David Velasco has some tart words for what’s become of the Venice Biennale:
It’s a town of hyperbole and hubris, the sort of place where you can park your 377-foot megayacht right against the Sestiere Castello and set up a security fence blocking off half the street, detouring the yachtless hoi polloi who have to walk to the Biennale. A place where one might spot guardian snipers in buoys floating in the shallow waters surrounding such yachts. The sort of place from which, just for fun, a prominent collector may fly out several dozen “friends” for a one-night rendezvous at El Bulli. A place whereCourtney Love might appear at a party like an apparition, breeze through three tiers of velvet ropes, have a conversation with Michael Stipe and Jay Jopling, and then walk, barefoot, through the broken glass back to her hotel room. “It used to be you’d just go to the Giardini, go to your dinner, go to your afterparty, and then go home,” curator Christian Rattemeyer sighed at that particular party. Did the billionaires ship Miami to Venice?
Everything is Illuminated (Scene & Herd/ArtForum)