November 27 is the last day, so you’ve got a month to go there. And it’s well worth it. The connoiseurs may have their sophisticated views of what is really happening now, what the significant trends are, etc. I’d say instead: Go there without any preconceived ideas, take in as much as you can. There is so much inspiration in so many directions that you can hardly return home without feeling it was worth the time, energy and costs (on the latter, Venice hotels and restaurants charge at least double rates while the Biennale is on, so…).
It is simply impossible to write about it, so sorry for this short attempt to defy the impossible! There are the official, enormous Biennale spaces at Giardini and the Arsenale. But then – without much co-operation or even communication with the Biennale management, it seems – there are art events all over town at museums galleries, art institutions, in abandoned flats, backyards and in the streets. My wife and I spent about 8 hours per day for a week and we probably saw only a fraction.
© Jan Oberg 2011
That’s Venice and the Biennale* – enormous, weird, overwhelming, frustrating, enigmatic, and simultaneously an incredible positive documentation of multi-cultural creation in a globalizing world. In the midst of wars, environmental decay, deep economic crisis and all the rest, it simply gives me hope to walk around at the Venice Biennale and in the rest of town.
I believe it should be OK to write about it in a totally subjectve but positive manner and with an emphasis on what attracted me in general and as a photographer in particular. So I’ll simply tell you what made a lasting impression on me – lasting because it is more than a month ago I visited Venice and I find that some things have stayed with me while others are now more or less forgotten. If you’ve been there, can we compare notes?