In amongst the Venice Canals and pavilions were four artists that particular resonated with me.
Pedro Cabrita Reis and Bill Culbert both had spaces off the main sites so you had to either stumble upon them or deliberately seek them out.
I stumbled upon Cabrita Reis’ work and was delighted to do so.
Cabrita Reis’ work was scientific and poetic. He shifted our experience of the architecture that we and his work inhabited. Taking over a large palace – a personal home of a Venetian – he used fluorescent light, wires, glass and steel structures to divide the space.
His lines – created with these elements – cut the rooms in half, led us into different spaces and created new spaces within the palace.
It was a wholly deliberate and beautiful work.
Bill Culberts work was similar to that of Cabrita Reis’.
He too worked with fluorescent light (as he has done for years) creating sculpture that not so much divided the space but that created playful encounters within it.
Culberts work always has a good dose of humour and this showing did not disappoint. He takes everyday familiar objects – milk and cleaning product bottles, wardrobes and chairs and reintegrates them into comical but also profound contexts.
Our first experience as we entered the space was a series of chairs hanging upside down with the fluorescent tubing positioned in and through them. This criss crossing of light and chair ran the entire length of the room – a rhythm of horizontal and vertical lines that receded into space.
The low- lying tubes placed on the floor in the last room created a ripple effect – connecting the water from the canals into the building and vice versa.
This was repeated in the glass jars that hung just above the window next to the water. they created little worlds that contained segments or a portal into ‘an experience of Venice’.
They were for me ‘An experience of Venice in a jar’. And in their simplicity were magnificent.
Both of these artists reiterated the dominance of reflection, contemplation and light that exists both within their work but also in this beautiful city.