After traveling the world to get my MA in Contemporary Art, I had several opportunities to see shows that I would have not come across normally. In no specific order will I list some of my most incredible ART moments that I truly he(ART).
1. Venice Biennale:Days spent in Venice during the Biennale were NOTHING compared to Art Basel (Miami). In B E A UTIFUL VENIZIA, the Netherlands’ Pavillion stood out with Mark Manders’ Room With Broken Sentence. The sculptural works, which covered 23 years of the artist’s activity, curated by Lorenzo Benedetti, were simple, yet intricate. The works were simple in the sense that colour and subject matter were not shocking. Clay portrait busts and sculptural figures covered the pavilion, but were presented so you were not overwhelmed, and in an almost highly organised manner (image below). Although traditional materials were used such as wood and clay, what was truly fascinating was how the pieces were held together. For example, a clay sculpture of a female hanging off of a wooden table – almost looking like the front of a viking ship – was suspended by a wire string contraption (above). MIND BLOWING.Not only was the pavilion least anticipated by me, but several months later still leaves an impact on me today. The Biennale was one of those events that was not about the PARTYING, like Art Basel, Miami Beach. Nor has it ever been thought of in that manner. It was about what each country could bring to the table. Walking for 12 hours a day, for five days straight was 100% worth me wearing crocs by the end of my time in Venice (I kid you not).
But there is one issue that is still on my mind. While some of you may know the main grounds for the Biennale are the Giardini and the Arsenale (where the Encyclopedic Palace was located), there are also some off-site pavilions – which I happened to miss out on. Why may you ask? Because although I was getting my MA in Contemporary Art, my PASSION for Modern Art will always remain. And so I took a trip to Peggy Guggenheim’s Museum. And boy, was that a worthwhile visit. Although Mrs. Guggenheim may have been the Mistress of Modern Art, who cares that she slept with half of the artists that are in her museum?! It is BREATHTAKING. Rothko. Warhol. Kelley. Ernst. Dali. Brancusi. Picasso. The list goes on and on. Need I say more? All I can say is if you ever are to visit the Biennale, make sure you take at least a few hours to visit the Guggenheim as well. Both represent history and culture that should not be missed.
2. Inside Out: The People’s Art Project:My dissertation was about to be due, but I had the opportunity to take part in JR’s Inside Out Project in London. Was it worth the time? WITHOUT A DOUBT. Paranoid after hearing lines were hours long to get your portrait taken, to then be wheat-pasted in a designated location, of course was a constant concern. But I prioritised with my art partner in crime (image above), and together we successfully were not only the first in line, but had a great time meeting others alike. People whom too admire JR, and were there for the same reason: to be part of a Project that not only means something to you, as an individual interested in the arts, but to take part in a global movement. This is something I had never done before, and if I ever have the opportunity to do it again, I would not think twice. JR’s staff is incredibly friendly. They don’t make fun of you for practicing your poses, aka taking selfies of yourself on your i-Phones and such to see what pose would look best, because the reality is you only get ONE shot. Literally. And it turns out, after practicing all my poses I winged it while in the photo-booth (image below). But hey, at least I entertained myself for a good two hours practicing facial expressions.
3. James Turrell’s Aten Reign (2013):Luckily, I was in NYC to see Turrell’s first SOLO show in a New York museum since 1980, at the Guggenheim (WHAT A YEAR FOR THIS ESTABLISHMENT). But actually. Turrell has always focused on light, perception, colour, and space. And what better a place to create a show than in the rotunda designed by renowned architect Frank LLoyd Wright. A few words to describe the experience I would say are: MESMERISING, CAPTIVATING, and SPIRITUAL.
Turrell plays with your senses, primarily sight, having colours fade between different hues and tones. From black, grey, blue, purple, pink, red, orange, colours come and go in a timely manner. Yet time is of no worry when laying below the rotunda absorbing this monumental exhibition.
To be able to witness such a show was something I never dreamed of. I have always wanted to go out and see his Roden Crater Project, but to be honest, it is literally in the middle of nowhere. One day I may get around to going to visit it, but for now I am fully satisfied with Aten Reign.
Well my dear followers, that is all for now. More coming to you very soon!
XX, CHC (follow us on Instagram @CultureHeARTs)