Ah, Venice! The glory of St Mark’s rising through the mist as one speeds across the lagoon in a Bavaria 360 Coupe! The wonder of working out Okwui Enwezor’s latest curatorial premise – this time the great man argues for immigration control and an Australian-style points based system for anyone trying to get into the west. Just kidding! The panic when one leaves a Chloé Fedora small leather shoulder bag in il Piccolo Mondo with the partying Armenian Pavilion people. The Biennale used to be all about intellectual stuff – now it’s a great place to go shopping and work out how being in a national pavilion is going to boost an artist’s prices. So first on my shopping list is Pamela Rosenkranz’s minimalist inkjet print Clearer (2014), available from artspace.com for $3,000. The unfathomable but marvellous Rosenkranz is doing the Swiss Pavilion this year and is one of the younger artists to do a solo in the Giardini so the work which comes in a series of 12 with each slightly different, has got be worth a punt.
Someone who has gone way beyond a punt and into the stratospheric is Adrian Ghenie, who represents Romania. Christies Post-War and Contemporary Sale in New York on 13 May has his Pie Fight Interior 9 (2013) up for grabs, which looks like it has been turned around from its acquisition from Pace pretty quickly. I’m going to ask our ever-reliable Editor to lend me a million dollars to see if I can get the pie-themed work for the office kitchen where we often heat up Fray Bentos 'Deep Fill' Just Steak pies together. Its estimate is $800,000 to $1,200,000 (that’s the Ghenie, rather than the Fray Bentos) so I reckon I’m in with a decent chance.
One of the more intellectual offerings promises to be Charles Lim at Singapore’s Pavilion. Lim (our Summer ArtReview Asia cover artist) is one of the few artists in the world who can boast he’s previously had a job as a sailor and his film piece In Search of Raffles’ Light (2013) has a distant echo of that other artist-sailor, Bas Jan Ader’s work, In Search of the Miraculous. Lim’s video is available from Singapore gallery Future Perfect and on arsty.net for 15,000 Singapore Dollars (that’s around £7,400). It’s on my wishlist and I hope to watch it on my new 84.6” (diag) X950B Flagship 4K Ultra HD TV, an absolute beast of a machine that costs roughly three times Lim’s film.
Finally, the Kunstverien Biel still has a lovely little edition by Chiharu Shiota, who will be in the Japanese Pavilion, available for 950 Swiss Francs (750 if you’re a member of the revered Kunsthalle, which let’s face it is deeply unlikely). That’s around £650 which is pretty decent given that it’s an edition of 20. Shiota’s etching is of a dress wobbling wildy in some sort of vortex of energy, which is exactly the look I’ll be adopting very shortly for three nights consecutively in il Piccolo Mondo!
Online exclusive published 30 April 2015