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Resonances

60th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia 2024

Foreigners Everywhere

60th Biennale di Venezia

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Ann Hamilton, myein, 1999, The United States Pavilion,

48th Venice Biennale,  Venice, Italy, photo: Thibault Jeanson, M. Gregolio, F. Beranez

Dear Readers,

The Art Section is now 17 years old—the first issue appeared in May of 2007. George Hornbein wrote about Daniel Libeskind’s new Fredrick C. Hamilton addition to the Denver Art Museum. Phil Auslander wrote The Artist’s Presentation of Self: Annie Leibovitz at the High Museum. Torino artist and composer Giuseppe Gavazza wrote a text on The Contemporaneity of Music. Our ambition was to be a journal that addressed all the arts. These texts were meant to be point-of-view articles on Art and Culture.

 

TAS’s second issue focused on the 52nd Venice Biennale. My first art review, written for Art Papers Magazine, was on Robert Colescott. Colescott, who represented the United States at the 47th Biennale in 1997, was an artist I had been looking at and thinking about for several decades. I remember going to the press preview in Venice, waiting on line to see Colescott’s paintings and meeting gallerist Margaret Porter Troupe and poet Quincy Troupe. Quincy told me of his friendship with Colescott and how the artist had asked him to write a poem for his catalogue essay. Margaret, Quincy, and I became friends at that moment, sharing ideas about painting, poetry, and the companionship between these art forms.

 

I must admit I have been smitten with the Venice Biennale since my first visit in 1993. I remember vividly Louise Bourgeois’s exhibition, curated by Charlotta Kotik of the Brooklyn Museum; the power of the works in the exhibition was extraordinary. In 1999, at the 48th Biennale, the US was represented by Ann Hamilton with her installation myein. White walls covered in a Braille rendition of poems by Charles Reznikoff periodically bled a fuchsia powder that both covered and revealed the dot system, while a recorded voice whispered Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, delivered close to the end of the American Civil War, translated into international alphabet code. Hamilton’s work would be so meaningful to revisit in 2024. 

TAS has covered every Venice Biennale since our inaugural year, 2007, when the exhibition, curated by Robert Storr, opened in June. That year, the Biennalle was titled Think with the Senses - Feel with the Mind: Art in the Present Tense. This year, I am very grateful to Floriana Piqué for her thoughtful writing about John Akomfrah’s installation in the UK Pavilion as well as the artists in the German Pavilion, who include Yael Bartana and Ersan Mondtag. The exhibition from the German Pavilion continues on the island of La Certosa and includes works by Robert Lippok, Jan St. Werner, Michael Akstaller, and Nicole L’Huillier. To my great pleasure, Sara Buoso has written about Adriano Pedrosa’s curation of the 60th Biennale. Buoso leads us through the journey of viewing the works curated into Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere, an exhibition that challenges the viewer to rethink the geography of the art world and the fate of modernism through a lens focused on the Global South.

Peter Frank, an art critic and curator originally from New York City who has called Los Angeles his home for more than 30 years, writes about the artist Sean Scully’s exhibition at Lisson Gallery in LA last year, a show that juxtaposed recent paintings with works from the 1970s that Scully completed in LA. I am so appreciative of Peter, whom I watched writing art reviews at our dining room table when he visited us many decades ago. I saw firsthand the way a writer could describe and give meaning to an exhibition and his physical passion as he wrote his reviews, usually under deadline. I first met Peter at Cornell University’s Johnson Museum in Ithaca, New York when he performed a dada poem by Kurt Schwitters at the invitation of Robert Hobbs. Although this was more than four decades ago, Peter’s performance is still vividly present in my mind. Notably Robert Hobbs was the organizer for the United States Pavilion at the 40th Venice Biennale in 1982 where he curated the work of Robert Smithson.

Thank you to all the writers, artists, and supporters who have been part of this Journal over the last 17 years. TAS would not exist without you.

All my best,

Deanna

Deanna Sirlin

Editor-in-Chief

The Art Section

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Deanna Sirlin

Photo: Lauren Esposito

Deanna Sirlin is an artist and writer from Brooklyn, New York currently living and working outside of Atlanta, Georgia. She received an MFA from Queens College, CUNY where she studied with Robert Pincus-Witten, Charles Cajori and Benny Andrews. She has received numerous honors, including a Rothko Foundation Symposium Residency, a grant from the United States State Department, a Yaddo Foundation Residency and a Creative Capital Warhol Foundation Award for its Art Writing Mentorship Program. www.deannasirlin.com

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