Hans Ulrich Obrist /
Co-Director Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects, Serpentine Galleries, London
I went there as a teenager in the mid 80s to see the Biennale, bearing in mind what Gilbert and George once said: “To be with art is all we ask”. The Swiss Pavilion of Peter Fischli and David Weiss in 1995. I spent 30 hours over 5 days in the pavilion and only saw a small part of the project. It was a kind of time pavilion. 12 screens would show a flow of fragmented images, an encyclopaedic profusion of scenes and situations whether essential, forgotten, determining or random to Man and to History. The total length of the work was more than 80 hours. Okwui Enwezor's exhibition, All the World's Futures. Many pavilions in the Giardini among which the American Pavilion by Joan Jonas. Her recent show at Hangar Bicocca in Milano curated by Andrea Lissoni was truly amazing. Simon Denny's pavilion at Venice Airport is the first airport Pavilion in history of Biennale as far as I know.
New Zealand Pavilion Simon Denny: Secret Power Curator: Robert Leonard. Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Piazzetta S. Marco, 7 and Marco Polo Airport nzatvenice.com
I'm also looking forward to seeing Pamela Rosenkranz' work at the Swiss Pavilion and her interesting links to the speculative realist philosophers. I love the work of Venice born architect Carlo Scarpa (1906-1978). My passion for his work started as I was teaching at the University Institute of Architecture of Venice (UIAV) between 2000 and 2003. Before he died he designed the University main gate, which for me was a great introduction to his oeuvre. Among his projects in Venice, I particularly love the beautiful balance between old and new at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia of which he restored part of the ground floor and the back garden.
Fondazione Querini Stampalia Castello 5252 querinistampalia.it Also not to miss is the showroom of Olivetti on St. Mark's Square (1957-1958) and his realizations in the Giardini: the Italian pavilion and the Giardino delle sculture (the sculpture garden) achieved in 1952 and the Venezuela Pavilion achieved in 1956.
And as Carlo Scarpa was also a fabulous glass designer, one can see many objets d'art that he designed for Venini, in several places in Venice.