May 2017_by Marcella Vanzo
Barking dobermans behind steel gates, young, white skinned boys and girls some dressed some not, reminding me of Liliana Cavani's masterpiece The Nightporter. Unbreakable glass above and below people, an endless line of people to get, in to get out, to squeeze beneath. Brecht and Bausch come to mind, in a contemporary Germany, or better, in a contemporary world.
People in line who take pictures of people in line who take pictures while the performers actively despise everyone. They never look in your eyes, very aware of your staring gaze. A woman, a young Hanna Schygulla - in a Fassbinder movie - moves slowly about dripping contempt and we're ready any minute for a burst of violence.
Not the dogs, not the cage, not the panopticon, but Faust, a nasty nasty devil lurking inside their eyes.
When beauty visits, special project by Lee Mingwey, VivaArteViva, curated by Christine Macel, Central Pavilion, Giardini.
I took the place of a stone on a chair in the garden. I was the only one in the beautiful green space inside the Central Pavilion, designed by Carlo Scarpa. The stone beautifully tied in a thin white rope. But let's get back to the beginning. I was inside the Central Pavilion watching John Latham's work as I received bad news and my energy changed instantly. As I opened my eyes again, a beautiful Asian woman clad in a light sari and wearing glasses asked me whether I wanted to sit in the garden by myself. I had never been so grateful. A room of my own inside a Biennale! When she came back in the garden, she gave me a beautifully hand crafted envelope, closed by a lacquered stamp. She hugged me and she said I should open it during a moment of beauty. Saying goodbye, she said she was not the artist but the guardian of the garden.
Savage heat, he says, your hands are hot and sweating by the fire. We are watching Ambidelious, Marcos Luytens' ambitious performance, where by hypnotizing a group of people, the artist aims at making their hands move independently of the brain. Before taking the group into deep relaxation, he talks about the octopus and how each tentacle is semi independent. Eight lucky people sit in a circle - on 300 yrs old leather chairs, top floor of Palazzo Fortuny - while Luytens's hypnotic voice plunges them into a deep unconscious trip into the ocean first, then next to a fire. To make up a story each time different, Luytens needs two random objects, so that his conscious mind does not interfere with the experience. Thus he makes two participants choose two things inside a mini wunderkammer. This time they were a shell and some red cloth. Towards the end, like a shaman he touches their wrists and puts a bar in each hand asking to draw what they see, what they feel, on the clay tablets in front of each of their hands. We see doodles, someone cries. Are their brains depolarised? Marcos calls it primitive instagram. I loved it.