PRINT September 2017


Anne Imhof, Faust, 2017. Performance view, German pavilion, Venice. From the 57th Venice Biennale. Eliza Douglas. Photo: Nadine Fraczkowski.

THE LINE to get into Anne Imhof’s German pavilion takes two hours. Dobermans roam behind a twelve-foot-high welded-wire fence. We wait impatiently, a procession of docile tourists, shapeless and slouching in tired linens, sweating in all the wrong places, drawn down by tote bags spelling out the names of other artists, other nations. For those in the know, Germany’s swag is hardest to get and better than the rest—a black polyester drawstring knapsack printed with a topless photo of Eliza Douglas, artist, model, Imhof’s girlfriend, and star of Faust, this stylishly cryptic show.

Inside, the old Neoclassical art temple has been stripped to basics. It’s the kind of minimal only money can buy: Thick glass walls and an elevated glass floor joined by stainless-steel brackets carve up the space, not unlike a Bohlin Cywinski Jackson–designed Apple store. A central chamber contains

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