fbpx

Life In 360°: Back To The Biennale

If you were reading VRFocus at this time last week you might well recall reading that Friday’s Life In 360°, in which we took some time away from a series of outer space adventures to investigate the world famous Italian city of Venice.  We weren’t there for the icnonic canals however, but more artistic goings on courtesy of an arts exhibition that was first held at the very end of the 19th century. (1895 to be precice.)

It is the twice-yearly Venice Biennale – hence the name – and YouTube channel Artsy has been chronicling various exhibitions and the stories of the artists and performers behind them. Last week we had the first three videos in this series which focused on the history of the event, sound as an artform and the concept of using real life to create ‘one minute scuptures.  Their “Inside the Biennale” continues this week with the next three in the series which covers an award winning five hour long piece of performance art, an endless process of casting different scultures of Jesus in diffferent materials – then letting them deteriorate to create different results. And explorind the memories of postcolonial Nigerian nationhood through interpretive dance. The stories and methods behind the art pieces are quite different as you can see and they are all recorded in 360 degree video below each with their descriptions.

4 – Faust

“Anne Imhof’s Faust features a troupe of androgynous, athleisure-clad performers filling the German Pavilion with black metal dance, melancholic singing and chanting, erotic scuffles, and screams over the course of a five-hour performance. The dark, aggressive nature of this seven-month-long project reflects its namesake (Goethe’s tragic magnum opus, which literally translates into “fist” in German) as well the history of the pavilion, which was remodeled by the Nazis in 1938 into the stark Neoclassical building that stands today.”

5 – Il Mondo Magico (“The Magic World”)

“[Cecilia] Alemani brings us into the first hall, where sculptures of Jesus are fabricated, incubated, and exhibited in a three-part installation-cum-laboratory by Cuoghi. “Nationalism in art and at the Biennale shouldn’t be seen as an example necessarily of the division in our world but actually on the contrary as a polyphony of voices that come together in one place,” says Alemani of the debate surrounding the Biennale’s framework of national pavilions. “This rhizome of references and connections is what makes the Venice Biennale quite unique.”

6 – Right Here, Right Now

““My role as a dancer is to not only look for ways to go through my own journey, but also to trigger the body memory of my audience,” explains artist and choreographer Qudus Onikeku in the catalogue for the first-ever Nigerian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. “As a colonized people, we have lost track of many things.”  Onikeku’s performances explore postcolonial Nigerian nationhood through this idea of body memory: the power of the human form to awaken dormant memories of collective trauma. By activating the body through dance, the artist seeks to escape the burdens of history—and heal them.” 

I am off on vacation for most of next couple of weeks, but check back on VRFocus very soon for the next example of Life In 360°.