In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Elysee Treaty, France and Germany agreed to exchange pavilions at this year’s Venice Biennial.
Ai Weiwei’s Bang, is the German contribution to the French Pavilion. This poetic installation, curated by Susanne Gaensheimer, brings together 866 uniquely designed three-legged stools. The suspended and intertwined objects hover above and allow passage within, creating a magical mobile-like vision, but it is the recognition of the uniqueness of each single stool that connects to the artist’s Chinese heritage and China’s history.
The work of the French artist Anri Sala is France’s contribution to the German Pavilion for this year’s Venice Biennial. Unveiled here is Sala’s Ravel Ravel Unravel 2013, a work that shares itself by fully-engaging all senses through light, sound, music and word play.
Playing with the words ‘ravel’ and ‘unravel’ (an expression of continuous movement), Sala heightens the meaning by using the music of the composer Maurice Ravel, who, in 1930, created a score that was to be performed by use of only the left hand. In Sala’s work, two films simultaneously show two contemporary pianists (independently) playing Ravel’s score, each interpretation unique—resulting in an experience that brilliantly pronounced both similarities and differences. In adjacent rooms, the drama plateaued once again with films showing a DJ mixing the two scores. Here the ‘unravel’ of ravel is illustrated to a tee.