In 1995, I attended the Venice Biennale. It was the most transcendent art experience I’ve ever had. The atmospheric layers, from the sky, the lagoon, the city, the garden, and each individual country’s pavilion wrap you in a haze of beauty before you view one piece of art. It’s mind-blowing!
This year, I attended vicariously by reading Randy Kennedy’s wonderful ArtsBeat Blog in the NYT. Then, I heard about Singapore’s exhibition Figments, Fictions and Fantasies and suddenly I was on a mission. One of their artists, Vincent Leow, created a five-room installation called Andy’s Wonder Land. And Andy is a dog. Actually, Andy is the artist's dog.
Hours searching the web turned up lots of descriptions. (Mostly raves – especially when the show opened with the smashing of a lotus chandelier that took eight months to construct – death/rebirth – get it?) But no pictures of Andy until this morning when I visited designbloom and found dozen’s of Venice Biennale snapshots including several of Leow’s work.
I know we’ll only get a hint of the experience through words and photos but here goes… this is the description from Singapore's National Arts Council Website:
“For the Singapore Pavilion, Leow has invoked the language of the mise-en-scène for each of his 5 rooms. A suburban zinc hut, a padded asylum, a glass hot-house, a wrought-iron fence surrounding a mound of human hair, form the terrain of the Wonder Land of its title. Its protagonist Andy - with his inimitable grin - reigns in this domain, despite apparent containment and confinement. . Deftly juggling different genres and cross-breeding different aesthetic styles, Leow suggests how Andy the mongrel counteracts systems of 'Dogmatism' and does what writer Rushdie calls the rejoicing in 'Mongrelisation', and 'our mongrel selves' (through which 'new-ness enters the world' - Imaginary Homelands: Essays & Criticism 1981-1991, S. Rushdie, Penguin/Granta, UK 1991/92).”
Ohhhh how I wish I was there!!!
(Also realized how Euro-Centric my blog is. Not anymore.)