AO On Site at the 54th Venice Biennale 2011: Preview (with photoset) of Glasstress 2011 and Mike and Doug Starn’s Big Bambú, through June 15, 2011

June 5th, 2011

Marya Kazoun, They were there (2011). All photos by Caroline Claisse for Art Observed unless otherwise noted.

Glasstress 2011 is an exhibition devoted solely to glass, featuring internationally renowned artists, architects, and designers such as Zaha Hadid, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Kiki Smith, Doug and Mike Starn, Fred Wilson, Marya Kazoun, Huan Zhang, and even musician Pharrell Williams. It is one of the official 37 collateral events of the biennale, and also includes a reinstallment of Doug and Mike Starn’s Big Bambú on the roof of the Dorsoduro, next door to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

The walkway of Doug and Mike Starn’s Big Bambú. Image courtesy NYT.

More text and images after the jump…

Entrance to Glasstress 2011 at Palazzo Franchetti.

Conceived by Adriano Berengo, together with the Museum of Art and Design in New York, Glasstress takes place at the Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti. It is curated by Lidewij Edelkoort, Peter Noever and Demetrio Paparoni, with contributions from Bonnie Clearwater. The exhibition represents an attempt to give credit to an underrated medium.

One note-worthy sculpture on view is by Chinese artist Zhang Huan. The artist depicts himself in a meat-covered body (referencing his performance at the 2002 Whitney Biennial) tugging at a figure with the body of Buddha and the head of Ai Weiwei, with a sunflower seed in the place of his heart.

Javier Pérez, Corona (2011)

Tokujin Yoshioka, Waterblock (2002)

Thomas Schutte, Berengo Head (2011)

Zhang Huan, Ten thousand years old turtle (2011)

Nawa Kohei, Pixcell emu

Nabil Nahas, Untitled VP 1 (2011)

Monica Bonvicini, Tears (2011)

Marya Kazoun, They were there (2011)

Kostantin Khudyakov, Last Supper (2011)

Kiki Smith, Milky Way (2011)

Kendell Geers (2011)

Jaume Plensa, Glassman II (2004)

A familiar site to contemporary art goers is Big Bambú. The central part of the structure is 15 meters tall, built entirely of hollow stalks of bamboo bound together with rope. As in its installation on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum, the creators, Doug and Mike Starn, have also created a trail which spirals up to a 6 meters wide lounge. The sculpture is constantly in flux; the creators and crew of rock climbers will continue to lash together bamboo until the closing day on June 15th.

A crew member installs the Big Bambú. Image courtesy NYT.

The Big Bambú looms over the Grand Canal. Image courtesy NYT.

A crew member secures a support. Image courtesy NYT.

The view across the lagoon. Image courtesy NYT.

Mike Starn napping in his structure. Image courtesy NYT.

Image via Art Daily.

– J. Lindblad

Related Links:

Exhibition Site [Glasstress]
Heart of Glass [NYT - T Magazine]
Shatter Island [Icon]
Van der Postings: Artists in Glass [Financial Times]
Impegno & interessi, lite su Ai Weiwei (in Italian) [Corriere della Sera]
Venezia Day 2 (in Italian) [Vogue Italia]
“Inside Out” by Pharrell Williams [Art School Vets]
Mike and Doug Starn’s Big Bambú on View in the Courtyard of Casa Artom on the Grand Canal [Art Daily]
Venice Biennale: ‘Big Bambú,’ Italian Style [NYT]
The Starns – Big Bambú Venice [Artinfo]