It’s the first few days of May and the canals of Venice are crowded with ferries and private boats, the hotels are turning people away for lack of space, and even the Giudecca Island can be booked with enoughtime and money. If it is not Carnival, it can only be the advent of the Biennale. Every two years the most majestic and imposing event in world contemporary art returns. The city is populated by celebrities from all over the globe, just like the pavilions that are set up and, for a few months (or days), appear and disappear.
Here you fight to be first at the inauguration, first even before the inauguration, first at exclusive dinners, first to see art that follows a theme, a concept or the bold statement of a country.
This year, for its 58th edition, the Venice Biennale proposes a topic that covertly addresses the socio-economic conditions of a society that, from era to era, continues to be reflected in its art: “May You Live In Interesting Times”.
This special one-off show had the soul of a wave that is born and breaks in the blink of an eye, fitting neatly with the idea of The Wait exhibition. From 8 May to 12 May, the works of the greatest exponents of the Bahrain kingdom divided the vast Venetian space, exhibiting what inspiration their talent has taken from the sea. The works were carried out by Bahraini-Danish, Ghada Khunji, Hala Kaiksow, Hasan Hujairi, Mariam Al Noaimi and Nasser Al Yousif.
The collateral exhibition, in Tese 113 in the wide spaces of the Arsenale, was reachable with a dedicated shuttle service, and for a short time the art of Bahrain was offered to the judicious public of Venice. The event was commissioned by Art Select, led by curators Amal Khalaf, Tasneem Shurougi and Kaneka Subberwal, approved by Maram Bint Isa Al Khalifa, wife of the king of Bahrain and the organizational part was curated by DRAGO Publisher in record time. In the catalog (also published by DRAGO) visitors to the exhibition during the opening could read about the works from the mouth of those who created them.
With the support of Tamkeen Bahrain and ArtBab the exhibition included many great works: the architectural work of Bahraini-Danish leading to a window on the sea, the blue of Hala Kaiksow; the “BABA & MAMI” of Ghada Khunji, the forms of Mariam Al Noaimi, the live acoustics of Hasan Hujairi accompanied by his performer, and the essential masterpieces of Nasser Al Yousif, entrusted to the representation by his son Jamal.
Even in the absence of light, the exhibition is colored with even more dreamlike tones: with minimal furnishings and soft lighting, that marine atmosphere is strengthened by a dark embrace that leads to teh sound of the sea, almost shifting the attention not from the origin, but to the product of the marine nature. With the faint sound of water, the Pavilion is immersed in a utopian space, in which the power of the artists’ expression encourages them to stay for a moment longer, before returning to reality.