Day Two: Venice Biennale

Vogue Living correspondent Tina Gomes Brand’s report from Day Two of the fair, featuring works by world-class artists Ai Weiwei, Joana Vasconcelos, Simryn Gill and Dayanita Singh.


Hello from Venice! A damp day today, but that didn’t deter anyone. Art enthusiasts are out in force, and it is a feast of fashion expression. VL noted Miuccia Prada exiting the Prima Materia exhibition yesterday. Today’s highlight was a young man in a purple suit, carrying a large baby-pink Prada handbag.

We spent the day at the Giardini della Biennale. Simryn Gill’s work in the Australian Pavilion is a warm surprise. Here Art Grows on Trees is a collection including organic paper, cast iron, photography and installations of found objects. Grappling with issues of transience, fragility of nature, and the mundane in domestic functions we perform, Gill describes hers as a “complicated stance”.


Gill has reacted unexpectedtly with the space: portions of the pavilion roof have been removed, exposing her works to the elements. How will the art weather nature over the next months?

German Pavilion – Dayanita Singh

The German pavilion is located opposite the French, and this year in gesture of friendship, the two have swapped spaces. The Germans are showing a selection of international artists including Ai Weiwei and Dayanita Singh. Ai Weiwei occupies the front room, with a cascade of wooden Chinese stools. Dayanita Singh’s poignant photographs glow with emotion on digital screens.

German Pavilion – Ai Weiwei

VL was particularly charmed by Portuguese representative Joana Vasconcelos. Finding herself without an exhibition space, the artist has ingenuously resurrected an old Portuguese ferry, fitted it out with her installation, and has it floating in the Venetian canals! Other memorable art stops today included Finland, Britain, Belgium, Poland and Korea.

floating Portuguese pavilion

Portuguese Pavilion - Joana Vasconcelos

The crowds were flagging by late afternoon. We spotted a gentleman in navy stretched out on a bench, and having a nap, as soft rain fell. He seemed too tired to care. The Vernissage festivities continue with a party tonight.

sleeper (c) M Brand

Words: Tina Gomes Brand
Photography: M. Brand and Jenni Carter

One Response to “Day Two: Venice Biennale”
  1. Wendy Davis Beard says:

    well done Tina ! Thanks for the insider trip to VeniceBiennale!

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