Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Giardini/Steve McQueen

The Guardian's review:
""Turner," said Steve McQueen at yesterday's opening of the Venice Biennale, "does not own sunsets, and he doesn't own Venetian sunsets." And so it is that the London-born artist, who this year represents the UK at the world's most important and unashamedly flamboyant art event, has dared to make a romantic, lyrical, melancholic film that shows Venice hazed through mists and sunsets, dripped in wintry rain.
It ought to be a cliche, but it is not, for the Venice of McQueen's minutely observed 40-minute film is not the Venice of St Mark's Square or humpbacked bridges over picturesque canals. His Venice is the Venice of the Giardini, the city's municipal gardens. In this park stand the pavilions, each devoted to a different nation, that are filled with art every other year during the Biennale – where, in the summer, art world types air-kiss and gossip. But McQueen's film was shot in the dim light of February, after the art from the last Biennale had long gone, the pavilions were boarded up and piles of rubbish lay scattered over the lawns and paths.
The plangent film, called Giardini, is already causing a stir at Venice as one of the most talked about of the 77 national offerings for the festival, which opens to the public on Sunday."

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