I stayed behind in rainy Venice to see the most talked about pavilion. Lithuania, of course (shared with Cyprus)! I say Olympic gold once more. The project is commissioned by Aurimė Aleksandravičiūtė and Jonas Žakaitis ( ex-Tulips and Roses gallery, currently Federal magazine)
Exhibition as a grand detail belonging to a whole that opens up as a detail within a detail. oO becomes Oo and o0. It takes place in a building that has its own rhythm, character, and schedule: the favourite venue for physical exercise in Venice. It will witness a simultaneous co-habitation of art and sports for the entire summer. It can only be matched by the exercise of cosmopolitanism by the two respective countries.
Lithuanians and Cypriots take over a huge stadium and activate it with sculpture, performances, spaces for rest and communication – it is a collaborative project that involves more than 20 artists: Liudvikas Buklys, Gintaras Didžiapetris, Jason Dodge, Lia Haraki, Maria Hassabi, Phanos Kyriacou, Myriam Lefkowitz, Gabriel Lester, Elena Narbutaitė, Morten Norbye Halvorsen, Algirdas Šeškus, Dexter Sinister, Constantinos Taliotis, Kazys Varnelis, Natalie Yiaxi, Vytautė Žilinskaitė.
The Lithuanian maverick, Raimundas Malasauskas is a curator, writer, and now a key artist.
We exchange some profound sentences in our tribal language. VZ: “Tu gerai atrodai!” , RM: “Tu irgi puikiai!”
Lithuanians are good at two things: basketball and contemporary art.
Gabriel Lester is an honorary Lithuanian and he installed the unique museum walls in the basketball arena as if they were players of the competing teams. I agree: the Venice Biennale has a lot in common with the Olympic Games. Gabriel lets me wear his baseball hat and I feel like a true groupie.
After the delightful lunch we indulge in other aspects of the flesh and admire a great show by Edouard Manet. Jupiter and Antiope, 1856 (oil on canvas).
On our way to see the pavilions we bump into some smiley happy people.
Vadim Grigorian from Paris, who is already smiling about the thought of visiting Vienna in October.
I buy the t-shirt and wonder in this Alice in the Wonderland space
We join the Museum of Everything, the self-taught revolutionaries who make art for themselves, not for the markets, the museums, or the masses – or just pop over, sunbathe on the grass, and seduce international lovers at The Cafe of Everything, the only fully-functional bar and eaterie anywhere close to the Giardini.
Back to serious art business – Pavilion of Palestine “Otherwise occupied“, works by Bashir Makhoul and Alissa Deebi, curated by Bruce Ferguson and Rawan Sharaf.
Viewers are invited to transform the boxes and simultaneously affect Gaza’s architecture in imaginary way.
That’s the spirit!
And this time I don’t miss the flight. I promise: I will not blog from Art Basel!