Our review of La Biennale
"The Milk of Dreams"
The Milk of Dreams is inspired by the children’s book under the same title by surrealist artist, Leonora Carrington. In it, she collected imaginary stories and pictures of wondrous creatures that she drew for her children. The idea behind it is that the instruments available to art can produce systems capable of reinventing existence through an incessant process of metamorphosis and rethinking which can question the very concept of the human being and the notions of identity, diversity, and responsibility toward the planet.
Art can help us imagine new modes of coexistence and infinite new possibilities of transformation: How can art raise awareness of environmental issues? What role can art play in building a better world after the COVID crisis? And what potential does it have to bring about change within society?
Some of our favorite Latinamerican artists were:
Cecilia Vicuña (Chile) who won the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Biennale. She is a multifaceted visual artist whose work ranges from painting, sculpture, and drawing to performance and film; and has also a rich literary practice as a poet and activist who has fought for the rights of Indigenous communities in Chile. She left her country after the Pinochet coup and moved to NY where she has lived since the 1970s.
Her artistic language is built around a deep fascination with Indigenous traditions and non-Western epistemologies.
Sandra Vásquez de la Horra is a Chilean artist who works around the female figure: it is depicted as creator and Mother Earth but also as violated and submissive. The artist employs accordion folds to bring her figures into sculptural space, emphasizing the physicality, texture, and fracture of graphic marks. She often seals her drawings with molten beeswax, which evokes a religious connotation and adds a layer of vulnerability to their materiality.
Gabriel Chaile presence at the Arsenale was deeply felt by his massive clay sculptures which were presented as sculptured clay ovens that evoked pre-Columbian archaeological ceramics. It does not come as a surprise that he actually wanted to become an archaeologist to deepen his understanding of ancient indigenous communities’ rituals and artistic customs. The elements of his works are simple and austere yet full of symbolism.