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THE FOUR-CORNERS GAME

BIENNALES AND DOCUMENTAS THESE DAYS always seem to appear right on schedule, one after the other, like symptoms in a disease. One no longer goes to look at the work but to see how the patient is doing. Given art’s quasi-cancerous rate of proliferation, a lot of space is necessary for any attempt at an overview, and only huge international exhibitions command the appropriate means. In Venice, this general pathology is superimposed on a city itself ever more infested or infected by tourists, ever less capable of renewal, as if stricken by a general paralysis or aphasia. No one quite knows why they continue to go to Venice every two years. Is it to see a new Biennale, or to see the city one more time? Floating in that vaporetti-furrowed lagoon—the boats, incessantly pumping, as wheezy as they are overloaded—the two great invalids stare each other down like china dogs, each waiting only for

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