What if Roots Could Grow Venice Biennale Arsenale 2011

The Kreeger Museum, Washington DC
September 2011 - July 2013



Maybe because of my broken roots, melancholy, in all its aspects, has long been intertwined with my life, hence, with my artistic work.

In Venice, for this year's biennale international art exhibition, I chose to address my site responsive installation to the two towers that mark the entrance to the Arsenale. It was a place where, for almost a century, big ships were built and was the source of power and pride for the glorious Venetian republic. For the past few hundreds of years, this "factory" has been almost deserted; today, with the polluted canals going through it and large decaying buildings out of use, the Arsenale sits there as a reminder of what there was.

When selected to create a site specific sculpture on the grounds of The Kreeger Museum, I was immediately drawn to the tennis court. Surrounded by five and one-half acres and an exquisite building, designed by architect Philip Johnson, the tennis court exemplified the Kreegers' former lifestyle until the Museum opened in 1994. Throughout the years of non-use, the floor cracked, the poles for the net rusted, and the metal fence was slowly covered with roots and vines of Ivy, Wisteria and Honey Suckle. The gardeners over time tried to get rid of those weeds but to no avail – they grew integrally into the fence and could not be separated. This situation offered me the opportunity to take advantage of the "broken roots" before the tennis court is destined for demolition.

My intention is to give importance, with my installation, to these remnants of roots and vines that could not be removed, by painting them bright red and adding some painted steel "roots" sculptures. I concentrated my attention on what there was and is no longer there – "When Nature Takes Over"






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