The Italians call it the Biennale and unlike the sporting
olympics which come round every four years…
…this event comes round every two years and has done
for the past 110 years
It’s also held in the same place, Venice, and it doesn’t
move around from city to city
Interestingly drugs are a major concern in Venice and a
significant factor behind some of the art…
Sadly, as some of you may have heard a German (YES, this
still matters !) tourist was crushed to death in a gondola
last week, his daughter is seriously injured and Venice is
The gondola got between a vaporetto (a water bus) and the
dock and you can guess the rest…..
The driver of the gondola was subsequently tested positive for
No, he wasn’t a crack-head junkie…..
…..Yes, he was a glue-sniffing, ‘O Sole Mio’-singing paddle
It’s the glue used in the construction and repair of said craft
that the gondolieri get addicted to
Why can’t they just settle for girls and football like their terra
firma cousins ? ? ?
The Biennale is situated in the public gardens…..
Many people don’t realise that Venice has large and very beautiful
Anyway this is where the Art Olympians walk the walk…
…talk the talk
…and basically produce lots of stuff that most of you wouldn’t
But Art it is and art it will remain and some of it is bellissimo
…some of it is witty
…some of it is clever
…and some of it couldn’t have come about without the help of
DRUGS (actually probably quite a lot)
First prize in the G.-man’s eyes must go to the Israelis…..
…..This is sculpture, installation and video set in different
countries and linked by a story line…..
Simply the wittiest and cleverest ‘work of art’ I have ever seen
Second prize goes to the English, actually Jeremy Deller couldn’t
paint my sitting room properly, but he set up a tea stand (P G Tips)
and had a tea lady serving rosy lee to all-comers and a very thirsty
A little English magic and a stroke of, err, artistic genius
Third prize goes to the Americans, Sarah Sze spent three months
putting this extraordinary show together that has shades of Heath Robinson
She must be mad (like Russell Crowe in ‘A Beautiful Mind’) but I would
love to meet her (she would definitely test positive)
The booby prize goes to the Koreans……
They have created an isolation room…..
…..no sound (all phones have to switched off)
…..persons of a nervous disposition are not allowed
…..persons with heart conditions are ruled out
…..persons liable to panic attacks are ruled out
…..etc etc etc
…..it is a long list taken very seriously
In went the G.man…
…with the other 11 punters (only a dozen at a time)
The door is SHUT
Then it loomed into view
Two greenish, luminous arms ! ! !
The Groover’s Swiss watch !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Somebody started to giggle…..
…..then the whole room erupted into laughter
The artistic moment was over
Lost for ever
The security men threw open the door and ushered us out
I didn’t do it deliberately
Why don’t they tell people to take their watches off and put them
in their pockets
Anyway, it was a BEDAT…..
…..and that’s the groovy word for TIME !