l'art d'être · laureen andalib

Revisiting: The ’95 VENICE BIENALE

The first work I was drawn to was Paolo Fabbris Cornuel e Davesne. Additionally, I am not surprised why I am drawn to this work: blanketed surrealism is tethered with both real and fictional forms of invented language. What I enjoy the most is that, in essence, the work operates as a medical diaphragm of surgical instructions– when seen closer by the viewer, actually, does not make any sense if followed in chronology. In this way, the arrows almost provoke a sense of performance and imagination, in which the viewer is forced to create their own language in understanding the anatomy of the face, the symmetrical flaws of the face, as well as eerie and fragile imagined dissection of it. To me, this work is particularly interesting in regard to my current research, titled The Intrinsic Code of Language. 

The second work I was drawn to from the ‘95 volume of the Bienale was called Distorsion by Andre Kertesz. Here, I simply appreciate the fact that I initially, do not digest the image as something photoshopped (thankfully)– it is a playful (almost theatrical) flirtation the artist has with her reflection, in real time, in understanding the rhythms of her body as well as the language of it when it becomes distorted. In this way, I fall in love with the performance in that moment: in that point in time, the movement of the created visual is actually revolutionary in framing such a sequence so constructively.

The last image I was drawn to is a photograph titled, Donna caduvei con il viso dipinto, by Claude Levi-Strauss. In this work, what immediately struck me is the irony of two opposing gestures of traditionalism: the traditional self-portrait where the artist subjects her (or his) gaze into the infinite “black” of the lens, while utilising the au natural blankness of the face, accordingly, as a “blank” canvas of identity. Yet, mark-making around the lips of the subject perverts the exclusivity of cultural exoticness and first, makes the spectator think that the stylistic aesthetic is aligned with the subject’s background, when, in actuality, the motif is completely improvised and fictional. In this way, the question of cultural originality and the extent of authenticity behind the “cultures of the world” becomes an ontological issue of anthropology, as opposed to visual ideology in this particular situation.

Revisiting: The ’95 VENICE BIENALE

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