These are elegant tubes; Art Deco tubes. The exhibition LLIM. an organism by Lara Fluxà presented at Catalonia in Venice tells the stories of the Venice waters, its glass, of alchemy, Modernity, capitalism, and an exhibition. And how they are interconnected.
The installation consists of tubes, pipes, test glasses and liquids. A neat system, between scientific laboratory, milk tubes used for feeding young kettle, and Art Deco. The sleek rendering in black, white, and red gives an elegant impression despite the rubber tubes and green and white liquids. Presented between coarse concrete, red bricks and an open roof truss, the ambience is strangely closed but open. Just look, don’t touch.
The whiteish liquid in the tubes resembles milk, the amorphous shapes of the tubes recall the (female) body, the hoses bowels and umbilical cords, linking the installation to topics such as fertility, femininity, and natural cycles. As Jules Michelet is cited in the exhibition handbook: “Sir, what, in your opinion, is that whitish, viscous matter which we find in sea water?” “Nothing else than life.” In the words of this year’s Biennale: The Milk of Dreams.
The exhibition booklet is a work itself. Poems, texts, and letters dating from 1556 – 2022 are combined to a literal storyflow. A scientific, rational, poetic, artistic approach to a web of subjects. The texts and visuals are combined in a highly aesthetic way complementing the equally aesthetic installation. A shame that the light paper is prone to cracks and buckles. Then again: life is fragile, as the exhibition aims at demonstrating.
Again, risking the cliché with these words, LLIM. an organism is a reflective environment, activating and meditative at the same time. Full of content for everybody who wishes to engage further. And a simple pleasure to experience for those who prefer looking.