TO VENICE AND BACK AGAIN

Our recent participation at Scotland’s collateral event THE HAPPENSTANCE was a welcomed opportunity to continue our Biennale Architettura theme of NOTATIONS – Marking Time and Space (link to video will follow soon); a Perth based collaborative project with artist Brian Hartley and St Ninians, a local primary school. A great thank you to the teachers and pupils of St Ninians for the enthusiastic and fun approach to our Perth Vennels Project.

Some of my own Venice highlights –

  • Taking the film ‘PLAY ME SOMETHING’ to Venice for its screening in Palazzo Zenobio’s outdoor cinema. Made over 19 years ago, the project was a collaboration between Timothy Neat and John Berger. Filmed on the islands of Barra and Giudecca it had never been shown in Venice and made the occasion of its first showing a very special evening for The Happenstance. During the film show a lady viewer announced she had seen her cousin in one of the Venice sense!

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  • Discovering a ‘secret garden’, not too far from The Happenstance that was looked after by a group of student activists. Used for producing food, hosting music events and supporting charity book sales and much more. This direct action for making space useful space is a great example of a community of purpose in the city where Freespace can be found. In response to their hospitality we decided to gift our Mr McGregor’s Garden seed packets for sharing with visitors to their garden.

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  • From the Biennale itself the French Pavilion was exceptional with a good strong measure of meaningful ideas and applied practice. A real breath of fresh air amongst the many over thought, over worked and underwhelming installations. However, there were moments of interest and enlightenment amongst a broad display of drawings and sketches in the main pavilion. Perhaps the time to reflect and rethink on the direction and values of the Biennale, whilst The Happenstance continues its onward path towards growth and change in Venice and Scotland.

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