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September 2 2014

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Blasblog From Venice: Zeppelins And Pedestals

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Seeing the art at the Biennale is a feat in itself. The Arsenale Fair, which is the main deal, is a winding web of pieces big and small in a dilapidated shipbuilding yard. Then there’s all the off-site fairs and country-specific pavilions, like the Russian pavilion (which was amazing), the Italian pavilion (which was all right), and the Chinese pavilion (which was closed when I got there). Sicco Diemer, one of Mario Testino’s art consultants, told me that he’s staying until Tuesday to make sure he has ample time to see everything. Two pieces stick out in my mind from yesterday: One was Héctor Zamora’s Sciame di Dirigibili installation, in which the Mexican artist wedged a giant zeppelin between a pair of Venetian buildings. At a lunch for the piece hosted by The Garage, the museum based in Moscow, Zamora explained he’d come to Venice months before to distribute postcards of an imaginary event in which the city was overrun by giant air balloons. The faux memorabilia is for now sale at tourists’ kiosks. “Maybe in New York it’s easy to make everyone believe in fiction.” Oh, if he only knew. “But people actually think this has happened here.” Later, I stumbled upon a tiny green park behind the German pavilion where Miranda July had set up little pedestals saying quirky things. Interview magazine hosted a daytime soirée for the filmmaker and artist where friends of the magazine could get their pictures snapped—that’s Interview‘s Christopher Bollen, Visionaire‘s Cecilia Dean, and July herself, guilty, guiltier, and guiltiest as charged. Earlier this week July got married to fellow artist and filmmaker Mike Mills. “So I guess you guys are on my honeymoon,” she joked, “which oddly isn’t weird.”

Photo: Derek Blasberg

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