Venice Biennale 2015 – Part 4
Blue is my favourite colour and today I’ll cover three artworks at the Venice Biennale 2015 that I was drawn to initially because of blue. Above is Turkish artist, Kutlug Ataman’s piece titled “Portrait of Sakip Sabanci”, 2011. There is a 12 x 12 grid of video screens hanging from the ceiling in a fashion that emulates a single piece of paper that is fluttering in the wind. Each screen is divided into a 12 x 12 grid of passport size photographs of people’s faces. The whole piece comprises 20,736 photos, but as you gaze up at it from the floor, you notice the images change periodically. On the walls of the room are still photos of some of the faces on the ceiling. The people are the over 10,000 whose lives have been affected by Sakip Sabanci, a Turkish philanthropist who passed away in 2011. His family commissioned the artwork. As I approached the doorway into the room, I was taken by the shape of the monitors and their faint blue hue and wondered how such a large structure was suspended almost weightless above the floor. Strange how full colour photos blend into an overall blue when seen from a distance. Then I examined more closely the images on the screens and was slightly startled that the images randomly changed, but silently.
This is German artist, Hans Haacke’s “Blue Sail”, 1965. This kinetic sculpture comprises a large piece of blue chiffon that is suspended with weights and wire and an oscillating fan below it. As the fan head moves back and forth, the chiffon bulges up and a blue “dune” moves with it. It was pleasant to watch this movement for a few minutes.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Biennale has several satellite sites around Venice, where artworks are exhibited. One such spot is the Giardino della Marinaressa. Here, American artist, Ursula von Rydingsvard’s five monumental sculptures are situated in this airy, treed park beside the lagoon. Four of her sculptures are massive wooden pieces that resemble tree trunks that have been put through a gang saw and the resulting slices presented off centre from each other, creating a ripple effect. But what drew my attention most was the fifth piece. Pictured is this tall sculpture, comprised of hundreds of horizontal layers of glass laminated together and then carved with an angle grinder. The shape of the sculpture reminds me of a tree or a funnel cloud. And the varied hues of blue connect the earth with the sky. Michelle and I spent quite some time walking around and viewing this piece from several angles. I loved it.