i’m eagerly awaiting the falling into place of the rest of the lineup; this will largely dictate travel plans for next year if the roster proves to be anything like the last time i was there. and venice, who needs an excuse to go back? i’m about due for more of that magical city and its mandorlinas, biennale pavilions, exploring the dorsoduro, getting lost in its maze of floating sidewalks. that france and iceland are the first to pony up their entrants bodes well. we shall see.
Christian Boltanski — best known for haunting installations in dimly lit rooms, frequently featuring photographs of children — will represent France in an exhibition curated by Jean-Hubert Martin, a former director of the Centre Pompidou. He is also famous for his acerbic world view. He once told an interviewer, “We are a subject one day, with our vanities, our loves, our worries, and then one day, abruptly, we become nothing but an object, an absolutely disgusting pile of shit.” France will be celebrating nearly a century in its pavilion, which was design by Faust Finzi in 1912.
Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson (not to be confused with artist Olafur Eliasson, who represented his native Denmark in 2003) will be handed the keys to the pavilion in 2011. The two have collaborated for some time on projects since 1997. Castro also has the unique distinction of being one of the rare artists picked to represent a country of which he is not a citizen, a feat achieved last year by Briton Liam Gillick, who represented Germany at the exhibition. The humble island nation will be toasting a half-century anniversary: It has been visiting the Biennale since 1960 (back when it was held in even-numbered year