Venice Biennale

Pizza Pavilion (2015) documentation

19 August 2015

Pizza is the new religion. It holds the same cultural capital and promises the same healing powers for millennials that organized religion once did for their ancestors. The holy trinity is now divined in the three edges of a single slice, and its iconography is everywhere. It is the “universal, omnipresent, truly globalized concept”, the “symbolic hub and social equalizer”, “the super meme of our times”, “the Internet of foods”. It should come as a little surprise then that the 56th Venice Biennale has hosted the first international pavilion dedicated to pizza “as a cultural canvas”, curated by Paul Barsch and Konstanze Schütze and inevitably called the Pizza Pavilion, running May 8 to November 22.

In a artistic reversal of sorts, the Pavilion applies artistic strategies to an everyday phenomenon, creating a site-specific situation piece that reflects contemporary paradigms and their various manifestations. “It is,” as the press release states, “a practical philosophical endeavour that turns the working local pizzeria, Pizza Al Volo, into an international Pavilion”.

Anthony Antonellis, ‘Bauhaus Pizza’ (2015). Install view. Photo by Paul Barsch & Simona Lamparelli. Pizza Al Volo, Venice.

Participating in the piece are 19 different artists of the “post-digital” generation, invited to compose and title their own personal pizzas for a ‘Pizza Pavilion’ menu to be made available alongside the pizzeria’s regular one, including Santiago TaccettiLorna Mills, Alma Alloro and Tilman Hornig. The presence of the artist-produced pizzas, available for order, thereby turn the Italian pizzeria into an “art production studio and gallery, where one can witness the creation of an contemporary “artwork” and can buy and consume it directly”.

Exhibition photos, top right.

PIZZA PAVILION was on at Venice Biennale from May 8 to November 22, 2015.

Header image: Santiago Taccetti, ‘Share The Venetian Love’ (2015). Install view. Photo by Paul Barsch and Simona Lamparelli. Pizza Al Volo, Venice.

Ryan Trecartin premiered a new film in Venice

3 June 2013

As Chris Kraus said at a recent panel discussion at the RCA, “The suburbs are the last ethnographic frontier.” Arguably at the vanguard exploring that borderline is Ryan Trecartin, one of the most influential contemporary artists working, who introduced his audience to the brilliantly dark and vapid landscapes of Pasta and friends years ago.

Since then, his approach and aesthetic has had an update, presenting his as yet unnamed new film at the Massimiliano Gioni-curated The Encyclopedic Palace of the Arsenale pavilion, open to the public since Saturday, June 1. DIS Magazine published some behind the scenes images to celebrate and it’s looking like the coloured contacts and virtual vistas of the future dominate his New World dystopia. You can see the images on the DIS Magazine website. **

Turning Back Time

17 June 2011

For as long as people could hear, music and sound have been an integral part of human expression. It has an ability to communicate something in a way that nothing else could, which is probably why this year’s Venice Biennale had so little of it. That is, it’s hard to pin a didactic panel to a particular tone or frequency, and with critical theory being such an important part of critical discourse, something that can’t be explained in words is going to be largely ignored.

Curious, considering that music, as a medium, outdates that of film and interactivity –both of which featured far more prominently at the Biennale than any other.

still from Marclay's remix (photos by Paula Cooper Gallery)

Christian Marclay gets it though. Moving on from his no wave sound collages that made him a cult figure in music circles, he’s taken a 24-hour reel to real time film montage for The Clock and been awarded the Biennale’s prestigious Gold Lion in the process. In sifting, compiling and editing a day-long montage of film scenes referencing time –each one synchronized with the local time –Marclay reportedly developed calluses on his fingers in the process. Viewers felt compelled to check their watches every time a clock flashed across the screen or a character told the time. Almost like watching contemporary pop music in motion, The Clock is like an extended YouTube video.

Continue reading Turning Back Time