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Venice Biennale prize ceremony 
7th-Jun-2009 08:54 pm
Printperson divina


I drew this yesterday afternoon while standing in a dense crowd under a large tent at the Biennale official inauguration and prize-giving ceremony. If only I had not lingered so much in various exhibition spaces, I probably could have found a seat under the tent since I did have an actual invitation. Here is an explanation of my drawing. The vast number of people present is not evident. But I drew the stage, podium, flags, etc. in preparation for the various speakers and people awarded prizes. Yoko Ono is at the podium (hat and scarf noted) accepting a lifetime career award. John Baldessari (who I put off to the left, just his head with white hair and beard) followed at the podium. I liked his speech. He thanked Giotto, Goya, Matisse, Duchamp, and Lewitt. Daniel Birnbaum was this year's curator. The US pavilion (Bruce Nauman) won as best national pavillion, but Carlos Basualdo, the contemporary curator at the Philadelphia Art Museum took home the golden lion. Tobias Rehberger won as best artist, for his design of the black and white striped, mirrored coffee bar at the Biennale - he was commended for his work which combines communication (and coffee) as art. Seventy-seven countries are participating this year. Since the Biennale is a national structure, Giorgio Napoletano, president of the Republic of Italy, was present to award the prize to the best young artist (Nathalie Djurberg for her claymation videos). The presidential guard (they wear helmets with real flowing horse tails...briefly noted to left)and heavy security were present in force. The leaves at upper right are from a prior, aborted drawing.
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