Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Water world

New Zealand has a new venue this time at the Venice Biennale and it is right on the Grand Canal, the main waterway through the city. The rich speedboat in from the airport, the very rich speed in their own boats from the marina and the rest of the art crowd slowly putt-putts along the Canal at a snail’s pace on the public water transport system called vaporettos. But at whatever comfort levels or speeds they travel (there are speed cameras in Venice too) all will pass by the banner announcing Michael Parekowhai’s installation at the Palazzo Loredan.

It’s never easy to find your way around Venice. The approved method seems to be to head in the general direction and hope for the best. From the vaporetto stop Ca’Rezzonica, the Parekowhai site is hang a left, hang another left and you’re there. The very rich (and more of them are attracted every year to these mega art events) simply jump into a water taxi, a weird description which would have the rest of us hailing road taxis, and get dropped off at the jetty outside the front door.

The opening blitz kicks off tomorrow for NZ with previews and an evening for the patrons who stumped up to help make it all possible. As you might expect, Michael Parekowhai has a big surprise in store for them. Venice isn’t Henderson, and that’s a fact.
Images: Left the NZ venue on the Grand canal and right a sign that Michael Parekowhai is in residence above the venue's front door