Venice Bienalle 2011 in Pics

Allora & Calzadilla, installation of “Track and Field,” 2011. © All rights reserved by IMA – Indianapolis Museum of Art

Walking into the Venice Biennale is like traversing into an art-induced headlock set in a labyrinthian wonderland. Slather on enough Vaperetto excursions and optical trickery, and you’ve got a fabricated case of vertigo. Upping the ante are the sumptuous parties and enough celeb sightings to make LA look dull. Want Courtney Love to cuddle with another grunge rock boy, this time Salem style? Head to the Brauer and you’ve got it. Need a mega-sized yacht owned by Forbes‘s 53rd richest man in the world (sorry Abromovich, but this is the 54th edition), take a walk near the Giardini. This year’s rich ‘n famous lineup was so absurd it looked like Cannes on high-qual crack. As a long-time attendees put it, the Biennale used to be about seeing the exhibition, attending the afterparty, and heading back to the hotel to sleep it off and do it all over again. But this year, unless one had the willpower of a health-conscious pregnant woman or the iron tolerance of an English coal worker, it was a sure thing that full coverage was mitigated by Alka-Seltzer.

Christian Marclay, “The Clock,” 2010

Having just clicked the send button on final papers, my attendance to last week’s preview checked out under the pleasure category. So while my strongsuit is probably the gossip (shoes, aristos, amorous journalists, and even hotter artists all trotting around at 4am deliciously inebriated), the recently interpolated student in me is going to abstain from discussing what happened after I feel asleep in front of Christian Marclay’s Golden Lion winning 24-hour film The Clock. For saucier coverage, tune-in to the usual suspects.


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