Venice Biennale

There was something about the under reporting of the 2017 Venice Biennale that made me wonder.

Writers, especially those who are flown in or who depend on the mainstream art world for their living, often avoid any critical analysis.

Others are usually happy to write in the tone that has been published by the artworld’s official marketing agents.

What I noticed that while there were several reviews that praised – it was very muted. No one seemed to be able to be enthusiastic about the 2017 Venice Biennale.

Looking from afar, the Venice Biennale was looking very much as if it was another slightly naive gathering of very superficial artworks under a very earnest theme.

I haveĀ  a standing worry that so much of ‘contemporary art’ is not much better than much that was being exhibited many decades ago as performance art, experimental art, multi-media arts and several other titles that avoided being classified as having anything to do with all the usual mediums of art practice.

The ones I remember most were a few balloons in a corner, or in another case, items left perched upon old ironing board. There were many like these.

Lately there has been a lot of simplistic stuff on exhibition that has for some reason being taken very seriously by reviewers – but very little critical analysis.

There has been a lot of this lately in the name of ‘contemporary art’. Please do not take that as meaning that all so called ‘contemporary art’ is terrible – there is some great stuff being created – click here.

Our galleries have been full of ordinary contemporary art lately – in among them there are a few gems but for the most part it is a rerun of past efforts by young artists who were experimenting in their attempts to gain some attention – most of it is now forgotten.

The concern for the lovers of photography is that so many artists who work with photography – but do not make photographs, still take up space within photography galleries and exhibitions – this pushing out others who actually make photographic artworks – good photography.

These contemporary artists should be showing elsewhere not in photography galleries.

I was wondering whether we ever again see any more great photography, painting, sculpture, prints etc at any of these biennales.

There’s some great photography around – photography is alive and well – but not in mainstream public art galleries at the moment and definitely not much in festivals such as biennials.

The photography art world is going to have to find alternative ways of connecting with their photography loving audiences.

Back to Venice 20917: A lot of what has been showing up in reports on the 2017 Venice Biennale has been very ordinary. I wish we could see images of some of the really creative stuff – there must have been some there.

Then along came this critic in the art newspaper – she is spot on with her views about how some in the art world are repeating the shameful practice of bring along their chosen ‘nobel savages’ to make some point – whereas it is good old colonial exploitation dressed up as something vapid.

Here’s the piece I am referring to – click here.


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