Although I won’t be at Art Basel Miami this year, I’m going to Venice for the 53rd International Art Exhibition in June. The exhibition opens to the press on June 4, and, unlike recent incarnations which cleaved toward video and installation projects, 53 will embrace traditional media such as painting and drawing. Director Daniel Birnbaum stressed that the exhibition will not be divided into sections but instead weave a few themes into an articulated whole. In the press release, he points out three aspects in particular:
• The proximity to the processes of production, which “will result in an exhibition that remains closer to the sites of creation and education (the studio, the workshop) than the traditional museum show, which tends to highlight only the finished work itself. Some of the works will represent worlds in the making. A work of art is more than an object, more than a commodity. It represents a vision of the world, and if taken seriously it can be seen as a way of worldmaking”
• The relationship between some key artists and successive generations: “A number of historical reference points will anchor the exhibition. These artistic roots are still active, productive. They give energy to the branches of the tree of art, and perhaps also to that which emerges today, to the ‘sprouts’. I would like to explore strings of inspiration that involve several generations and to display the roots as well as the branches that grow into a future not yet defined”.
• An exploration of drawing and painting, with respect to recent developments and the presence in the latest editions of the Biennale of many videos and installations: “the emphasis on the creative process and on things in the making will not exclude works in classical media.” Read more.
The U.S. State Department, perhaps not realizing that the era of the cowboy is over (goodbye Crawford, hello Chicago), has selected Bruce Nauman to represent the US in Venice. ” The State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs selected Nauman following the unanimous recommendation of the Federal Advisory Committee on International Exhibitions (FACIE) that reviewed proposals received through an open competition. Carlos Basualdo, Curator of Contemporary Art, and Michael Taylor, the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art, will serve as the U.S. Commissioners and will organize the exhibition from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.”
“Miami Beach: Swimming in Pigment,” The Brooklyn Rail, February 2008.