Saturday, 16 May 2015

herman de vries and lazaretto vecchio island

One of the surprises of the 56. Venice Biennale is an annex for the Dutch pavilion, hidden on the deserted and hardly accessible island called Lazaretto Vecchio. The exhibition at the Giardini pavilion and other places in the city and the island is dedicated to the oeuvre of herman de vries, the legendary land art veteran. de vries has scattered a number of stones with short texts over the island, where "this point is possible starting point, a possible standpoint, here is important, there is important, and so is everywhere". Lazaretto Vecchio was first inhibited in 1249, later used as a hospital for quarantined plague patients, and a leprosarium. This tiny place on the lagoon has faced a dark and surreal history, as a place of death rituals, mass graves, quarantine storage rooms, ruins and even dog sanctuary.