The value of stillness at the Venice Art Biennale 2013 (no55)

In the gardens (giardini) of contemporary art very few artists promote the value of stillness. Mark Manders is one of them and his “Room with Broken Sentence” at the Dutch Pavilion this year is by far the most powerful/ touching presentation. In the eight pages b/w brochure with images and the artist’s own texts we read clear thoughts that actually correspond to what we see. He is right to say that his “exhibitions are actually made for one visitor at a time…” and that his “works are linked in a super-moment that is always attached to the here and now”. The exhibition conveys the weight of an ancient monument while composed by images of the living “here and now” with the inevitable feel of mortality and suffocation; a frozen drama that keeps the dust of beauty, tenderness and detachment. The exhibition imposes stillness in a rare state of completion where materials and forms absorb any sound that we would make before we make it.

P.S.1 Blessed are the artists who did not put down their tools!

P.S.2 Speaking of Dutch artists, I was nicely surprised by the photographs of Viviane Sassen presented in the “Encyclopedic Palace” at the Italian Pavilion. Very peculiar images from Africa with the eye of an involved stranger.

adventurous photos made by Mickey vd Beukel

side view of work "Mind Study", the main piece of the Pavilion
partial side view of work “Mind Study”, the main piece of the Pavilion
back view of the same work
partial back view of the same work
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