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06 Jul 2017

Claudia Fontes: The Horse Problem

Biennale di Venezia, Argentinean Pavilion, Arsenale

Reviewed by Rob Mackenzie

The Biennale show-stopper this year is a young lady and her horse.

Rising to the ceiling in a former Arsenale cannon foundry, Argentinian sculptor Claudia Fontes's lustrous, enormous stallion of resin and marble rears over a life-sized equestrienne amid the rocky rubble from which they both might have been been sculpted.

The suspended marble fragments combine to cast an irregular shadow on a nearby wall in the shape of a disintegrating beast. They dwarf a third figure, a hunched young boy trying to make sense of it all.

Echoes of viewers' footfalls in the cavernous space punctuate the unspoken tragedy of a beast whose survival has historically depended on its being exploited and whose time now seems past.

Freed from bridle, spur, and rider - unlike the countless bronze steeds in piazzas across Italy - and its life no longer inextricably linked linked to its master, the horse faces an uncertain future. Fontes and other artists here seem to say ours is uncertain as well.

Exhibition Claudia Fontes: The Horse Problem
Start date 13 May 2017
End date 26 Nov 2017
Presenter Biennale di Venezia link
Venue Argentinean Pavilion, Arsenale, Venice, ITA map
Image Installation view, Claudia Fontes, The Horse Problem, resin and marble dust sculptures, 57th International Art Exhibition, Biennale de Venezia, curated by Andrés Duprat, photo by Victor Salvo

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