Pakui Hardware, Maria Terese Rožanskaité
Inflammation

★★★☆☆

Curated by Valentinas Klimašauskas, João Laia
On until 31 October 2024

Despite its bizarre anticontemporary ethos, Venice did see some novelty this year. One is the confidence of the marketing object to claim the attention of a well-made artwork. Saudi Arabia’s desert art project Wadi AlFan, for example, filled a palazzo with seductive landscapes in immersive video and a list of distinguished artists to boot. The purpose of this trade expo popup would be easy to miss were it not for Iwona Blazwick’s sales pitch voiceover.

A more worrying trope is the artwork that looks good but on reflection isn’t. Pakui Hardware’s sculptures of bodily organs and strands of the nervous system deploy a familiar, if not clichéd language or red glass and metal. Suspended on a polished steel scaffold which fills the interior of a centuries-old church, these structures overplay their strength yet fail to correspond with the chapel’s native iconography.

The same architect’s folly encases the late Rožanskaité’s paintings in more glass and steel, turning them into tributaries to the show’s vague transhumanism. The painter’s ability to abstract from the human body but remain specifically close to it far exceeds these confines. The heart-of-glass trinkets are a deceptive distraction. Seeing the exhibition at the pace of a Venice day tourist, however, might leave one believing the opposite.


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

Ed Webb-Ingall, A Bedroom for Everyone at PEER ★☆☆☆☆

Ed Webb-Ingall

A Bedroom for Everyone

★☆☆☆☆

How can art improve the lives of communities? Wrong answers only.

Eva Kot’átková, The Czech pavilion in Venice ★★☆☆☆

Eva Kot’átková

The heart of a giraffe in captivity is twelve kilos lighter

★★☆☆☆

The giraffe’s taxidermied corpse is host to an ideological stunt.

Julia Maiuri, Yesterday & The End at Workplace ★☆☆☆☆

Julia Maiuri

Yesterday & The End

★☆☆☆☆

One can only imagine that some unconscious loathing of postmen motivated this project.

Xie Nanxing, Hello, Portrait! at Thomas Dane ★★★★☆

Xie Nanxing

Hello, Portrait!

★★★★☆

Looking at Xie’s portraits is a little like wearing a virtual reality headset over only one eye.

Saccharine Symbols at Rose Easton ★★★☆☆

Marisa Krangwiwat Holmes, Shamiran Istifan, Tasneem Sarkez

Saccharine Symbols

★★★☆☆

Meaning parts with the image in this exhibition, never to return. Post-structuralism triumphs.

Siobhan Liddell, Been and Gone at Hollybush Gardens ★★☆☆☆

Siobhan Liddell

Been and Gone

★★☆☆☆

A twee aesthetics native to a grandmother’s mantlepiece collection of tourist souvenirs and devotional figurines.

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