57th Venice Biennale: the Arsenale. A first look at ‘Viva Arte Viva’ at the Arsenale

Dan Fox, Frieze, 05/2017

Each chapter, or pavilion, carries a name that could be the title of a weighty sci-fi novel by Frank Herbert or a New Age self-help book. In the Arsenale are the Pavilion of the Earth, Pavilion of the Common, Pavilion of Traditions, Pavilion of Shamans, Dionysian Pavilion, Pavilion of Colours, and the wonderfully far-out-sounding Pavilion of Time and Infinity. (Over at the Central Pavilion in the Giardini are the Pavilion of Joys and Fears and the Pavilion of Artists and Books. My colleague Evan Moffitt is covering this section of the show; please read his response in tandem with mine in order to get a fuller picture.) I wouldn’t mind the cosmic vibes these designations send out if only I could establish even the loosest, most associative connection to the artworks on display in each category. The Dionysian Pavilion must’ve been such a Dionysian experience that, like the 1960s, if I remembered it I wasn’t there, although my notes tell me it included Jeremy Shaw’s photographic explorations of altered states of consciousness and Nevin Aladağ’s charming video Traces (2015) in which cymbals, accordions and tambors are rigged up to play themselves in the streets and parks of a wintry city.


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Read the full online article here.