“I’m a Venice Biennale virgin no more!” I overhead this quote while attending the Biennale Arte 2017 (13.05-26.11) earlier this year in May. I had to laugh, because it was my first time attending as a spectator, and I too was no longer a Venice Biennale virgin!  http://www.labiennale.org/

It was also my first time to Venice, and I describe it to friends who haven’t been there recently as a Canaletto (1697-1768)  painting with a trillion Disneyland visitors crammed into a gondola on the Grand Canal wielding selfie sticks. I joke of course. There are several places of tranquility to be found in and around the lagoon, Giudecca, and Lido. But these places of respite are for the real pros, second time visitors, and first timers like me who refuse to get sucked into the tornado.

TFW you realize you've just met THE Althea Thauberger and have a major fan moment. #altheathauberger #canadianart #venicebiennale

TFW you realize you’ve just met THE Althea Thauberger and have a major fan moment. #altheathauberger #canadianart #venicebiennale

Congrats Geoffrey Farmer @anhourbeforesleep Canadian Art Magazine @canartca Canada Pavilion #venicebiennale #kittyscott #canadianart

Congrats Geoffrey Farmer @anhourbeforesleep Canadian Art Magazine @canartca Canada Pavilion #venicebiennale #kittyscott #canadianart

At Pavilion of Mexico with artist Carlos Amorales

At Pavilion of Mexico with artist Carlos Amorales

Canadian Art Magazine reception, at Venice Biennale 2017. Photo by Nicole Stanbridge.

Canadian Art Magazine reception, at Venice Biennale 2017. Photo by Nicole Stanbridge.

 

That aside, there is much art to be taken in, for better or worse. There are plenty of articles to be found by Googling “venicebiennale’ describing the merits and faults of each pavilion and/or curatorial presentation.

Here are some photos of my experience.

Plus some photos of our time in London and Oxford UK en-route, including Rodney Graham’s Canada 150 exhibition at Canada House.