Saturday, 21 January 2012

Venice Biennale 2011, Spanish Pavilion

There were a few pavilions that piqued some interest, although I never figured out what they were about. One of them was the Spanish Pavilion, called "The Inadequate" with big letters announcing that title on a platform that may sometimes have served as a stage, but was essentially unoccupied when we were there. I came upon a display of books and memorabilia about the Triestino author Italo Svevo, who was a relative of a long-ago friend in Italy. The material in the display connected Svevo with James Joyce and Sigmund Freud, both of whom also had connections to my Triestino friend. It occurred to me that I would like to read, or re-read, some Svevo. But I couldn't ascertain what Dora Garcia, the artist of the Pavilion wanted to say via or about Svevo.

On the platform I noticed a young woman typing. Then as I wandered around, I found a projection of typewritten text in Italian. Idly reading it, I realized that it was describing me walking past the typist and I spun around to look at her. Shortly after, the text recorded that the woman in the blue top [I] had turned to look at the typist and took a picture of her. I found it quite fascinating that someone was recording what she saw in the gallery and projecting it, keeping an account of routine daily activities in the gallery. My companions did not find it interesting at all, and we left.
I've done a little hunting around about this pavilion, but have only been able to find the press release, which refers to an  Erving Goffman phrase from 1961. Fine, but no one seems to connect the text to the installation (and performance? maybe you had to see some other performance.....).

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