Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Return to Venice - Part III - memories

Venice is but a distant memory, it was 3 months ago but there are somethings that have stuck to me and continue to inform some of the things that I have been thinking about. This is particularly so with TRA, the exhibition at the Palazzo Fortuny. Curated by 4 curators with the big standout name of Axel Vervoodt. Sure it felt like INFINITUM of 2 years ago and the show he did 2 years before that, after all his signature is so strong but the completely seamless juxtaposition of old and new, cold and hot, soft and hard, the collection is nothing but perfection. Brilliant.

I loved the ground floor of Italain and Japanese abstract painted panels that felt like Pollock but predates it all by 3 decades, of ancient Buddhist statues and a video by Araya, of her singing to 2 corpses. Perfection. Dark, cool perfection. I still want to live in a place like that, to be so effortless yet so perfect with still some room for surprise.

Not to mention that the Palazzo is next to one of my fave restaurants in Venice. My favourite restaurant in fact. Delicious lunch of pasta and meat and too much wine, and accidently and lovely catch up with Waan and P'Eric (have not seen them since their wedding, they are in Venice as Jim Thompson foudnation is one of hte patrons of th eThai pavilion) a boat ride away from the Giardini for P'Navin's opening.

What a perfect opening, at that golden hour of 4 pm on the roofdeck of the Gallery Paradiso with beer, champagne and snacks. There were too many people there to actually have a look at the art (good sign) but the pha kao ma bags on the guests on the roofdeck with the most brillaint view of the sea under the shade big trees, that is what an openign is all about. So happy to see Eric and WAan, and joined by my new friends, the Visionaires + Patrick Li and Ole before he left Navinland for Neverland (china).

Waan and Eric

We then trudged on to the Fondazine Prada opening, talk about a traffic jam at the entrance! We then thought we would walk from there to our favouriate cicchetti place near the Accademia, when we go there after a 40 minute walk expertly navigated by Chris Bollen, it was closed because it was an Italian holiday that day and it was too much work to stay open. Yes, that's Italy for you. We settled for simple sandwiches near Accademia before going to Big Bambu by Michael and Doug Starn next to the Guggenheim. Patrick Li worked on this as it was by Manifesto magazine, a magazine Gucci has commissioned Stephano Tonchi (of W) to guest edit. It was fantastic. The Big Bambu was actually 5 times the size at The Met in NY last year, reduced in size but defiitely not in impact. Especially when the bamboo would crack and walking up, to catch a glimpose of Venice in a Bamboo shelter could be life threatening, though it was not really. When we go up, total surfer vibe, cushins music and everythinbg divine. I considered stating a sponsoring Chomwan to sleep in Big Bambu innitiative, Patrick even asked the artist but it did not happen. Really it was just spectacular, I loved it. Felt like home, maybe this is what it was like to live int he make shift bamboo fort last year in Bangkok. Who would have ever though this would be considered art when after all bamboo is in a way of life, but there is no denying its ability to shock, shelter and in this case to stun and entertain. Way to go Starn brothers! If I were to create something from bamboo, I would recreate that fort, or simulate that same sense of danger, community and anger smack in the centre of venice. or not. Loved the view

Cecilia and I

Then on we went to the Bauer for Dasha Zhucova's Garage CCC oepnign of Commercial Break curated by Neville Wakefield and supported by Post Ipad mag which is Xerxes' mag. GREAT turn out, the biggest turn out probably in Venice. London was in full effect, with very little of the "art" world, so no it was not "serious" but then again past midnight, what is? It was absurd and shocking to also see grown adults fight at the door, perhaps part of some kind of installation, or real life? Props to Nadine Johnson who totallly kept it under control.
me and Cecilia
me and Patrick
Jason and David

I was happy in our little corner that Dee Poon and I discovered away from the crowd with our smuggled alcohol. The NY crew left earlier to search for food but we struggled on. It was hard to see the little breaks as their original intention of breaks on boats did not happen. By the time that Jefferson got on the decks at B-bar all I wanted to do was go home. It was after all 4 am and I knew that I still had the Arsenale to wander the next day.

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