Arsenale Out Back

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Published June 8, 2009

 

The Arsenale comprises the two sprawling corridors, arranged in an L-shape that used to host the Venetian fleet but now are home to some of the most maligned art exhibitions on earth. But this year for the first time the Arsenale opened the space secreted behind the sculpture garden (which this year had Miranda July’s plinths for photos) to five artists for installationâ??all were more or less excellent. Nikhil Chopra took over a cylindrical tower that probably has a proper name or is a chapel; William Forsythe installed in a barn; Sara Ramo got a cottage which she probably imagined was for some fair milkmaid; both Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Lara Favaretto didn’t need architecture at all. If you arrive by water taxi to the Arsenale, you have to come from the back, an intervention as luckily as it is suspiciously classist.. Saved the best for firstâ??but who’s complaining?