Greg Neville, Madrid 2011

I was staying near Madrid’s main square, the Puerta del Sol, just a week after the July riots. Spontaneous public meetings were still taking place at night. An impressive demonstration of practical democracy, or just primate behaviour?


Francisco Tropa, Scenario

Portugese artist Francisco Tropa is representing his country at the Venice Biennale with an installation called Scenario. This is a series of projections of mundane objects and simple processes. At first sight it looks like a room of handsome black & white photographs, but they are projected from small magic lanterns. The banal subjects, a fly, an hourglass, slow-dripping water, are transformed by their new scale, from object to image, from ephemeral to monumental. The intense scrutiny the magic lanterns perform is akin to scientific method, like the examination of specimens in a microscope; but it is equally the experience of childlike wonder we can have at the ordinary world around us.

“The overall ambience is mysterious and enigmatic, a timeless place in which objects and images have a heuristic quality beyond their specific value; the search for another understanding of the nature of things.” (from e-flux.com)



See video of Scenario here.



Christian Boltanski, Chance, 2011

A large room filled with scaffolding, the noise of chattering machines, the faces of babies hurtling past you on an endless strip. In adjacent rooms large LED signs count out the growing population of the Earth, one birth at a time. The message is clear: there are too many of us. Christian Boltanski’s installation called Chance is the official French representation at the Venice Biennale.

See video of the installation here