Waking up in Venice -- no buzz of scooters outside the window, unlike nearly every other place we've been so far...

...breakfast in the hotel lobby -- coffee, juice, pastries. Just enough sugar and caffeine to tide you over until a large lunch...

...reading the news (or trying to, as best I can) -- Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi had resigned three days earlier when the Communist Party withdrew their support of his coalition government over social service cuts in the upcoming budget, designed to allow Italy's entry into the nascent European Monetary Union, aka the "Euro." Now Prodi has "unresigned" after making a budget compromise with the Communist Party in order to keep his government, the 55th in Italy's post-WWII history, alive.

Italian playwright Dario Fo won the Nobel Prize for literature. I'll bet I can find some of his works in the stacks at Bibli next time I'm checking e-mail, and maybe someday (after another ten years of classes at Italiaidea, our language school in Rome), I'd be able to understand the nuances of his prose. Oh, and John Denver died when his experimental plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean. So there, now that we're up to date on local and world events...

47. Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte
La Biennale di Venezia 1997

The 47th International Exhibition of Art
at Giardini di Castello

We took a short vaporetto ride to the sprawling garden grounds in Venice's southeast corner where the Biennale is staged in alternating years. Like a World's Fair of art, some countries have over the years constructed pavilions which house their artists' contribution to this equally sprawling exhibition of modern art.

Some complain that the Venice Biennale is too broad to properly focus on deserving art and artists, while in other corners it is critcized for being too narrowly focused to see the real trends that are developing in the small corners of the art world.

I think that in politics at least, if someone is criticized for being too conservative by some and too liberal by others then they must be doing something right. I'm not sure if that works in the art world, which is after all subjective to the point of reveling in the simple process of reaction. It does seem to me, on this early fall morning in this 1500-year-old city of an arts warehouse, that if one were to make a list of the top visual arts exhibitions in the world, the Biennale di Venezia would appear on many lists in no worse than a tie for second.

Anselm KieferTony Cragg???Ik-Joong Kang???

back to kellytravels index page | arsenale