As we randomly encountered our contributors, friends, art critics and curators, during the opening days of the 57th Biennale di Venezia we asked them to choose just one work or artist to talk about. Just one. Here is what they said, beginning with Chris Sharp.
#01 GERMANY – Anne Imhof
Independent curator, co-founding director Lulu, Mexico City.
I did not want to like this pavilion. Having never seen her work in person, every picture I’d encountered of it until Faust only seemed to exclude me. But for all its apparent hipness, Imhof’s Faust is so harrowingly relevant, so starkly and undeniably of our hideously fascistic moment that it makes most art, especially that of the smug, self-satisfied and ironic noughties seem frivolous in comparison. Epic, grave, dirge-like, spectral and utterly entrancing, it touches upon allegory without yielding to it– this by virtue of the fact that it abides by its own internal logic and materiality. That said, no work of art has effectively enhanced, lyricized and even plastified the dread that has awaited me, on an almost daily basis, upon waking and reading the news over the past year. It was deeply, if voluptuously disturbing. I could still hear its awful and bewitching music in my head above the din of airplane engines on my way home three days later.
© Photography: Nadine Fraczkowski
Courtesy: German Pavilion 2017, the artist.