Scotland+Venice Diaries: A first look at the Biennale

Blog by Alex Millar | 04 Aug 2011

This is our first post for the Scotland+Venice blog, written by us, the invigilators of the Karla Black show. We are Alex Millar (Glasgow School of Art - Painting and Printmaking), Clare McAllister (Glasgow School of Art - Sculpture), Emma Ewan (Glasgow School of Art - Painting and Printmaking) and Frances Stacey (Artist/invigilator at The Fruitmarket Gallery). 

Each week we'll let you know what’s going on behind the scenes and recommend a few works, as we navigate ancient canal routes and the mass of exhibitions at the 54th Venice Biennale. 

Our ILLUMIuminations (the title of the Biennale 2011) hot list for this week, having so far rushed around the Giardini and the Arsenale, includes the video work ‘Factor Green’ (2011) by Swiss artist Shahryar Nashat, which features some humorous interaction between a curious man, an almost-Chroma key green block and a Tintoretto painting.

We also recommend R.H. Quaytman’s collection of paintings ‘I Modi, Chapter 22’ (2011) and the obvious, Gold Lion winning ‘The Clock’ by Christian Marclay - also on show at the British Art Show 7.

During our first days invigilating at the Palazzo Pisani (S.Marina), which hosts the swathes of colour and sweet smelling matter of Karla Black, there has been a hugely positive response from the audience. Forgiving a few dull questions about the Lock Ness monster, admiration for the show is plenty and often punctuated by cooing and overly gestured “bellisimos!” '