Venice goes under water at Biennale

Venice goes under water at Biennale

A new exhibition of the work of Jason deCaires Taylor, creator of underwater sculptures, has opened as part of the 57th Biennale in Venice. It continues until 27 November in the Italian city’s Official National Pavilion of Grenada.

That Caribbean island is where deCaires Taylor began his underwater works in 2006 – with extensive installations since added in Mexico and the Canary Islands, these now total more than 800 sculptures.

The show features a collection of large-scale photographic prints and a series of new sculptures focusing on coral-bleaching, the sculptor’s response to the world’s longest recorded bleaching events occurring between 2014 and 2016.

There is also a short film of Museo Atlantico in Lanzarote, which is said to have seen considerable colonisation of what until recently was deserted seabed. The film can also be found online.

The Biennale exhibition lies close to Punta della Dogana, which houses artist Damien Hirst’s latest show Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable, based around sculptures taken from an imaginary ancient shipwreck. 

Responding to allegations that Hirst has appropriated de Caires Taylor’s style, the latter said: “Over the past 11 years working under water I have always hoped my work was about giving something back, creating new life and providing glimpses into a fragile imperilled world. 

“After viewing Hirst’s latest exhibition, it seems I have certainly created an art genre that has been responded to, but his marine facsimiles are very different in context from my living installations.

“If people really want to see ‘unbelievable treasures’ they should look below the surface of our seas at the real live wonders of the blue world – nature does not lie.”

Find out more about Jason deCaires Taylor’s work here 

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