cristine wang on 7 Jul 2001 12:16:06 -0000

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[rohrpost] DIGITAL DIARY: Report from 49th Biennale di

*out on newsstands today*

[from vol 6 no.7/8, july aug ny arts magazine:]

DIGITAL DIARY: Report from 49th Biennale di

"At the opening of the Slovenian Pavilion,
several members of the Old Boys Network
congratulated Vuk Cosic and handed over a huge
bouquet of flowers to him. Amongst Tadej Pogacar
and, Vuk Cosic is the
representative of the Republic of Slovenia in the
Slovenian Pavilion at the 49th Biennale of Art in
Venice. Following is the speech which has been
delivered by OBN at this occasion: “On behalf of
the Old Boys Network, an international autonomous
cyberfeminist networking organisation, we offer
this acknowledgement to Vuk Cosic. We
congratulate Vuk on his success on bringing to the venice biennale, which definitely
is one of the pinnacles in his career.
Additionally, he has curated the first temporary
autonomous pavillion ever at a biennale. We
honour Vuk in using his powerful position not
just to represent slovenia and bring his personal position to this prestigious
international event, but also to show the
positions of his colleagues. We wish him
well in his future responsibilities to the net
art community. "
--Cornelia Sollfrank (Old Boys Network)

Also at the Slovenian Pavilion, there was a
presentation by Marina Grzinic, Editor of the
book "Gallery (Dante) Marino Cettina “Future
Perspectives", which speaks of the gallery in
Croatia, which has shown artists such as Fabrizio
Plessi, Marjetica Potrc, Andres Serrano, Sam
Taylor-Wood, and Gillian Wearing (as well as the
editor herself and her collaborator, Aina Smid). 

Next to the Canadian Pavillion (behind the 2hr
long queues for Janet Cardiff‘s film) was a book
launch party for Carolee Thea‘s "Foci: Interviews
with Ten International Curators." Published by
Apex Art Curatorial Program, it includes essays
and interviews with curators: Dan Cameron (New
Museum of Contemporary Art, NY), Hou Hanru
(Shanghai Biennale 2000), Yuko Hasegawa (Istanbul
Biennial 2001), Maria Hlavajova (Center for
Curatorial Studies, Bard College), Vasif Kortun
(Istanbul Contemporary Art Project), Kasper Konig
(Museum Ludwig, Cologne), Barbara London (Dept.
Film + Video, MoMA), Rosa Martinez (ARCO Project
Rooms), Hans-Ulrich Obrist (Musee d‘Art Moderne
de la Ville de Paris), and Harald Szeemann
(Director, 49th Venice Biennale). Carolee Thea is
a writer, artist, curator. Her articles have
appeared in TRANS>, New Art
Examiner, Artnet, NY Arts Magazine and ArtNews.

Not to be missed is the work of Urs Luthi at the
Swiss Pavilion, where the internationally
reknowned artist is showing zany,
thought-provoking works from the series "Placebos
+ Surrogates", the video installation "Run for
your Life" and the sculpture "Low Action Games
II". Resembling a baroque motto, the heading of
the entire presentation, "ART FOR A BETTER LIFE",
is placed against a background of a positively
‘heavenly’ turquioise blue. The two series,
"Trademarks" and "Therapies for Venezia", take an
ironic look at viewers‘ longings and their
collective pursuit of happiness “visitors to the
Biennale included ” whereby the therapeutic
reinforcement of this quest for a meaningful art
paradise ultimately abandons them to the
absurdity of their wishes. Luthi‘s artistic
detachment and mode of production impart a
feeling of frailty in the face of such
expectations, and a touch of the memento mori
undeniably underlies this presentation. 

For audio lovers there is the "sound_shifting"
installation by Moslang / Guhl on the Grand
Canal. The movement of the city, or rather the
inaudible sounds from the depths of the canal,
will be transmitted live via an underwater
hydrophone, using the interior of the church as a
sound box. The sounds are controlled by a small
computer programmed with a list of random
adjustments. With their subversive treatment of
musical convention, Moslang / Guhl, known in the
world of experimental music as "Voice Crack",
dramatically undermine the order of the Baroque

A site for sore eyes is "The Nordic Pavilion",
designed by modernist architect Sverre Fehn in
1962. A minimalist oasis in the midst of plenty,
this exhibition (of the same name) curated by
Tommi Gronlund and Petteri Nisunen, and includes
themselves plus Leif Elggren, Carl Michael von
Hausswolff, Anders Tomren, deals with the visible
and invisible, and with the shifting boundary
between them. Its atmosphere is formed out of
subtle changes in spare visual elements and
sounds. The working group wanted to stress the
collective nature of the project by not naming or
crediting the individual works“ the parts of the
installation made by each artist/artist duo in
their own country will remain anonymous and will
be interlinked into a single whole in the
pavilion. The specially constructed radio
receiver/transmitter picks up all radio
frequencies simultaneously. The outgoing signal,
which is audible in the space and is also relayed
via the transmitter on a single frequency,
contains all the information travelling on all
radio wavelengths. The space in the pavilion is
divided up by glass partitions, their
transparency changing gradually. Hundreds of
steel wires have been stretched from one end to
the other of the longest wall in the space. They
move constantly, gradually forming shifting
kinetic patterns. 

Cristine Wang
Assistant Editor


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