Andrea Mancini, Every Island
A Comparative Dialogue Act

★★☆☆☆

Curated by Joel Valabrega
On until 24 November 2024

Behind the metallic curtain, a polished steel platform turns this pavilion into a fetishist’s dream theatre. A bunch of glass structures adorned with stripped-down computer parts sets the scene firmly in the language of a faux-futuristic present. A woman crouching on her fours mumbles into a microphone. Her look is menacing but that’s only a put-on. Her name is projected on discreet LCD displays, giving this performance the look of an open mic gig. She speaks of her performance anxiety and thus quickly loses the fight for attention to silence and the pavilion next door.  

If this is reminiscent of Anne Imhof’s 2017 German pavilion performance Faust, any favourable comparison pales quickly. Andrea Mancini designated the Luxemburg pavilion as a stage for four ‘residencies’ for performers who would use his steel rehearsal cage to record a vinyl audio record.

This may be generous but is fundamentally misguided. The pavilion’s location and the Biennale’s transient nature are wholly unsuited to this kind of endeavour and the project’s visual framing downs any would-be performer in it. Stage fright is real. Cowardice is another thing altogether.


notes and notices are short and curt exhibition reviews. Read more:

Josiane M.H. Pozi, Through My Fault at Carlos/Ishikawa ★★★☆☆

Josiane M.H. Pozi

Through My Fault

★★★☆☆

There’s a group, but they’re as indistinct as the faces of Jesus that regularly appear to people on slices of toast.

Florian Meisenberg, What does the smoke know of the fire? at Kate MacGarry, ★★★★☆

Florian Meisenberg

What does the smoke know of the fire?

★★★★☆

Meisenberg’s paintings are either the product of a conspiracy or documents of a conspiracy theory.

Abel Auer, The shadow of tomorrow draws an ancient silhouette at Corvi-Mora ★★★☆☆

Abel Auer

The shadow of tomorrow draws an ancient silhouette

★★★☆☆

Auer is more interested in the fate of painting than humanity and thus stands apart from the army of zealots who make eco art today.

Justin Caguiat, Dreampop at Modern Art ★★★★☆

Justin Caguiat

Dreampop

★★★★☆

This is the sort of exhibition that makes a critic question the quality of their judgment.

Vinca Petersen, Me, Us and Dogs at Edel Assanti ★★★☆☆

Vinca Petersen

Me, Us and Dogs

★★★☆☆

Close up, Petersen’s innocents today conjure ideas of redneck resistance. At scale, of state-marketed utopia. The middle ground is envy.

Tesfaye Urgessa, The Ethiopian Pavilion in Venice ★★★★★

Tesfaye Urgessa

Prejudice and Belonging

★★★★★

Urgessa’s figures are contorted in love, death, or merely life.

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