Venice Biennale 2011 – Kapoor’s Sublime

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Ascension in Basilica di San Giorgio

Not a bad picture I snapped, I must say. But did I feel sublimation? Hmm… Yes, a cloud of smoke arose from a drum-like, temporary plywood room on the floor under the dome. Driven by columns of powerful fans stacked from floor to ceiling, blowing from four corners, the cloud slowly took form and after many attempts, was finally coaxed into  a column that reached for the lantern of the dome, now marred by a giant suction duct.

In the waning hours of an October day in Venice, in this most beautiful of Venetian churches, a 16th century Palladian masterpiece, I actually felt unease as I heard the steady, relentless  whirl of the fans amidst  all the mechanical contraptions that have invaded the space.

Can technology really bring us nearer to the sublime?

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