TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT September 2019

Venice 2019

Ed Atkins, Untitled, 2018, HD video, color, sound, 16 minutes. From the series “Old Food,” 2017–19.

The malediction “May you live in interesting times,” adopted by curator Ralph Rugoff as the title of this year’s Venice Biennale, implies that epochs of strife and catastrophe have one saving grace: They’re never dull. But Wagner fans will tell you that even a Götterdämmerung has its longueurs—and in the Lithuanian pavilion, ERIKA BALSOM writes, the Golden Lion-winning opera Sun & Sea (Marina) envisions apocalypse as a boring afternoon at the beach: “While the world dies, we remain inert, basking in the burning sun.”

Here, art historians CLAIRE BISHOP, JANET KRAYNAK, and Balsom reckon with a Biennale whose stealth leitmotif—the drone, a technology whose name connoted monotony before it was associated with ultraviolence—is an eerily fitting Valkyrie for our twilight of the gods.

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the September 2019 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.