ArtAttack’s ‘Best of Biennale’: Arsenale

After a quick Venezia break to bring you a bit of Central Saint Martins inspiration, we are back on our biennale grind, and ready to share some more of our favourite moments with you. As I mentioned previously, the main venues for this international event are the Giardini, (a beautiful garden dotted with various exhibition halls and country pavilions), and the Arsenale (a complex of former shipyards and armories for which construction began as early as 1104). The latter, perhaps due to its’ age and history, has a very majestic feel to it, and witnessing such a multitude of art within its’ antique walls is truly special.

Like the Giardini, the Arsenale houses both specific country pavilions and a general ‘All the World’s Futures‘ exhibition, showcasing multiple international artists and curated by Okwui Enwezor.

I suppose the major difference between the two spaces is that while the Giardini feels light and airy — no doubt because of its’ outdoor setting — the Arsenale gives off a much more severe vibe, leaving less room for dillydallying and daydreaming, and hence producing, in my view, a more focused and intense experience.

The armory itself also feels endless, with art around every dark corner, and even outside rising from the canal (Chinese artist, Xu Bing‘s ‘Phoenix Project‘ and Brazilian Vik Muniz‘ ‘Lampedusa‘ to name a few). Walking through the exhibition feels something like making one’s way through a maze — you tread carefully so as to not miss anything, and yet you deliberately plough forward too, with the pulsing goal to make it out the other side.

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‘Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry’ Is A Necessary Reminder Of The Power Of Art

I realise I might be making a vital mistake by writing this as it forces me to admit that I only just watched Never Sorry, a documentary on contemporary Chinese artist and activist, Ai Wei Wei, directed by Alison Klayman and made way back in 2012. However, the first week of 2015 is certainly no time to ponder excuses, so I’ll just say thank you, Netflix and better late than never.

The truth is, I’m glad I was late to the party on this one, because a good dose of a fearless artist determined to change the world no matter the cost, is probably the best possible way to start my new year. Continue reading