Subject: Venice Biennial
Hello Paolo in Trieste:

I was motivated after seeing your note about the Biennial to add this background note for fellow Travelziners who one day may want to visit the Venice Biennial:

The actual site of this international exhibition that covers all aspects of the arts including film,dance,painting,site environments involves today all of Venice. The primary location of the Biennial exhibition is composed of the following areas:

1. The Arsenale, which is a complex of shipyards,workshops,and warehouses that dates back to the 12th century. Since 2000 there was a big rescue move to redesign this area 46 hectares.(10,000 sq. meters equal one hectare) for exhibiting purposes. The Biennial now involves the use of spaces not only in the Corderie -which runs along the south side of the Arsenale, and provides 6,500 square metres of exhibition space, but six other locations as well including many embassies that are open to the public for exhibition space along the Grand Canal.

2.Giardini di Castello. The Giardini is the last stop on the vaporetto before the Lido. The interesting history of the Giardini for most travelers is that there are now about 30 permanent foreign pavilions located specifically in this area. Each pavilion is often represented by one artist from the individual country. The construction of the foreign pavilions began in 1907. The most recent country to open a pavilion is South Korea in 1995. The pavilions were to represent as a whole an outdoor museum. I believe they are only open for the Venice Biennial.

This past summer for example,Robert Guber represented the U.S. in the United States Pavilion. This is one of the smallest of the pavilions. I personally had no idea what his exhibition related to or what I was looking at,but my limitations are not to be underestimated. Other pavilions such as the Italian Pavilion had several artists on display. One can wander leisurely from one pavilion to the next. However, the unique quality of each pavilion is that the work is selected by the national cultural commission of the individual foreign .

I found it very exciting just to see what the different countries had to offer. (A pavilion is actually a single building architecturally designed to show the art of the individual country). I found the Italian, Spanish and the British pavilions to be the largest designed in a very contemporary style. Be aware that too often there are long lines to each pavilion so go early in the morning and leave the rest of the late afternoon to exploring Venice. I believe there is a public charge of $12.00 dollars US to be admitted to the Giardini.

>From an aesthetic point of view I can only say this is the best coverage of the new awakening European artistic community to contemporary ideas that no longer are tied to the traditional mediums of painting and sculpture. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection (PGC) museum is just across from the San Marco vaporetto stop. There were several dance and evening parties held here for the artistis. As you leave the Giardini you can walk to the Arsenale and the complex of buildings that seem to be connected to each other in one long corridor of newly constructed chambers.

The large complex called the Arsenale is often made up of larger exhibition spaces that represent an international group of artists but not necessarily separated by individual country.

In any case Paolo, I thank you for your comments. Your previous perceptions about travel were always of value to me to read. The Venice Biennial is an overflowing random series of the visual and performing arts coming together as no where else on this planet. Not only was opera born in Italy in the beginning of the 16th century, but since 1895 the Venice Biennial is a landmark event to see at least once in the summer often in the first part of June every two years.

I hope this can be of interest to fellow travelziners. Best regards and bon voyage, Plan now for hotel reservations if you want to see the Biennial in 2003.

Larry from New York.