Aleksandra Mir

Report From Venice: Day 1

By Berin Golonu, New York, June 2009

Making Worlds
7 June – 22 November 2009
Internazionale d'Arte - La Biennale di Venezia, Venice

...The open-ended character of Ono's Instruction Pieces and the desire to incorporate audience members as active participants in the process is most humorously echoed in Aleksandra Mir's installation Venezia: All Places Contain All Others (2009). On display in The Arsenale, the other venue for Making Worlds, Mir has printed one million postcards of Venice in various designs for visitors to take at will. Although the cards are labeled "Venezia" in cheery, self-assured colors and typefaces, they show stock images of places that have nothing to do with this city: a snowy landscape could be a lakefront in Canada; a beachfront scattered with high rises resembles Palm Beach, Florida; another snapshot shows beefy men in the midst of a whitewater rafting adventure. One can't help but wonder how the recipient of such a postcard might react to such depictions. Would they get the joke, or might they just believe that the landscape of Venice has changed that much? Mir's project raises interesting questions about the way in which information - and misinformation - gets disseminated globally, and how secondhand sources of knowledge often shape our impressions of distant locales...