A man from behind, sitting on a crate, traditionally used for carrying musical equipment, holds a guitar in his hand with which he generates distorted and long sounds, frequencies that run the risk of annoying the hearing so much that he has to provide the visitors with caps. But it is through this acoustic signal that a series of images are projected on an LED wall that completely fills the space of the Australia Pavilion at the 2022 Venice Biennale. These images are united by a black and white toning and by subjects in which violence and disasters are represented, reason why they can be also very disturbing, in the same way of sound, for the visitor’s experience.

In 1991 the Becher won the Golden Lion for sculpture with a photographic project and somehow also this work by Marco Fusinato could be considered, more than a performance, a sculpture in the very act of defining itself. Animating the space for the entire duration of the biennial, Desastres (2022) is an open studio in which the artist, with his presence and his activity, manages to immerse the viewer by bringing him directly into his thought and creative process: the flow of images, united by the theme of disaster and desolation, and the constant sound generated by Fusinato result in an evolving work. The archive of photographs follow one another: we see suffering animals, hands intent on knocking someone, medieval engravings in which corpses of plague victims are left on the edge of the street and images taken by surveillance cameras. In this stream without control even the body of Fusinato, that will be present every day in the pavilion for the total duration of two hundred days, becomes an image of an act of determination and constancy.

The painting by Francisco Goya Los Desastres de la guerra (1810-20) resting on the ground is a memento mori and guides the choice of images that follow one another on the screen, the whole action triggered by Desastres serves as a reminder to the most vital part of man, metaphor of the generating energy and the constant evolution of each organism. Perceptible as a hallucination or confusing state, Fusinato’s work becomes a sculpture of thought that is modeled during the months of the international exhibition, repeating itself never equal to itself: a form that has no limits and that can be shaped in different individual and collective realities.


Marco Fusinato
Desastres, 2022, Pavilion of Australia
59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk of Dreams
© Photo: Marco Cappelletti, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia