Venice Biennale Reviews (more coming soon)
June 10, 2005, "Festive Venice" by Walter Robinson,
The beautifully raw pre-industrial spaces of the Arsenale are an especially good setting for contemporary art, and curator Rosa Martinez has allowed the 49 artists in her own show, "Always a Little Further," to have as much room as they need to stretch out and show their stuff. Like de Corral, she begins with politics, as if to assert that it is of primary importance, giving the first gallery to a series of new, extra large posters by the Guerrilla Girls.
Despite their relative prominence in the biennale (and certainly in the top levels of today's contemporary art world), women remain woefully underrepresented in the Italian art world according to the statistics marshaled by the Guerrilla Girls. More irresistible is the Guerrilla Girls parody of the now-discarded system of color alerts used by the Bush Administration to measure "terror threats." The "U.S. Homeland Alert System for Women" ranges from bright red, or severe ("President claims women do have rights, can join army, fight unprovoked war, kill innocent people"), to yellow, or elevated ("President's economic policies result in largest job losses for women in 40 years"), or low ("President rides around on horse, clears brush on ranch"). Kick-ass.
June 14, 2005, "Pushing boundaries at Venice Biennale" by Roderick
Conway Morris, International Herald Tribune
In the first room of Martínez's "Always a Little Further" show at the Arsenale, there is a display of large spoof hoardings [billboards] by the Guerrilla Girls, an anonymous cooperative "formed in 1985 to condemn the art world for the pathetically low numbers of women and artists of color then exhibiting in galleries and museums."
Whether under the influence of the Guerrilla Girls or not, with the exception of the prize for an artist in the international exhibitions…the prize judges distributed all their major awards to women.
They should not be in the Biennale. Their work is not sublime. —curator of one of the national pavilions, overheard at the exhibition
June 15, 2005, "A Global Village Whose Bricks are Art,"
by Michael Kimmelman, The New York Times.
Leave it to the Guerrilla Girls (on huge hoardings near the entrance to the Arsenale) to note that, aside from Egypt and Morocco, no African countries are represented this time around.
June 21, 2005, "
Fueled by Politics: Fewer artists and a pertinent theme—liberty—benefit the Biennale"
by Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times.
At the Arsenale . . . The surrounding walls of the entrance gallery sport colorful vinyl banners by the Guerrilla Girls, the anonymous artists collective that uses billboard and other advertising techniques to chronicle sexism in the worlds of art and popular culture. Here, with the raucous help of busty images of Pamela Anderson and Halle Berry they take on everything from the museums of Venice, with their dearth of art by women, to Hollywood, which the Girls say has given 92.8% of its Academy Awards for writing to men. . . . That Corral and Martínez, the first women to organize the Biennale, have chosen art by women to introduce their shows of personal and public politics is telling.