I remember attending the Venice Biennale for the first time in 1993. Although I had been there as a tourist in my youth, it was a transformative experience to see so much high caliber art from around the world. This may have subconsciously been what triggered my interest in contemporary art beyond Berlin and NYC. I traveled there with my then grad school professor Arnulf Rainer.
This year’s biennial in many ways was not particularly revolutionary, however there was so much powerful work to see, particularly walking through the international pavilions is so rewarding even in hot, humid weather! One of the standouts this year was the performance in German pavilion by Faust, Jr., the Austrian pavilion presenting Erwin Wurm (interactive sculpture) and Brigitte Kowanz, as well as the American pavilion artist Mark Bradford. The installation I was most captivated by was the work of Carlos Amorales in the Mexican pavilion.
In addition to the main show of the Biennale and the Arsenale, there were fantastic installations around the city tucked away in various mansions and palaces; Truly breathtaking. And just being in Venice feels like you are in an important place.