(No) Textiles at the Venice Art Biennale 2013 (no55)

In the vastness of the Venice Art Biennale, textile art is still seen only sporadically and never as a complete and autonomous art proposal. It is mostly hidden behind contexts as at the Venice Pavilion where a group of artists recalls  Venice’s historic fabric production or – again in an historical context –  as example of the 60’s-70’s avant garde of a country as with the works of Geta Bratescu from Romania; in the “Encyclopedic Palace”, the main exhibition at the Italian Pavilion.

I spotted a room of tapestries by the Senegalese artist Papa Ibra Tal  and the digitally printed fabric work by the British Alice Channer, both in the Arsenale. Further, a thread installation by Faig Ahmed from Azerbaijan in the exhibition “Love me, Love me not”- Contemporary Art from Azerbaijan and its neighbours at Arsenale North and the big size embroideries by one of the artists of the exhibition “Voice of the Unseen Chinese Independent Art 1979/Today”. I haven’t been able to find a button for English on their website to extract the name of the artist.

There are some exhibitions containing art on fabric – I could not see everything as understood –  but in total the textiles do not exceed our ten fingers. To that respect –  if only –  La Biennale has not picked up to a wave of handmade works; the few handicrafts that again are exhibited in conceptual costumes do not change much of this impression.

deatill of Geta Bratescu's (Romania) textile work
detail of Geta Bratescu’s (Romania) textile work
tapestry by Papa Ibra Tal (Senegal) at the Arsenale
tapestry by Papa Ibra Tal (Senegal) at the Arsenale
detail of digitally printed fabric work by Alice Channer (UK) in the series "Reptiles"
detail of digitally printed fabric work by Alice Channer (UK) –  series “Reptiles”
embroideries on big size stretchers at the Voice of the Unseen Chinese Independent Art 1979/Today
embroideries on big size stretchers at the “Voice of the Unseen” Chinese Independent Art 1979/Today
detail of embroidery work
detail of embroidery work
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