Elsewhere / Places

Imitation Of Life – We Visite Venice

Every two years we gather in Venice to be charmed and fooled by contemporary art once again. Vita Zaman and Antje Mayer found themselves among intimate strangers: art crowd insiders, curators, gallerists, politicians, oligarchs, hang alongs, gigolos… We met artists, art dealers, collectors, critics, art lovers, forever elegantly rich global art aficionados lounging in their mega-yachts. And we are not disappointed by what we see in the Austrian pavilion, curated by Jasper Sharp: “Imitation of Life”. We are presented a sharp, rad, and witty yet critical film installation by the Austrian artist Mathias Poledna, who is based in LA, and thus naturally fluent in Disney lingo.

“I got a feeling you’re fooling with me”

Outside the Austrian pavilion – much anticipation


Everybody who is anybody is there including Mr. President Fischer (Mathias Poledna in the background).


The curator Jasper Sharp and the galleries Daniel Buchholz and Mayer Kainer are happy.

… so are Mrs. and Mr. Aksenov, delighted by uplifting mood of the artwork.

The weather in Venice is as fickle as the art opinions – Aliah Fattouh from Lombard Freid Gallery in New York.

The Lithuanian crew, including Kestutis Kuizinas, the director of the CAC, are definitely not dancing in the rain.

Vita Zaman is lost at the Lido. Where is the Austrian party?

So is the Austrian gallerist Heike Curtze. Where is the Eden?


Some info for the geeks: Eden here refers not to the paradise lost but to the family who had owned the property.


The garden is a mystery. We cannot see anything but we eat a lot.


Austrian style: “Ordnung muss sein!”

The yummy food was prepared by Juila Kutas (hiddenkitchen).

The first guests, including Austrian artist Hans Schabus (left) and Max Hollein from Schirn Kunsthalle, arrive. Take a peek into the who is who, what is what …

“Trinken, tanzen, tratschen … “

In a good temper: Rector of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Eva Blimlinger and Peter Zawrel, director of Künstlerhaus.

In good company: director of Kunsthalle Vienna, Nicolaus Schafhausen

Professor Christian Kravagna (Akademy of Fine Arts in Vienna) and art journalist Andrea Schurian (right) from the Austrian newspaper Der Standard enjoy the evening.

The Austrian party crowd is in a good mood on the ferry, rubbing against each other, and continue back to their beds or better parties.


Venice is magic with and without art. Imitation of life?

The morning after is much bleaker. Is this an art overdose or a social allergy?


Vita Zaman rehearsing a pose from the plague scene in the film “Death in Venice”, which was shot in Lido.


Antje Mayer escapes from Vita and her blogging addiction to Hotel Excelsior for some peace and quiet.


She does not manage!


The rest of the Austrian crowd (here Viennese gallerist Ursula Krinzinger) are on the way back home. Blogging forever (we missed the plane)!

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