Venice day two. Again, breakfast was missed because a long night's sleep was needed after a full schedule of arty antics the day before. When we finally got out of the hotel Venice greeted us with a beautifully bright, warm day. We were wearing short sleeves and had our sunglasses on in November! Not at all the weather we'd been expecting but something that made our trip much more enjoyable. We walked along the waterfront to the Giardini building from St Marks Square, although the walk was so long that we decided to stop for an early lunch and take the first of many group photographs in the city (ignore Isaac's rude hand gestures... he can be cute, sometimes).
After our bellies were filled, we headed to the Giardini building to see some art. The exhibition layout was very different to the venue of the day before in that the work of each country partaking was divided into separate pavilions throughout the extensive gardens.
A piece that really caught my attention was the installation by the American artist Adrian Piper, who had written the words 'everything will be taken away' with fluid lines of white chalk upon the surface of the blackboards on show. Random letters and phrases had been erased and wiped away; by the audience or by the artist himself, it is not certain. The simple, recurrent anti-capitalist message ended up creating a significant meaning as a result of the incessant repetition.
Halfway through the afternoon we stopped for red wine (or the thickest, richest hot chocolate I have ever seen, in Steph's case) and packets of crisps before continuing our day of art education; starting with the British Pavilion. It doesn't feel right to gloss over the GB Pavilion, given I'm British myself...
Sarah Lucas represented our little island with the exhibition ‘I scream Daddio’. Walking into Sarah Lucas’ Pavilion at the Biennale was an overwhelmingly lemon-yellow experience. The walls and the large sculpture in the first room are all painted the same bright shade.
The sculptures that occupy the other rooms, of which Lucas describes her “topless muses”, are actually pale plaster casts of the bottom halves of her friends. These figures, cut off disconcertingly across the waist, are embellished with a cigarette placed between bottom cheeks, or emerging from a vagina. In theory these pieces seem filthy and crude. Maybe they are.
The traditional style casts could be seen as filth given the addition of the cigarette and the obscene poses displayed. But the 'shock' factor seems to be lessened because of the silliness of it all. The collection is titled 'Fag Butts', after all. We got out a lighter in jest, but quickly put said lighter away when the exhibition supervisor raised her eyebrows at us...
The Japanese Pavilion was made up of over 50,000 keys all attached by red yarn to two picturesque boats on each side of the room. The keys were used as a medium that conveyed emotions and true feelings and the two boats beneath the yarn and hanging keys were symbolic of two hand-like structures catching an endless pouring of memories from above.
That evening we visited an apartment of which some of our friends from the Fine Art course were renting the week we were in the city. They cooked us a beautiful vegetarian dinner, much wine was consumed, sketches were done and beautiful memories and conversations were made.
Day three and our final day in the city. A free day; a day to muse around, drink coffee, eat gelato, take group pictures and gaze at the beautiful surroundings whilst mentally preparing ourselves for the cripplingly long journey ahead.
A trip to remember forever in the company of some fantastic new individuals who I feel very lucky to have in my life here in Falmouth.