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55th La Biennale di Venezia – raindrops are fallin on my head …

5am and the Venice sky can be best described as sullen. A more flamboyant description might be tempestuous if we weren’t trying to bring it around to art matters (The Tempest is SUCH a great work and true to Venetian visions). They are all huddled in hard venetian beds with embroidered throws I suspect, but the glitterati are few on the ground so far.  Could be the shift of time from early June to late May has divided the crowd into those that come and those that wait until they can link it together with art fairs and other biennales.  If that’s the case then this coud be a spacious event with a chance to see the art!  It remains to be seen.
The Australian Pavilion kicks off this morning ahead of the most chatted about pavilion exchange between France and Germany indicating a strange new EU alliance of the super Euros …might have been nicer if Germany had exchanged with Greece given the crisis, or Spain, or Ireland, but that would mean relinquishing the high ground, still presided over by Brittannia whose pavilion looks down upon them all under its portico gaze.  From acounts in the paper in the past couple of days, it seems Simryn Gill has lifted the roof of the OZPAV … this worst kept secret was doing the rounds in Sydney some time ago, but never got traction … still it’s a good time to open to the skies and let the sun shine in (if there is any) and grow a rain forest…could be an aqua alto event for sure if the massing clouds don’t budge soon.  Ah! but wait!! There’s a little Tiepolo blue trying to peek through and a map of the USA has just formed itself out of brilliant back light…don’t know if that’s a sign or an illusion, but Sarah Sze is the Pavilion artist this year for the USA and known for conjuring beauty and visions from rubble and rubbish that hover in space (sometimes), so maybe the sky is a precient …oh no!…its just morphed into the Croatian archipelago … Hot tips?? Michel Brand asked me in the passport line … well, we are looking forward to seeing what our ACCA friend Berlinde de Bruyckere has come up with for Belgium (if you missed our video interview first time round here it is again)  and Jesper Just, also an ACCA featured artist some years back, is representing Denmark and we are betting that will be a queue. … we shall be able to tell more once we have located a brolly, some gum boots and fortitude for the days ahead!

– Juliana Engberg

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