We packed a throwaway camera in art critic Sam Steverlynck’s Venice-bound luggage and got him to document his few days running around the enchanted city. This, people, is how it all looked.
Read our selection of Belgian instagram accounts to follow for a first-hand account of The Venice Biennial and others.
Although La Grande Dame of art biennials might be seen as a tad dated, holding on to its system of national representation, it is still the most important – and elegant – art event in the world, attracting art lovers, flying in by charter or coming with their private mega-yacht, on a frantic chase for art and parties – not necessarily in that order. During the day, exhibits are to be discovered in palazzo’s in tiny dead end streets – and sometimes you even manage to find them! – at night, you are being driven around in water taxi’s to attend parties thrown by oligarchs and – at first sight – less shady organisations like galleries, institutions or countries. And, true to form, Belgium could not lack in this global art circus, with five (five!) Belgian or Belgium-based artists in the main show, a beautiful and critically acclaimed Belgian pavilion – that in no time became the talk of the town –, both the Iraqi and Ukraïnian pavilion curated by Belgians (that is S.M.A.K. director Philippe Van Cauteren and Björn Geldhoff from the Pinchuk Art Centre in Kiev), the exquisite Palazzo Fortuny, a must- see Venice classic by now, hosted by antique/ art dealer Axel Vervoordt, but also smaller projects, like a show by the Flemish Community with a lovely chalk drawing by Rinus van de Velde and Walter Vanhaerents’ 70th birthday bash in the shape of an exhibition with works from his collection.