AO On Site – Venice Biennale: ‘The Collectors’ at the Danish and Nordic Pavilions and ‘Making Worlds’ at the Venice Biennale

June 5th, 2009

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Tomas Sarceno’s ‘Galaxies’ in ‘Making Worlds’ at the Venice Biennale, photo by ArtObserved

Under the title of ‘The Collectors’, the artist duo Elmgreen&Dragset curated and staged the first joint venture between two Pavilions at the Venice Biennial.  As the title suggests, the show explores collecting as a practice combining privacy, public visibility, obsession and self-expression.

On the opening day, the line in front of the Danish Pavilion that served as the entrance to both Pavilions was as long as the rooster of represented artists was impressive: Terence Koh, Hernan Bas, Wolfgang Tillmans, Jonathan Monk to name only some of the 24 international artists and designers participating.  The public was guided on a tour by a real estate agent through a “For Sale” Danish Pavilion and into the neighboring Nordic Pavilion counting the story of a kinky bachelor named Mr. B. and his collection of contemporary art and his ex-lovers’ swim wear. The naked young man lasciviously posing in an Arne Jacobsen arm chair was the definitely the favorite photo occasion of the day.

The Collectors
La Biennale
Venice Biennale Shows Men Embracing, Bruce Nauman’s Rituals [Bloomberg]
Rising to Biennale’s Curatorial Challenge [WSJ]
Politics dominates Venice Biennale [Globe and Mail]
It’s Reigning Men [Artforum]

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Installation view of ‘The Collectors’ by Elmgreen&Dragset at the Danish and Nordic Pavilions, photo by ArtObserved

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Installation view of ‘The Collectors’ by Elmgreen&Dragset at the Danish and Nordic Pavilions via The Collectors

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Installation view of ‘The Collectors’ by Wolfgang Tillmans at the Danish and Nordic Pavilions, photo by ArtObserved

Elsewhere in Venice, Critic Daniel Birnbaum curated this year’s International Art Exhibition under the theme ‘Making Worlds.’ With 90 artists from 44 countries, the exhibition takes place all over the biennale venue, including the former Italian Pavilion, now renamed the Palazzo delle Esposizioni. The eye catcher is Tomas Saraceno’s Galaxies installation made of elastic ropes (2009).

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Tomas Sarceno’s ‘Galaxies’ in ‘Making Worlds’ at the Venice Biennale, photo by ArtObserved

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Tomas Sarceno’s ‘Galaxies’ in ‘Making Worlds’ at the Venice Biennale, photo by ArtObserved

Swedish and Berlin-based artist Nathalie Djurberg’s video and sculpture environment Experimentet, 2009 (Installation, Claymation, digital video and mixed media) comprises of a gloomy room filled with larger-than-life flower sculptures and three new videos by the artist.

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Nathalie Djurberg’s ‘Experimentet’ in ‘Making Worlds’ at the Venice Biennale, photo by ArtObserved

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Nathalie Djurberg’s ‘Experimentet’ in ‘Making Worlds’ at the Venice Biennale, photo by ArtObserved

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Rachel Harrison’s ‘Centerpiece’ in ‘Making Worlds’ at the Venice Biennale, photo by ArtObserved

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Rachel Harrison’s ‘Poster’ in ‘Making Worlds’ at the Venice Biennale, photo by ArtObserved