The end of artBy
Does everyone remember the gondola loaded with cut-up gondolas that was parked in our canal in the opening fervor of the Biennale?
The opening of the Biennale is, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned, more like starling-swarming or the wildebeest migration than anything else. Dramatic for a short sharp moment, then it’s over and people forget about it.
By now the process is complete. The swarms began to depart the evening of June 2, and although fluttering shreds of tourists remain, the sort who seem to have come actually to look at the art and not each other (shocking, I know), life on the whole is back to its incomprehensible normality.
As everyone knows, the gondola assemblage was art. A week has passed, and this creation has been demoted to Private First Class, downgraded to Economy, put back a grade, however you want to put it.
Having fulfilled its purpose — whatever it was — the object has been removed from its watery pedestal, and taken far away. Not so far in geographic terms, but extremely far in terms of appreciation. You may have heard of “value added”? This is an example of “value subtracted.”
It is now resting quietly in the devastated territory of our rowing club. Evidently the squero here nearby that confected it didn’t want it back soon (or ever); anyway, I was told that in exchange for painting one of our boats, we agreed to let them stash it here.