by Chantal

Woke to a beautiful misty Sunday morning with church bells ringing out across the city. Stunning vaporetto ride through the romantic mist to get to the Arsenale.

Venice Biennale, Arsenale entrance

Works in the large open spaces of the Arsenale were many and varied ranging from the awesome and theatrical to the distinctly underwhelming. Here’s a run down in pictures of some of my highlights:

At the start of the Arsenale you are greeted with the incredible recreation of Chinese artist Song Dong’s family home.

Song Dong's Parapavillion 2011

South African born Nicholas Hlobo’s Iimpundulu Zonke Ziyandilandela (2011) is made from rubber and ribbon and is wonderfully theatric and imposing.

Nicholas Hlobo's 'Limpundulu Zonke Ziyandilandela' 2011

Nicholas Hlobo's 'Limpundulu Zonke Ziyandilandela'

The tail end of Nicholas Hlobo's 'Limpundulu Zonke Ziyandilandela'

Haroon Mirza had created an intriguing foam padded cell that invited visitors into its pitch darkness where a circle of white light grew in intensity both in terms of the light and a loud buzz. When it reaches its top pitch the sound abruptly stops and the call and its visitors are plunged back into silent darkness.

Haroon Mirza

Urs Fischer’s has created the incredible work memento mori. Three huge wax sculptures that burn as candles throughout the Biennale. The first is a representation of Fischer’s friend Rudolf Stingel, the second is a replication of Giovanni Bologna’s baroque marble sculpture “The Rape of the Sabine Women”; and the third is Fischer’s studio chair.

Urs Fischer, Memento Mori

Christian Marclay’s The Clock was as brilliant as everyone has said. Truly amazing!

Christian Marclay, The Clock

Unexpected treat was the stunning Saudi Arabian pavilion Black Arch created by sisters Raja and Shadia Alem. You can read about the piece in a great interview from Dazed Digital here.

Raja & Shadia Alem, The Black Arch 2011

Raja & Shadia Alem, The Black Arch, 2011

Finally here is a my movie walk through of some of the above at the Arsenale: