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Venice Biennale 2011

Venice Biennale 2011

I know this is a very overdue post but I still wanted to share all these photographs and the experience with you.

I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Venice, Italy this past June. And if that wasn’t incredible enough I got to shoot the opening of the Canadian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. The Venice Biennale is the largest and oldest art fair in the world. With 89 countries in attendance this past year, it was the biggest Biennale to date. The Canadian artist that was commissioned to represent the country on the world art stage was Steven Shearer.

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During the Biennale, Venice is teeming with reporters, art buyers, photographers, patrons of the arts, curators, museum directors: basically a who’s who of the international art scene. It is very exciting, very tiring and very hot. If you have ever been to Venice, you know that most of your day is spent walking or jetting around on boats to get to where you need to go. It is exhilarating and exhausting.

Inside the Canadian Pavilion, painting by Steven Shearer

Donor Party

I photographed the donor events. The Canadian donors fundraised the money needed to stage this year’s exhibition which was commissioned and mounted by the National Gallery of Canada. I also photographed the opening of the Pavilion and various other events around town. The major exhibition was the group show entitled IllumiNATIONS , curated by Bice Curiger, showcasing 83 international artists. It took up most of the Arsenale, an immense space filled with a lot of installation and video art.

Alleyway at the Arsenale

In the IllumiNATIONS show

The city itself was filled to the brim with modern art. Many of the institutions opened their doors to modern artists from around the world turning museums and old palazzos into staging grounds for major modern art shows. The opening of the Prada Foundation, which exhibited many of Prada’s extensive fine art collection and is situated right off the Grand Canal, coincided with the Biennale.

Prada Foundation, Tulips by Jeff Koons

One of the most amazing shows that I saw while I was there was Future Pass which showcased Asian artists and Asian-inspired artists. http://www.future-pass.com

Future Pass show of Asian inspired art

All the while indulging on wine, prosciutto with melon and cappuccinos, it was a trip to remember, to savor and reminisce on long after I returned.


Lovers cruising up the Grand Canal by moonlight

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