Island Weather, Mark Justiniani
Entering the darkness of the Philippine pavilion, it looks at first glance like the artist Mark Justiniani has been burrowing through the floor to excavate the centuries-old foundations of the Artigliere building. As your eyes adjust, you realise that the tunnel of crumbling masonry is just one element of a bigger illusion. The installation Arkipelago (2019), inspired by the hybrid histories of the island nation, consists of three glass-topped biomorphic platforms, or islands, which harness the same infinity mirror technique used by Yayoi Kusama and Ivan Navarro. In place of their twinkling coloured lights, Justiniani’s work has a creepier doll’s (fun)house aesthetic, with plunging recessions of household objects—paper stacks, suspended apple cores, wine glasses and a modest meal on a banana leaf. For the full vertigo experience, take your shoes off, walk across the glass and do look down.
– excerpt taken from The Art Newspaper article on the Venice Biennale 2019
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