I’ve just returned from a weekend in Venice, which is a good idea when it's not too hot or crowded. I don’t have time for detail – it’s Frieze week! – but for those planning a late sally, my top Biennale-related items still open in Oct-Nov are as follows:
Bice Curiger’s 83-artists ILLUMInations – obvious, but true.
The national pavilions of Switzerland (Thomas Hirschhorn’s gloriously and rigorously excessive ‘Crystal of Resistance’ ), the Czech / Slovak combination (an installation re-presenting the sculptures made by artist Domink Lang’s father), Austria (Markus Schinwald’s Freudian tweaks and leg obsessions) and Denmark (an un-nationalist group show starring Tala Madani and Hans Hoogerbrugge) - all in the Giardini.
Anish Kapoor’s apparitional ‘Ascension’ in Palladio’s church on the island of St Giorgio, the best thing he’s done in years (though be careful it’s not lunchtime).
Gigi Scaria’s virtual experience for India; and David Perez Karmadavis’ blind man carrying a legless guide in the excellent multi-nation Latin American Show, both in the far Arsenale.
The collateral event which is effectively national pavilion of Scotland (Karla Black), the best of those out and about in the city.
Hans Op de Beeck’s ‘Location 7’, a walk-in grey concrete room overlooking a fountain in the Alexander Ponomarev-curated project ‘One of a Thousand Ways to Defeat Entropy’ (a free boat transfer from the Arsenale - but go last: you can’t come back!)
The Pinault Collection at the Palazzo Grassi, rather than the Punta della Dogana.
Museo Fortuny’s dramatic excess (and ask the assistant to turn on the kinetic work ‘Magnetic Surfaces’ by Davide Boriani, which generates odd creatures and addictive transformations from iron filings).