalie Rocha Capiello, Ricardo Garcia, Gabriel Lopez, and Nelson Rangelosky. Scouring the internet for news, there are virtually no reports explaining the situation any further. I think back to my exhibition last year with the fabulous Venezuelan artist and dancer Mariana Alvierez and I text her to ask whether she wants to work with me in some capacity via video call. She replies and we set up a time to work out a plan. She tells me that the situation in Venezuela is like a movie at the moment ‘I don’t believe in anything’ she texts.
My friend, the musician Paul Morgan is arriving tomorrow for a performance with Paul on Wednesday at 7 pm as part of the performance schedule for my exhibition. I cannot afford to be sick and I need to rest up. So I spend the majority of today under a blanket.
I am writing an essay alongside the drawings and performances of my exhibition that discusses the fundamental components of the act of improvisational drawing. It is for a collection of essays that is due to be published by Bloomsbury and edited by British philosopher and contemporary music critic Andy Hamilton titled The Aesthetics of Imperfection. A draft of the essay was published by the Brooklyn-based publication The Hypocrite Reader in January 2019 and I need to finish the final version within the next few days so that it can be sent to the publishers in time. These final edits include obtaining permissions to use chunks of text and images from friends and also making sure I have the page numbers of book references.
In the essay, I discuss my process and research which is focused on exploring relationships between sound and drawing. Some of these relationships are more physical, while others are more conceptual. I consider the tension between failure and resolution, and the balance between control and surrender – and suggest how my experience as a painter and a performer draws and sheds light on the cognitive processes that underlie our emotional relationship with art.
I’m also choosing a book cover and am putting together a short-list of images.