23.09 – 30.09 Arsenale, Giardini, Collateral events and some Old Masters in churches


From the onset I have to say that this was my first visit to Venice and that I was completely taken by its location on water and the obvious enormity of this 58th Biennale. I will attempt to discuss my experience, but have to add that this experience was part of a formal art tour with a South African artist who has great experience of visiting the Venice Biennale for many years, Johan Conradie International Art Tours. I want to acknowledge his impact on my learning experience. I spend one day at the Arsenale area of the exhibition and would like to cover most of what I viewed under this heading. This also included works of countries that was not represented at the Giardini.

This year’s biennale is titled May You Live In Interesting Times. According to curator Rugoff, the theme encourages artists to explore how art can be “a kind of guide for how to live and think” in today’s “precarious” world.

“At a moment when the digital dissemination of fake news and ‘alternative facts’ is corroding political discourse and the trust on which it depends, it is worth pausing whenever possible to reassess our terms of reference,” said the American curator.

I will discuss works that I found interesting in the sense that it spoke to me on the theme of “interesting times” and how the dialogue between the artist, the artwork and the audience was created in the world where we are trying to make sense of what is happening around us. The curator reminds us that art is constantly playing around the idea of being a Signal by looking through meaningless(noise) things around us and putting it forward so that we can see it for what it is. Reminding myself here we have 79 artists showing their bodies of work to an audience, being challenged with new high tech video, images, gestures and situations as well as traditional methods of art making, to stimulate conversation and responses. The director of the Biennale, Ralph Rugoff, chose to work only with living artists, who all appeared in the Arsenale as well as in the Central Pavilion of the Giardini. Not all the works are new. I decided to focus firstly on painting/photography works – as I feel it directly links to the current subject I am working on. I will also focus on some of the installations, videos and high tech works which I viewed.

Walking into the Arsenale, Anthony Hernandez shows photos of cities ( Rome?) and these images questions my mind about our living spaces and how it became current ruins – due to our own choices, be it capitalism or just plain ignorance to the impact of our footprint. I think back to my earlier reading on landscape and the artist Peter Doig. I researched his series on the paintings of Le Corbusier’s classic modernist apartment block, an offer of a mysterious Utopia: cosmopolitan dream architecture, which did not work out as planned by the designers. ( see more in Drawing 1 blog under Part 3, project 2 on landscape: myoca519407@wordpress.com).

I was captured by the South African photographer, Zanele Muholi’s self portraits – they are huge and very confrontational: one directly meet her gaze as she makes her stand against invisibility of black lesbians in the South African context and surely brings hope to people not to be scared about issues concerning homophobia, sexuality and racism. I find the variety of head/hair pieces particularly interesting (made with simple materials, like ropes, hair bun shapers and scissors or extravagant jewellery pieces made with safety pins) and hope South Africa is proud of her! I would love to know why the headpieces are important for her. I do see the fact that this makes an almost fashionista statement – ‘see me for who I am’. On the website of Irenebrination.com I found the following… “The portraits, taken in different places including Cagliari, Nuoro, Cape Town and Parktown (Johannesburg), are printed in a large format and hung above or at the side of different entrances of the Arsenale, but it is not the format that is important, but the pose of the sitter, usually staring at the viewers’ gaze, confronting and challenging them, expressing feelings going from pride and curiosity, to disenchantment and sadness.” In the notes accompanying the photographs at the Giardini the artist and activist explains: “Experimenting with different characters and archetypes, I have portrayed myself in highly stylised fashion using the performative and expressive language of theatre. The black face and its details become the focal point, forcing the viewer to question their desire to gaze at images of my black figure. By exaggerating the darkness of my skin tone, I’m reclaiming my blackness, which I feel is continuously performed by the privileged other.” Johan Conradie reminds in his lecture before our visit to the Biennale that Muholi is co-founder of the Forum for the Empowerment of Women and to look at her ongoing self-representation series, Hail the Dark Lioness, 2012 – ongoing where she intend to build into 365 images of a year in the life of a black lesbian in South Africa. One is surely confronted with identity politics as well as racial injustices.

I want to compare this work with that of another female artist, Frida Orupabo, a Norwegian-Nigerian artist who lives and works in Oslo: She showed collages of female bodies clipped together at weird angles (collages with paper clips mounted on aluminium) Here she also makes one think about how the black female body is being depicted – almost puppet-like? .I read she is also a sociologist and a self taught artist. I read that she makes these collages based on historical images of black women – I find them somehow connected to cinema – something like animated bodies and in monochrome. There is almost a connected with the print work of our own William Kentridge? I read the following online ( Contemporar&): “What’s exciting about many of the works in this part of Ralph Rugoff’s exhibition is that they are highly aestheticized but refuse to be conventionally beautiful. Yet the complexities made visible stay on the surface and tend to veer towards the personal rather than the structural. I do like this view – with many of the works I connected I did find them disturbing and yet also liked them.

Frida is also showing a nine-channel installation based on her Instagramming, which is probably the first Instagram work that’s been in the Venice Biennale.Apparently she has a great Instagram following – I will surely visit her page.

Other female artists work now also come to mind: Martine Gutierrez, (USA trans Latinx woman) shows herself in direct confrontational pop style, sometimes intimate moments. I see the images referring to the work of Jeff Koons in his Made in Heaven series, copy below. In the photo below she uses a prop/manequin.

The collaged works of Njideka Akunyili Crosby reminds me of David Hockney – she shows faces of the Nigerian diaspora. I read that having lived in Nigeria until the age of 16, she is uniquely positioned to explore the complexities of a modern diasporic experience. Her figurative compositions are layered and reveal photographic images from sources including Nigerian politics and pop culture that have been applied using a labour-intensive acetone transfer techniques. Her images in Giardini is particularly intriguing as she uses family settings, interior scenes in Nigeria as well as of her present life in Los Angeles.

I found the paintings (image below) of Julie Mehretu (Ethiopian) as a soft multi media type work – she airbrushed and screen printed marks which are added and erased as elements which invoke a sense of loss or disembodiment or just abstraction in a pure sense. I read some of the paintings incorporated real, blurred photographic images, as under-paintings, onto which she used her mark making techniques. The stories behind these images are political protests and ecological disasters impacting the lives of people on many levels, for instance fake news. I am drawn to the work as they start as experiments in mark making and become lovely bodies of work. I missed her show at Victoria Miro’s gallery in Venice. In a way her bigger works reminds me of the painter, Kehinde Wiley

As this artist said in an interview during the Venice Biennale …” she likes negotiating massive contradiction in this interesting times we are living in now”

Works by Jill Mulleady (Urugauy) is confronting violent street scenes in a frieze type work – reminds one of Edward Munch’s Frieze of Life. I later in the day saw work in the Hegemonic Museum by the artist Voluspa Jarpa that reminded me again of this theme.

Here the work refers to hegemonic views.

Paintings by Michael Armitage (Kenian) brought Africa into his large scale oil paintings – I soon realised it is a challenge to the ‘exotic’ colonial era. I find the paintwork and use of colour ( Fauvist Palette?) original and full of layers in terms of intention and meaning as the artist challenge Western conceptions and colonial narratives surrounding the African continent. He works on a rigid bark cloth, which is filled with stitch marks and cuts/holes with fluid strokes – it is also continually cutting the brushmarks . Johan Conradie shared with us that this cloth ( Lubugo) is made by the Baganda people of Uganda and is traditionally used in burial shrouds or worn on ceremonial occasions. On further reading I discovered that he started using the material whilst working and studying in the UK and the use of Lubugo is at once an attempt to locate and destabilise the subject of his paintings – the meaning of the cloth outside its cultural use in Uganda has lost its significance through tourism by using it as a souveneir. In an interview with Theresa Sigmund (May 2019: Contemporary&) he states: “Aspects of my work are conceptually driven. I would have never chosen bark cloth to work on at home for example. I wouldn’t have felt the pressure to do so, as I did in London, where I was in a foreign context with my work and its subjects. So from the beginning it became really important for me to locate language, imagery, and material in East Africa. I don’t think I would be doing what I am doing now if I hadn’t been through that education and the frustration of never having shown my work in its natural habitat.” I read that he has never exhibited his work in Kenya or any African country. In the Giardini, a series of small, delicate ink drawings are very moving – he created these after witnessing photographers in political rallies in Kenya in 2017, ahead of the country’s elections that year. The pen-and-ink studies capture individuals’ impassioned expressions; some figures are also the protagonists in his paintings. Physical attacks on journalists by the security forces, intimidation, open threats against journalists by politicians, seizure of journalists’ equipment and the suppression of media content, internet surveillance became features of election campaigns in Kenya.

Her work, later seen in the Giardini is also remarkable as it refers to the existence of boundaries – a mechanical metal gate (very familiar for me coming form SA and used for safety and seclusion), swings back and forth, hitting the wall. The wall has started to crack and break – one almost feel the vibration of the bang against the wall as it swing back and forth. One can ponder on the design of the metal frame with spikes, like spears, protruding from the frame. Johan Conradie shared that she relates the strange central shape in the metalwork both to the outline of a territory and ‘a hole in a brain’, giving the gate a hauntingly anthropomorphic quality.

Another installation by South African, Kemang Wa Lehulere who lives and works in Cape Town is a huge hanging work , called Dead Eye, which comprises of disks made of salvaged school desks and chairs, shoelaces, light bulbs, glass bottles with cork tops, sand, paper, ribbons. It becomes clear that this artist makes use of references, associations and stories about his own experience growing up in South Africa.

Dead Eye, 2018 – the shadows is casts is fascinating!

This is the Future by Hito Steyerl (German born) was projected videos with raised walkways – Johan Conradie explained that this was inspired by those used in Venice during high tides. At least now I see the use for these staples of low, table-lookalikes which I saw on my walks around Venice! I found this installation very thought provoking – a voice says: “Warning…..it is very risky to enter the future” We are challenged to think about our inability to recognise the complexity and unpredictability of nature’s delicate balance. I feel particularly drawn to this type of art work – I think about the method that is used – the technology and AI is so part of the work, and yet it can also be to our detriment. In a brochure I read the following: “Unencumbered either by ethics or by a relevant legal framework, large corporations, often in tandem with the military industry, develop these technologies following their own economic interests while society at large remains oblivious to a discussion which is already changing its life-conditions. Following the trail of writers such as Jules Verne or Philip K. Dick and also referring to the work of Leonardo da Vinci, Steyerl is a harbinger of a future that she invites us to ponder.”

One is also intrigued by Mari Katayama (Japanese), born with a congenital disorder, who frames her image in elaborate photographic tableaux style: including outgrown prosthetic body parts and her amputated legs. The room in which she photographs herself is filled with her homemade clothes, boxes, dried flowers, Swarovski crystals, and patchwork fabrics. I did think about the artist Frieda Kahlo and how she also decorated her corsets she was forced to ware due to her particular illness/injuries.

Yu Ji – I read is a Chinese artist – works in cement, steel and plaster is shown. I found the hanging piece, where resin was added, interesting. On reading about her work process I found her an exciting ‘new’ artist – she surely probes into philosophical questions. This hanging work is called Etudes-Lento IV ( I enjoy Chopin, so maybe that is why I had to read more about this artist! )

Her pieces in the Giardini was just as interesting – reminding of ancient Chinese sculptures. I read the following which I thought is great to keep in mind: ”

The series of cement sculptures “Flesh in Stone” comprises only five figurative works since 2012 — a pace of one or two per year. Yu generates these forms through a series of live sittings with male models in her studio, which was until recently located in the still operational Hero Pen Factory on Qilianshan Road in the Northwestern part of Shanghai. She instructs her models to test the limits of their bodies to the point of physical exhaustion, and, it must be said, to the brink of boredom or a meditative nothingness. She refrains from drawing or moulding during these sessions, but commits the experiences to memory, allowing torsos and limbs to unfold over time. She then creates the figures retrospectively in clay, and then uses these studies to fabricate resin moulds to be filled with cement. This common building material is chosen for its inexpensive, non-precious, instantly and universally relatable quality. None of the figures has feet, arms or a head. Genitals are there, but negligible and diminutive, formed as if in hesitation. The surfaces of the figures retain a smooth, sensual roughness, with slightly raised edges from the moulds that bisect them in cross-section. Each figure is precariously supported by an adjustable iron armature fashioned to curve around just enough of the sculptural body to barely support its weight. These iron structures are things of beauty in their own right, and I’ve often fantasized about them with the bodies missing, despite the deep empathy that is generated by the sight of the mutilated figures.” Does she remind us of the cost of humand lives as we create more and more concrete jungles?

More notes to keep on the artist I found on the internet:

Yu Ji (China/Austria) in her practice is motivated by the ongoing investigation into the specific location with geography and historical narratives. Her works have been associated closely with field research, and show a strong interest in the intervention of specific space with the body. Her performances, that happen together with her sculptures, reflect and moderate the fragile presence of human and objects in their everyday environment and often turn the space of art into the site of labour.

Yu’s work has been exhibited at various institutions including Palais des Tokyo in France, Tensta Konsthall in Stockholm, Yuz Museum in Shanghai, and Times Museum Guangzhou. Yu has exhibited at the 11th Gwangju Biennale and the 11th Shanghai Biennale in 2016. She is one of the finalist artists in Hugo Boss Asia Prize, 2017. In 2019 she will take part in Venice Biennale. “

Anicka Yi from Korea installed stretched kelp-based glowing globes, Biologizing the Machine (tentacular trouble) with pools of darl liquid beneath it. These forms recalls skin or leather, even embryos and the artist makes a connection between the origin of human life and the sea and even the immediate surroundings of Venice. Her work in the Gardini is a site specific installation where she used water and soil from around Venice – Biologizing the Machine. The artist uses acrylic vitrines, stainless steel, silt, bacteria, algae, gas sensors, scent algorithm, infrared lights to display Winogradsky cultures. It is a state of “agitated symbiosis” that one witness which the artist stresses may be mutually beneficial but can also lead to unpredictable chaos. Oppose these works there were creatures with skeleton heads and bodies of different materials – a cow heat, complete with horns onto a lovely wooden art deco cupboard.

Arthur Jafa (American) his installation of Big Wheels is a reminder of the Monster Truck stadium shows and metaphors of post Ford society with its death of workin-class America. The monstrous wheels, hanging on chains, one hangs from a gallow, are juxtaposed on a wall alongside a baby of mixed race (I read later it is his own son) with a blue bib, blue book and blue bowl. Inside the wheels blue bandannas are woven into the material. One can question the heterosexual white male, the automotive industry,black labour, slavery?

His film installation won him the Golden Lion for best participant this year at the Venice Biennale and was shown in the central exhibition building at the Giardini. This video called, The White Album is a confrontation with one’s own ideas on the issue of race and our capacity for love.

Liu Wei (China) has a large scale installation of different shapes and forms in metal behind a window – called Microworld, 2018. What I find interesting is that the work is an abstract landscape but with our ability to make associations between inorganic shapes and our surroundings, green shape evokes landscape and vegetation, while the red sphere alludes to the sun or heat, love, and emotional balance. We hereby ‘active’ the landscape! I must say the scale of the work did not really overwhelm me – I thought it would do better in a bigger space – it was rather put into a corner in my opinion.

Microworld, 2018

The work of Tavares Strachank, What Will be Remembered in the Face of all That is Forgotten, can be described in Johan Conradies words,”a sculptural neon work” – a skeloton and words pulsating in the Arsenale is eye catching. This artist reminds us of individuals whose names have been omitted form common accounts of history, despite their great accomplishments – he touches on visibility and how history can make one or situations, invisible. He takes this further in the Giardini, with a big encyclopedia. The question he leaves one with is….WHO DECIDES … what gets included, what is important….what is alternative facts???

I want to also refer to the work of other Chines artists – installations that drew the crowds: Sun Yuan and Peng Yu The work, Dear (2015) is in the Arsenale and Can’t Help Myself (2016) in Giardini. It seems that the pair uses tactics of awe and shock to create interest in their works. I am still stunned at the enormity of the Giardine installation of this expensive robotic paintbrush that continually sweeps up blood red paint – always erasing or is it always painting? I later read the following: “When the sensors detect that the liquid is flowing close to the boundary, the arm frantically sweeps it back into place, leaving dark red smudges on the white floor. The aim of the piece is to shine a light on the changing relationship between people and machines.” ( Dezeen.com an article by Natashah Hitti 22 May 2019)

The work of Royi Ikeda fascinated me with regards to aesthetics – but I had not really any understanding. Johan Conradie mentioned him is his lecture notes. I sat through these videos of data visualisation in awe! I presume what the data has to say is irrelevant and that the work could be more about the spectacle of information visualization that came with technology development of networks ,AI and data systems. I do think it is relevant in our society as the information is so easily available and much more attractive than the older ideas of diagrams and charts . This reminded me of my fascination with the work of Manual Lima around circular shapes as a cultural symbol in our human knowledge ( think about metaphors for circles, ideas of simplicity, perfection, harmony, unity…) Previously in my studies in my log about drawing I looked at artists who drew landscapes and some of the images on the Royi Ikeda video, reminded me of those works – diagrams of city scapes, maybe overlaid with google views, which I think could make for a nice body of work here in Dubai. (https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/myoca519407.wordpress.com/756) In the Giardine the artist again has a striking installation? — it is a bright white walkway in the central pavilion, called Spectra III – a luminous walkway of glass panels and fluorescent lighting.

On the other hand the work of Ed Atkins almost repulsed me – I am so not the generation of Uncanny Valley and androids. Old Food was weird – his own slapped face I learned later. The eeriness is touchable. I do have to mention I did like his spider face drawings, Bloom1, found later in the Giardini Main Exhibition! Made with Gouache, Acrylic, Ink and Tipp-ex on board, shown below.

Christoph Buchel’s (Swiss-Icelandic artist) work, Barca Nostra ( our boat) might have just been seen for a boat on the shore near a restaurant area, has it not been that Johan Conradie, in his lecture before our visit, showed this work to be the original wreck of a boat carrying hundreds of migrants from Libya to Italy when it sank in 2015 – killing at least 800 people! It is displayed without any labels or contextual information. I do think this installation makes it a sign of our own ignorance or could it be….indifference? I read somewhere after the visit, that the Arsenale is where the Italian coast guard is situated — is it not amazing that this boat has to do with this humanity crises of migration?

Staring into the holes of this boat with the knowledge of the tragedy that happened was a very real experience of our collective complicity in tragedies such as this. ( I had a cold beer afterwards as this was almost at the end of the day at the Arsenale) Background reading revealed that the boat was built to accommodate a crew of fifteen, but was carrying hundreds of migrants when it collided with a Portuguese freighter in the Sicilian channel, 96 km off the Libyan coast and 193 km south of the Lampedusa, in international waters. After being recovered from the seabed by the Italian navy in 2016, and following a series of proposed plans for its future location and use, the vessel was handed over to the commune of Augusta, which was working alongside the artist in the project Barca Nostra.

Myself at Barca Nostra

I aslo viewed some of the countries represented on the site next to the Arsenale.

Saudi Arabian land artist Zahrah Al Ghamdi with the exhibition After Illusion created lovely shapes with leather. She must have spent months on these works which would include cutting, sewing, shredding, boiling, drying and burning local leather into the 52,000 abstract pieces. They reference random organic forms, Aseeri ornaments and local architecture of Al-Baha, her birth village in the southwest of the country. On Wallpaper.com website I read more about the artist – ” …the installation is inspired by an ancient Arabic poem by Zuhayr bin Abī Sūlmā (520-609), in which he describes his struggle to recognise his home after being away for 20 years. Al Ghamdi left Saudi to complete a Masters and a PHD at Coventry University before returning to Jeddah in 2009, so it’s a sentiment she understands. Today, her village is almost in ruins.” I do love to collect found objects such as stones, rocks, leaves, feathers, shells and feel strongly touched by this installation – the smell of leather was also great.

The pavilion of Kosovo had a touching video installation called, Family Album – photographs of children taken during the Kosovo War ( 1998-1999) which became the ‘face’ of the war were followed up. The artist, Alban Muja tracked down some of these children, 20 years later with conversations in these videos. One walks away really stirred and wondering about the outcome of political decisions on war and power on generations to come.

Ghana pavilion was exciting with sculptures, photographs, installation art and video installation. The rusty colour – mixed with African soil against the curved walls set the tone for a true African experience – a well designed space. A yellow bottle hanging sculpture, made with flattened bottle tops and copper wires is eye catching – Johan Conradie would have said an ‘eye-gasm’… if I had walked this area with him. I find the re-use of found object refreshing as away to explore advancement and modernity in art. I particularly liked the idea of using artists from the whole spectrum of age – across generations and those that live as ‘diaspora’ in other countries.

Earth Shedding its skin by El Anutsai, 2019
Works by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

Ghana was one of 8 African countries who partook in this Biennale of 2019. I have to say that I battled to understand South Africa’s intend and theme of The Stronger we Become. Paintings on the wall by Mawande Ka Zenzile were made of cow dung and oil. The installation piece by Dineo Sesee Bopape was difficult for me to interpret ( Marapo a yona Dinaledi (Its bones the stars), Sketch no22, 2019.) I read the following on the Biennale Arte 2019 webpage:”The collective practices of the artists engender conversations that can enable ways of thinking critically about where, as a nation, we have come from, where we are, and where we are going. The exhibition intends to present the ways in which the artists show resilience and resistance as correlative.” As a South African I have to say I missed the intend and interpretation as was a bit disappointed in the exhibition – also very quiet around the pavilion when I was visiting.

In the India pavilion the installation, Covering Letter (2012) is a projection with of a letter written by M Gandhi to Hitler – artist is Jitish Kallat. I also enjoyed the installion of display cabinets with interesting objects and photos.

The Peruvian – Amazon culture pavilion was vibrant and sensual; showing how trans persons and indigenous people are being ‘othered’. One can combine this with the earlier mention of Hegemonies. Where Chile staged videos in a fictional museum which really challenge Euro-Centric narratives such a racism, patriarchy, heteronormativity, and the link between economics and colonialism.

Indian Line, Christian Bendayan

The Italian pavilion had a great copper entrance into a labyrinth – idea of Neither Nor: The Challenge to the Labyrinth. Starting from the title itself, which in Italian uses the rhetorical device of the anastrophe, thus changing the normal word order, Neither Nor makes use of the structure of the labyrinth to stage an exhibition route with neither a beginning nor an end and open to parallel interpretations. The works on display and the installation itself converse and overlap to form a tangle of lines, forms, and tendencies reflecting the impossibility of reducing knowledge to a series of predictable trajectories.

Entrance to Italy pavilion

The installation of Thomas Saraceno near the Italy pavilion area was not half as captivating to view as his work in the Giardini. I took these photos from his website – some works ask for the right moment to be captured ! At the installation one could hear music playing and the suspended cloudscape and music moves with the tides.


One has to read more about this work – I know this artist works with intent and on his website there are much more information on this project. ( )This installation is a reminder of post fossil fuels results – rising sea levels and global warming. A reminder to us all by the artist ,who tries to reactivate a common imaginary towards achieving an ethical collaboration with the environment and the atmosphere, free from carbon emissions. Hope and vision is what I take away – the setting of the piece is also just awesome. I took many photos of the roof and the water in this area.

The Spider Web installation in the Giardini was one of my favourites. Studio Tomás Saraceno is mapping the spider/web ecologies of Venice, both inside its anthropogenic architectures, and in the areas less touched by human hands.

On a mapping exercise undertaken by Tomás Saraceno and members of the Spider/Web Research Group in early 2019, they encountered a number of spider/web typologies in the grounds of the Venice Biennale, and marked these webs in a map. Visitors are invited, through processes of becoming sensitive and attuned to the multi species ecologies in which we are embedded – to add to this map – by uploading photos of the spider/webs that you encounter. Back home I downloaded the app and started looking for spiders around my home.

Other interesting finds was sculptures that hung to the outside of the Arsenale – looking like light fittings – I liked the ‘brokenness’ of some, could not decide if it was torso’s – almost like architectural or industrial add on’s. I learn later this was called Dwindlers and done by Nairy Baghramian (no 72 on the program for the Arsenale) from Iran – it made great subjects for photography against the old buildings of the Arsenale.

dwindlers against the walls on the outside of the Arsenale

Inside the Giardine her work is bold and different. In the Central Pavilion, she is showing Maintainers (2019), a collage of sculptural elements, tightly assembled into groupings. This is made of raw casted aluminium pressed tightly up against wax forms that are supported by a cork bar and lacquered braces. It is interpreted as : “Solid and obstinate, the collage of forms animates a dynamic tension between material support and attack – without the cork and lacquered braces the work could potentially collapse.”

The China pavilion was presented by 6 artsits. I read the following: “In response to the theme of the China Pavilion “Re-Rui”, Wu Hongliang explained, “The concept of ‘Re-‘ actually means ‘back’ or ‘backwards’, which is a prefix used in many European languages. We choose ideas, spaces, and works by artists whom process is based on this concept. That is to say, we do not judge the future, we look back at the various experiences that human beings have experienced and paid attention to. » ‘Re’ has the same pronunciation in Chinese as ‘Rui’ which means ‘wisdom’. Through his show, Wu Hongliang hopes to create a path for the viewer to return to his heart using the two clues of the virtual reality and the real world.” The video/AI installations was captivating and I later enjoyed walking around the outside installation, A Place with out Whence or Whither – the light play was beautiful and peaceful and I had the idea that water was part of the idea. One never gets away from the connection with water and reflection whilst in Venice.

Our group photo at the entrance to the Arsenale on 24 September 2019


Most of my information for above discussion is from the physical visit, the Venice Biennale 2019 programme and website, as well as an extensive private lecture by Johan Conradie.

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