Biennale–Arsenale

The first day we went to the Arsenale. Apparently it is connected to old naval facilities and rope was made there at some point. The building / compound is in itself amazing and so things in there can look great as well. However I was duly impressed with the beginning of the show in this location. It was very cohesive and the work was powerful.
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A site specific work by Ibraham Mahama (from Ghana) used old coal sacks to cover the walls of a very long pathway outside of the Arsenale. It was a very beautiful impressive piece and also seemed to be an ode to El Anatsui, who is also from Ghana.
Ibraham Mahama Out of bounds 06

Ibraham Mahama Out of bounds 05

Sonia Gomes from Brazil was also able to integrate her textile works into the architecture.
Sônia Gomes

Another Eastern European artist also got to benefit from the patina of the building as a background to her works. It was something about clothes to wear when Putin wins an election.
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Abu Bakarr Mansaray made amazingly intricate and imaginative drawings that were a cross between a kid’s fantastical drawings and a madman’s scheming.
Abu Bakarr Mansaray Sinister Project 2008 ball point, colored pencils graphite on paper

Oscar Murillo covered school desks all over the world with canvas and let the kids draw on it for an entire school year. The results are displayed on these slick copper-topped tables. Those from Kenya were especially red from the indigenous dirt.
Oscar Murillo frequencies 2013-onging canvas marks made by school children (kenya)

Ricardo Brey (Cuba) had seemingly endless vitrines filled with book objects and other assemblage-type works.
Ricardo Brey Every Life is a Fire 2009 ongoing 03

The wacky juxtapositions of Helen Marten (UK) particularly endeared her work to us.
Helen Marten 2015

The large canvases of Ji Dachun (China) were impressive for their subtlety and mixture of marks. I loved this white on white one. To contrast, there was also a black on black.
Ji Dachun acrylic cavas white 02

Tiffany Chung (Vietnam) made these delicate and fastidious drawings based on a variety of alarming statistics from around the world.

Tiffany Chung