Venice

Kiki Smith

Fondazione Querini Stampalia

For the exhibition “Homespun Tales: A Tale of Domestic Occupation,” Kiki Smith occupied a Venetian palazzo, decorating its third floor as an American Colonial home that paralleled the former residence of the noble Querini Stampalia family below. Among the opulent eighteenth-century furnishings and Renaissance paintings of the historical second floor the artist placed thirteen porcelain figurines—delicate white apparitions peering from behind the glass of dark wood cabinets or perched on top of fireplace mantels. These mythical creatures—some of which resembled Smith—included an Eve metamorphosing into her own serpent next to another pondering the apple, a sort of undressed Red Riding Hood mounting the wolf, naked girls frolicking sensually with bears and lions, and some barefoot Alices in Wonderland.

Upstairs, one felt like Alice, suddenly growing bigger or smaller by turns:

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