In a world full of major recurring events... only the Venice Biennale holds the record for being a persistent affair since 1895, slightly edging out the modern Olympic Games, which started in 1896 and the first World's Fair in Brussels in 1897.
This year is seen as a kind of return to the event as a catalog of humanity so there is a sort of anthropological thread that runs through the anchor show at the Arsenale (Over 200 countries also have separate pavilions and there are countless other exhibitions both official and unsanctioned as well.
Mack McFarland was kind enough to send us hundreds of snaps, which we will edit down into something more digestible. First off, he's sent us to the Arsenale's "The Encyclopedic Palace" and the curatorial pacing of the exhibition by Gioni really comes through in the photos. Group shows like this are difficult to pull off without looking like the midway of some county fair so you'll see how he used a lot of earthy installations or ones that mimic a crowd of people to set up a kind of festival atmosphere without too much busking. -Jeff Jahn
(All photos Mack Mcfarland) The keystone of the exhibition is Marino Auriti's The Encyclopedic Palace ... a proposed model from the 1950's for a tower that would house, "The Encyclopedic Palace of the World." The finished building would put the range of human achievements on display.
Not the easiest thing to do in the art world...
J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere
Roberto Cuoghi's Belinda (2013)
Jakub Julian Ziolkowski went all Cthulhu on painting, obliquely presenting mankind as the solar system's nastiest pink monster
Camille Henrot's Grosse Fatigue. That's right the Internet WAS created to facilitate the worship of cats...
Dahn Vo's Untitled (Christmas Rome 2012) 2013. True, drape art is all the rage this year but this one made of velvet is perhaps the best one Ive seen.
Dahn Vo brought in a the skeleton of a church from Vietnam
Onetime Portlander Jessica Jackson Hutchins... it is a kick to see her work at Venice... esp when I think about this early review of her furniture art
which is now her calling card.
Jessica Jackson Hutchins
Matthew Monahan's Sight Unseen. It is always good to have something that looks like someone hailing a cab in any group show... it makes the New Yorkers feel at home.
Mark Leckey's work... addresses lowering the bar
Rosemarie Trockel works selected by Cyndy Sherman... we should see more of this sort of thing (artists curating others withing larger group shows)
Ryan Trecartin's Not Yet Titled 2013
Pawel Althamer's Venetians
Walter De Maria
You can find part II here