So, Berlinde De Bruyckere hasn’t brought that Golden Lion home, for Belgium. But in a remote way we are linked to one of the winners at the Venice Biennale. Because there’s a link between Belgium and Lithuania, winner of a special mention for ‘an original curatorial format’, a pavilion set up jointly with Cyprus. Two of the commissioners of the Lithuanian pavilion are Aurimé Aleksandraviciute and Jonas Zakaitis, who used to run Tulips & Roses, a hip gallery in Brussels. Raimundas Malasauskas, the pavilion’s curator, was one of the artists they represented.
Theirs is a pavilion of a different kind, certainly worth a visit (close to the Arsenale), as it is housed in a sports hall. As I visited it, I wasn’t sure what was part of the exhibition and what not. That poster on the floor certainly was, but that cleaning robot? (As a matter of fact: it’s called Roomba, and it is). At the center of the exhibition you’ll find walls shipped from several European museums (Cousins, by Dutch artist Gabriel Lester). Some of them are from Wiels (Brussels). During the opening days choreographer/performance artist Maria Hassabi was performing Intermission (she recently premiered Counter-relief at Kaaitheater’s Performatik festival, Brussels).
Do get lost in the building and you might be in for another slightly surreal surprise, as you might be running into cleaning ladies first, and then groups of teenagers, training in one of the other halls.