The Paradiso Café
125mm x 195mm ink, brushpen and watercolour
Flo and I spent much of a wonderful day at the Giardini Biennale, wandering round the pavilions and looking at all the art. We started with a coffee at the Paradiso café, surrounded by sculptures of swimmers by Carole Feuerman. We then toured round the gardens, stopping only for a picnic lunch. The Pavilions in all their different styles of architecture are just as much a part of the delight of the experience as seeing the art. There was a great deal of thought provoking and interesting art, though generally speaking we tended not to be that keen on video installations (if I want to see a film I’ll go to the cinema) unless they were presented beautifully (such as the installations in the Australian pavilion by Daniel Von Sturmer). Our absolute favourite exhibition was by French conceptual artist Sophie Calle. The idea was fascinating (she asked 107 different professional women to respond to the e-mail she’d received from her boyfriend, in which he dumped her). So from a copywriter’s analysis of his use of language, to a translator explaining how to convey precisely the writer’s tone and intention in another language, to an actress reading the letter while chopping onions, she really managed to get this man out of her system. And all of this was presented beautifully. I can’t find a link that does justice to the visual beauty of Sophie Calles work, but if you’re interested in reading more about the project, have a look at this article here.