venice

View of “Rudolf Stingel,” 2013. Rug: Untitled, 2013. On wall: Untitled (Franz West), 2011.

Rudolf Stingel

Palazzo Grassi

View of “Rudolf Stingel,” 2013. Rug: Untitled, 2013. On wall: Untitled (Franz West), 2011.

A photograph of an old kilim was the source for the more than eighty thousand square feet of carpeting with which Rudolf Stingel has covered most of the floor and walls of the Palazzo Grassi. Such carpets are often created to pose enigmas to which their makers allude without giving viewers enough information to solve them, thus keeping open all interpretive possibilities. Likewise, viewers cannot completely comprehend the complex symbolic architectures that this particular surface covering expresses, since the photo from which it derives is grainy as a result of its enlargement. Consequently, one constantly feels that something is missing, that some complexities are escaping us.

With this “staging” of the Palazzo Grassi, Stingel has achieved something extraordinary, completely engaging visitors and drawing them into the symbolic labyrinth that characterizes the photo. The installation

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