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Art in the Present Tense: Venice Biennale 2007 - Part 2
Venice Biennale , Venice

Next door, the Venezuelan Pavilion housed several international artists who set out to create a space where people could come together, giving out wine, chocolate and badges proclaiming, “You’re invited to my house “. Venezuelan photographer and former biologist Antonio Briceno exhibits his stunning portraits of native peoples from all over the Americas. Often the actual shamans of their tribe, they represent various Gods from their cultures, in traditional dress, looming over nature, majestic and timeless. Briceno digitally manipulates the photographs to set the subjects against landscapes reflecting their emotions, their inner states. He told us the stories behind of their photos, which can be seen in the recorded interview on this website. The exhibition is coming to London in June and is highly recommended.

Living in nature, away from capitalist distractions, these tribes do not hold much hope for our planet, destroyed by the folly of modern man, who they term “little brother”. The Venezuelan artist shows us the past, the Russian artists show us the future but sadly, ironically the message is the same.

With politics in the air, I was anxious to visit the American Pavilion only to find the work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres who died in 1997. Was this a way of sidestepping the issues of today in which America is playing a terrible, destructive part? The work itself was rather dry and conceptual; lightbulbs leading from floor to ceiling, large piles of posters punters dutifully hauled around Venice, licorice sweets laid out on the floor.

the end of part 2, read part 3
 
Film
Antonio Briceno
length: 27 min.