Friday, June 5, 2009

John Baldessari in conversation with Daniel Birnbaum and Steven Henry Madoff

The "key" artist of Biennale 2009 John Baldessari, presented his work in front of a crowded audience. Daniel Birnbaum and Steven Henry Madoff were both feeding the conversation with the artist, while a huge quantity of journalists literally invaded  the Teatro Piccolo.

In the beginning of the talk, Daniel Birnbaum announced the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement prize to John Baldessari, and than introduced some artworks showed in different points of the exhibition. When we say Baldessari we can actually think about a complete artist of an older generation who explored since the 60's alternative ways of making art and who tryed to figure out what art is. He argues about the notion of site-specific installation in relation to the value of language in his works.

On the facade of Ca' Giustinian palace, facing the Canal Grande, appears one of his famous sentences: "I will not make anymore boring art".

He replies to this, describing the need of Art to concern about relations, and this is the reason why he also painted the main wall of the central pavilion of the Giardini (now called Palazzo delle Esposizioni, known as Padiglione Italia since last year).

Consequently the Palazzo wears a new identity, and Birnbaum was entusiastic about giving the chance to realize new works for the Biennale to artists of new and old generation. He describes the Baldessari's wall painting as an intense and strong impact on the viewer. In my opinion the artwork gives us a different kind of feeling, such as curiosity, for example!

Steven Henry Madoff, the organiser of the series of conversations between artists and curators, focused on the great personality of the artist, in particular on his professional experience as an art school teacher. Baldessari said he was managing the teacher career in the same way of the artist one. "Students have to be considered as young artists" he said.

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