A place.

Venice

Venice is a city in northeastern Italy sited on a group of 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges. It is located in the marshy Venetian Lagoon which stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po and the Piave Rivers. Venice is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. The city in its entirety is listed as a World Heritage Site, along with its lagoon. Venice is the capital of the Veneto region.

Restaurante Antonio Centro

Great little restaurant in Jerez – fabulous food and excellent service on a quiet square

Jerez de la Frontera

Jerez de la Frontera is a municipality in the province of Cádiz in the autonomous community of Andalusia, (Andalucía in Spanish) in southwestern Spain, situated midway between the sea and the mountains. As of 2010, the city, the largest in the province, had 208,896 inhabitants; it is the fifth largest in Andalusia. It has become the transportation and communications hub of the province, surpassing even Cádiz, the provincial capital, in economic activity.

Spain

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain (Spanish: Reino de España), is a sovereign state and a state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Its mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar; to the north and north east by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the northwest and west by the Atlantic Ocean and Portugal.

Andalusia

Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities in Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognized as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Almería, Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaén, Málaga and Seville. Its capital is the city of Seville .

Castello, Venice

Castello is the largest of the six sestieri of Venice, Italy. The district grew up from the thirteenth century around a naval dockyard on what was originally the Isole Gemini, although there had been small settlements of the islands of San Pietro di Castello (for which the sestiere is named), also called Isola d’Olivolo, since at least the eighth century. The district became divided between the Arsenale, then the largest naval complex in Europe, and the monasteries in the north of the quarter.

San Marco

San Marco is one of the six sestieri of Venice, lying in the heart of the city as the main place of Venice. San Marco also includes the island of San Giorgio Maggiore. Although the district includes Saint Mark’s Square, that was never administered as part of the sestiere.

Scuola Grande di San Rocco

The Scuola Grande di San Rocco is a building in Venice, northern Italy. It is noted for its collection of paintings by Tintoretto, generally agreed to include some of his finest work.

Campo San Barnaba

Campo San Barnaba is a campo (square) in Venice, northern Italy. The neighborhood’s church, the San Barnaba, was featured in numerous films including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where it served as the exterior to the library. {{#invoke:Coordinates|coord}}{{#coordinates:45.4331|N|12.3254|E|source:kolossus-frwiki|||| |primary |name= }}

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Biennale (2): Arsenale

Biennale Venice

People travel to Venice every other year specifically to see the Biennale. Me? I just happened to be there when it was on. If it’s your first time (planned or spontaneous), here are a few tips. In a previous post, I mentioned the Giardini exhibition. Today, let’s visit the Arsenale. It’s possible to walk between the two, and while you’re walking, check out the free exhibits from a couple of other countries along the way.

The Arsenale itself has a long and interesting history. Begun in the tenth century, it grew to be the largest industrial complex in the world prior to the Industrial Revolution. Each building and area produced a prefabricated part of a Venetian ship or the armor, rope, and rigging that went into them. At its peak, a ship could be assembled in as little as a day. The buildings themselves have withstood the tests of time and are hauntingly beautiful. Not ornate, more evocative. It doesn’t take much imagination to conjure up a picture of bustling docks with navvies and uniformed officers wandering about, readying themselves to visit foreign shores.

 

Arsenale Venice

Arsenale Venice

Aresnale Venice

Perhaps even more intriguing though, are the myriad alleyways that lead off the walk between Giardini and Arsenale through the Castello Sestiere. Take the time to wander through the archways and discover the communities living on the other side. This is neighbourhood Venice. This is the real Venice. The place where people get on with their daily lives, for the most part uninterrupted by tourists. Signs remind us that we’re not in Disneyland or Temple Bar, we’re in a residential neighbourhood that deserves our respect.

Arsenale Venice

Arsenale Venice

Arsenale Venice

Arsenale Venice

Arsenale Venice

Today, the Arsenale complex is primarily used as exhibition space for the Bienniale. The main exhibition hall has lots of installations to see. Walking in through the curtain of hanging ropes, you can’t but wonder what awaits you inside. At this stage though, I was on sensory overload, so I’ll let this video do the talking for me.

The last of the installations in the main exhibit hall was quite something. I think what I was hearing was the sound of an avalanche. Not that I’ve ever heard an avalanche or would know what it sounds like, but I think this was it. I’ve seen the aftermath, I’ve no problem imagining what it could be like, but this was quite something. I’ve noticed shades of black before but never quite experienced so many shades of white. The light changes with the sound and the single sculpture seemed to move of its own volition. All quite amazing.

Biennale Arsenale

The Albanian Pavilion was very interesting. I was particularly taken by the doors, as doors intrigue me wherever I go and often feature in my posts.

Tirana’s Zero Space, where cosmos and chaos are fused with no predetermined contact point, is exposed in this installation through a sensorial experience created by composing elements that aim to include all the senses and guide the visitor in a journey perceiving the free space and true essence of the city. The public is therefore engaged with its sounds, shadows, lack of perception of the verge, but at the same time free to create the space and modify the physical configuration of the pavilion. Intentionally or not, the public becomes not only a spectator but also the protagonist creating a spatial form, growing cognitively into a tourist, or even more a citizen of Tirana.

Albanian Pavilion Biennale

 

But what I’d really come to see was the Irish Pavilion. I was curious to see what we’d installed, what angle we’d taken.  And while visually, I was a little disappointed, the substance was there. The recorded voice of a rural Irish architect recounting the importance of people and communities was quite sobering.

The exhibition charts historic data, documents contemporary life with photography and gets out onto the streets recording sounds and talking to people to build unique portraits of each town.

The accompanying newspaper was the icing on the cake. Nicely done, lads. Nicely done.

Biennale Irish Pavilion

By the time we got to the end, we were exhausted. We’d walked the bones of 8 km. And it was hot. Rather than walk the whole way back, we decided to take the boat shuttle to Arsenale Nord and then catch a waterbus. But he didn’t take us to where we expected to go. Instead, we found ourselves wandering through the entrance of the Arsenale, through the café, out the back through what perhaps was once Navy housing. We headed for the water and spotted a bus stop – Biacini. But this wasn’t a stop that is on the regular route; it’s one where you have to request a stop. Don’t waste the time we did trying to find the button – it’s on the pole immediately inside the ticket barrier to your left. For a few minutes there, we felt a little like castaways.

If you’re in Venice in the next few months, be sure to take the time to visit the Biennale. You won’t be disappointed.