Tue, May 16, 2017 - Page 13 News List

Turning inward, looking outward

Venice Biennale taps artistic angst amid rising nationalism, while giving a voice to under-represented populations

AP, Venice, Italy


With cinematic tableaus, photographer Tracey Moffatt recreates scenes of “journeys, secret journeys, illegal journeys,” in a series called Passages for the Australian pavilion.

The opening photograph features a mother grasping a child seen through a fog looking out over the sea.

“The baby is squirming. The baby will leave her. She might be giving the baby away for her passage. There are many scenarios,” Moffatt said.

While the scenes bring to mind modern-day migrants, Moffatt said “for me it is old fiction. A fake old film. It is a celluloid that I claim I found in a vault.”


Troubled Polish adolescent girls are both inspiration and actors in US artist Sharon Lockhart’s show for the Polish pavilion titled Little Review, named for a pre-war Jewish newspaper by and for adolescents in Poland.

The broadsheet published weekly from 1926 to Sept. 1, 1939, the day Hitler invaded Poland.

Lockhart had the girls choose issues of the paper to reproduce each week at the Biennale, finding similarities in their lives and global political tensions, according to curator Barbara Piwowarska. They also appear in photographs, and a film they choreograph themselves.

Lockhart got to know the girls while filming them, `’then she realized they had this tremendous need” and has continued to work with them beyond the artistic collaboration to help get support and therapy, said Katy Siegel, a senior curator at the Baltimore Museum of Art who has worked with Lockhart.


George Drivas explores the complexity of the refugee crisis in his show for the Greek Pavilion.

In a video installation that draws on ancient Greek tragic theater, Drivas outlines a 1960s experiment where foreign cells endanger the native.

The show is designed to get people to ask, “What kind of societies do we have. What is the criterion how do we decide? These are the things that preoccupy me, without saying this is correct, that is correct. I don’t want to make a lesson. I want to raise questions, ‘what kind of Europe to we want?”’ Divas said.

Drivas wants visitors to slow down and let the allegorical meaning of the experiment sink in.

Anyone who rushes through his installation will miss Charlotte Rampling’s cameo, and possibly even catharsis.

This story has been viewed 3039 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top