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I Am Gustav von Aschenbach - Epilogue

posted Mar 11, 2010, 9:13 AM by Anca Sinpalean   [ updated Mar 11, 2010, 1:56 PM ]
The "I Am Gustav von Aschenbach" project in Venice has ended. The artist, the bear and the curator have returned home.  The experience was thrilling and rewarding, it involved a lot of work but also a lot of fun. The Carnival was a colorful madness, the public has been open and perceptive, Venice was cold but beautiful.

I can openly say that the project was a success on many levels: the Romanian Cultural Institute in Venice gained exposure and a "lively" experience through the project, Delia, the artist, got a lot of video material, interviews and experience as a performer and as a bear, the curator learned a lot about curating and also a bit of Italian. The biggest challenge was the adaptation to the space of the gallery, the solution being one that functioned very well aesthetically and functionally: we taped photocopies of Delia's works and sketches on the walls, had the books that inspire her displayed and easy to look at, created a "studio" environment where she could work, think, interview people, rest. The monitor in the window did draw people's attention, and did draw them in.

The artist's performance during the opening was also an adaptation to the specific space, to the people and the environment. She made a guided tour of the Palazzo Correr where the Institute is located, carrying the people along the rooms and hallways, mixing historical elements with the presentation of its contemporary inhabitants. The bear costume did not produce any confusion, its function and relation to Gustav von Aschenbach being well understood, except for a disagreement with one of the persons participating in the performance, who supported the idea that the horse is a better embodiment of the instincts than the bear... Last but not least, friendships were born, and promises of future collaborations.