July 29, 2011
The Vienna-based art collective Gelitin is know for their unconventional exhibitions, installations, and performances. For their participation in the Venice Art Biennale 2011 they conceived the Gelatin Pavilion, located in the Giardini delle Vergini (Arsenale). The centerpiece of the site-specific installation titled Gelatin Pavilion – Some like it Hot is a wood-fired furnace that is used to transform glasses and bottles into a lump of melted glass (so if you want a piece of Venetian Murano glass you have to look elsewhere). During the Preview days of the Venice Biennale, Gelitin fired up the audience with live performances, supported by the Brooklyn-based band Japanther.
From Pizza ovens to the Venice’s glass blowing industry – a lot of connotations can be linked with the Gelatin Pavilion. Gelitin wouldn’t be Gelitin if they wouldn’t draw links to architects, assholes, carbon dioxide, pyramids, the Venice glass industry, pizza ovens, sugar, Miss Jesus, light bulbs, alchemy and magic, digestion, sex, wasting of energy, and table tennis balls. Anyway: As they say themselves, with Some Like it Hot Gelitin use quite a lot of energy for a diffuse result.
The four artists Wolfgang Gantner, Ali Janka, Florian Reither and Tobias Urban founded Gelitin in 1993. Since then, they have staged boxing matches and floggings, invented the human elevator and the speaking vortex, presented themselves as “Happy Chickens”, designed a new typeface based on excrements, and created a Wonder of the Word that bold visitors could only access by diving through a water hole. They invented a water bed filled with the urine of gallery visitors, made a sculpture being blindfolded, installed a boating lake on the roof of a gallery, and created the human 3d copy machine. A list with all documented projects is available on Gelitin’s website.
Gelitin: Gelatin Pavilion – Some Like it Hot! at the 54th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Performance, Giardini delle Vergini (Arsenale), Venice / Italy, June 4, 2011.
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