HBL Events: Venice Biennale

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Karla Black, Scottish Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2011

The 54th edition of the Venice Biennale has already been dissected by the throng of international press and buyers who descended on the Arsenale and Giardini for the opening days in early June - but with the event running until November, there's plenty of time to plan your trip.

WGSN-homebuildlife highlights three of the must-see national pavilions to add to your itinerary; subscribers can click here to see our full top ten.

Lateefa bint Maktoum, UAE Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2011

Turner Prize-nominated Karla Black presents a flowing sculptural installation for the Scottish pavilion, which sprawls over three rooms, blazing a neon pastel trail in its wake. A carefully-constructed mass of pulverised, powdery textures, with an ungainly elegance.

The UAE perhaps has to try harder than most to establish its cultural identity and does so effectively through the work of three artists - Reem Al Ghaith, Abdullah Al Saadi and Lateefa bint Maktoum - each offering a different perspective on the challenges of producing and promoting indigenous art from the Middle East. 

Christoph Schlingensief, German Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2011

Winner of the Golden Lion award for best national pavilion representation, Germany underscored the politically self-referential and confessional theme of many exhibiting nations. The works inside were created by Christoph Schlingensief, who died in August 2010 before his vision could be realised.

In a deeply theatrical space with Catholic undertones, curators Susanne Gaensheimer and Aino Laberenz have instead presented a retrospective of Schlingensief's work, the centrepiece of which revolves around his monumental Fluxus oratorio, A Church of Fear vs. the Alien Within - providing an imposing statement on life, death, retribution and confession.