Passage 2011: An Actionistic Transalpine Drama

Artists: GÆG Wolfgang Aichner / Thomas Huber

Venue: Scuola dell`Angelo Custode

Passage 2011 is a curatorially pared back affair. There is the obligatory desk at the entrance, sporting both texts and bored invigilators and in the middle stands a jagged topped rectangular construction with screens on the long sides. The jagged top represents the alps and the novelty sized pin represents the progression of the titular passage, the depiction of which is hosted on the screens. Here we see two to three men struggling to push, lift, kick and shove a large fiberglass boat along a series of sternly unobliging screes, peaks and ravines. It’s comical, bathetic, admirably brave and pointless all at the same time. Especially when the red boat in question seem to have been hewn to the design of a toddler’s bath toy.

Nevertheless, the catalogue informs us that this mix of heroism and tragedy is exactly the point of the project. It certainly succeeds. One is left watching in awe of the physical effort for such an absurd aim. One also watches hoping to see when the explorers thoughts inevitably wander to the idea that maybe, despite completing the alpine safety and physical training, despite it being a brilliant idea (one of the few pub-plans to ascend the dizzying heights of corporate sponsorship and the ensuing obligations to execute said pub-plan) that maybe they wish they weren’t stuck in the alps, that maybe the boat should’ve been a symbolic one, or an origami one, and that, just possibly, they feel of a tinge of regret for deciding to carry a gargantuan, bright-red, comically juvenile bath toy up, and then down, one of the highest mountain ranges in the world.

João Abbott-Gribben

Passage 2011: An Actionistic Transalpine Drama

Artists: GÆG Wolfgang Aichner / Thomas Huber

Venue: Scuola dell`Angelo Custode

Passage 2011 is a curatorially pared back affair. There is the obligatory desk at the entrance, sporting both texts and bored invigilators and in the middle stands a jagged topped rectangular construction with screens on the long sides. The jagged top represents the alps and the novelty sized pin represents the progression of the titular passage, the depiction of which is hosted on the screens. Here we see two to three men struggling to push, lift, kick and shove a large fiberglass boat along a series of sternly unobliging screes, peaks and ravines. It’s comical, bathetic, admirably brave and pointless all at the same time. Especially when the red boat in question seem to have been hewn to the design of a toddler’s bath toy.

Nevertheless, the catalogue informs us that this mix of heroism and tragedy is exactly the point of the project. It certainly succeeds. One is left watching in awe of the physical effort for such an absurd aim. One also watches hoping to see when the explorers thoughts inevitably wander to the idea that maybe, despite completing the alpine safety and physical training, despite it being a brilliant idea (one of the few pub-plans to ascend the dizzying heights of corporate sponsorship and the ensuing obligations to execute said pub-plan) that maybe they wish they weren’t stuck in the alps, that maybe the boat should’ve been a symbolic one, or an origami one, and that, just possibly, they feel of a tinge of regret for deciding to carry a gargantuan, bright-red, comically juvenile bath toy up, and then down, one of the highest mountain ranges in the world.

João Abbott-Gribben

Notes:

  1. avirtualbiennale posted this

About:

A Virtual Biennale is a project produced by the LINE Magazine collective.

It seeks to document the Biennale through a coherent online format, where hierarchies are significantly flattened and the work exists purely in images. By transferring the physical to the virtual, the online Biennale emphasises the Fair's existence as a spectacle, which much like Venice, exists primarily in our imaginations and through the frame of the lens.

2011's Venice Biennale is titled 'Illuminations' and is curated by Bice Curriger. It seeks to 'unveil hidden truths.' Taking this idea as our lead, we hope to elucidate the truths that remain implicit within the Biennale and shed light on them through this webpage and a forthcoming edition of Line Magazine titled 'The Illuminated Artist'.

Over the next few weeks a series of interviews, reviews and critical essays will be added alongside these images. The texts will question the function and purpose of the Biennale in the age of globalisation, the social and political nature of some art showcased and the responsibility of its makers, curators and audience. It will also expose and question the corruption of funding, prizes and sponsorships at the Fair.

Members of the LINE collective:
Rachael Cloughton, Emily Burke, Kathryn Lloyd, Joao Abbott-Gribben, Jemma Craig, Jennifer Owen, Laura Stocks, Matthew Macaulay

Line Magazine was founded in 2010 by Rachael Cloughton and Thomas Carlile: linemagazine.tumblr.com / www.linemagazine.co.uk

© Rachael Cloughton 2011

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