Tag: David Hansen

Review | David Hansen on Danh Vo’s Slip of the Tongue in Venice

Slip of the Tongue, Punta della Dogana, Venice 12 April-31 December 2015 Curated by Danh Vo in collaboration with Caroline Bourgeois Venice: home of Marco Polo; key entrepôt on the Silk Road; the heart of a great and glittering maritime and mercantile empire. For hundreds of years the Most Serene Republic reached out across the Adriatic and the Mediterranean to the Eastern Empire and beyond, trading and plundering; the famous lion of St Mark atop the right-hand column of the Piazzetta, next to the Doge’s Palace, is probably 4th century BC Persian-Hellenistic; the Byzantine water-marble facing of the basilica of San Marco was stripped from Hagia Sophia during the sack of Constantinople at the time of the Fourth Crusade. Yet the city also has an intense historical and cultural specificity: an essentially Græco-Roman and Roman Catholic identity that underpins all its…

Exhibition Review | Atua: sacred gods from Polynesia | David Hansen

  This is a ‘pre-print’ version of a review to be published by the University of Hawai’i Press in The Contemporary Pacific (vol. 17 no.1) in early 2015. Atua: sacred gods from Polynesia is on at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra from 23 May – 3 August 2014 As you pass between the split-text panels at the entrance to Atua: sacred gods from Polynesia, your first encounter is with two semi-abstract totemic figures from a ritual sanctuary or marae, carved by contemporary Cook Island artist Eruera Nia. Embedded in a low, square, grey plinth, these silver-weathered woodenarabesques or parentheses are at once descriptive and abstract, hieratic and dynamic, leaping up into vision and consciousness in a manner comparable to that of the Gallery’s modernist masterpiece, Constantin Brancusi’s Birds in Space. Then, as you turn right to enter the exhibition proper, you…