Saturday, 19 September 2015


So on the plane back from Venice - the Biennale was wondrous as ever with the Arsenale a more focused experience. I have a new set of images that will furnish new presentations at NUA and Camberwell. My head is full of images and moments that will keep me thinking for some time - the pavilion covered in tyres, the rebuilding of a familiar space as an interventionist minimal architectural event, Canada's 'shop', the sci-fi image of future space possibilities, being held hostage in a virtual reality studio, the violence of the South African pavilion leading to the idea of Goya making work from edited found CCTV footage of fighting and sexual activity in clubs, the many themes of oppression explored including the lost hope of the environment and private homosexual acts made public, a giant Russian fighter pilots head, terrorist breast feeding, hope in Latvian garages, a choir of engine noises in a novelty fun ride, a sad fair ride, Dellar's 'factory records' jukebox, the idea of flowers silently witnessing massive socio-political events, a room of staircases, windows of rain, a factory workers 'opera' in Beijing, a room of corn, the negative space of an imaginary building, an anchor the size of a car embedded in broken sheet glass, a room of shredded money, a room of blue sand, the loss of people and their languages, a room of dirt, flags their meaning obscured, crafts used to say 'something', a room of broken glass, games without rules, a book of photographic memories I tore open, the Olympic torch running in a Brazilian prison, a naked red woman dancing in an office, a bullet caught, a room of knives, mapping connections, documenting hope, Umberto Eco seeking out a book from a book lined labyrinth and getting me to think about memory - what is a list?

But my highlights have to be 5 film pieces all embedded within installations. Martyr construction by Theaster Gates destruction, desecration and hope, the silence of existing systems watching helplessly while new beginnings from the past are reenacted. Factory of the Sun by Hito Steyerl set within a 'virtual motion capture studio' itself shown in a motion capture studio it stunningly explores notions of truth that supports and surrounds our understanding of the world. Ashes by Steve McQueen just tragically sad - reading about its conception helps a little, NoNoseKnows by Mika Rottenberg my WTF moment - work undertaken by women, natural order undermined by capitalist pointlessness, truly odd and finally the haunting Never Say Goodbye by WuTien-Chang beautiful, magic, the presentation of a nostalgic future.