Ron Arad’s Last Train arrives at the 55th Venice Biennale
The Last Train is Ron Arad’s response to Steinmetz’s initiative and commission to create a work of art incorporating diamonds. Arad’s piece is about the strength of the raw material rather than as a symbol of value and adornment, about the way diamonds have often been, since the advent of glass panes in the 16th century, used to etch messages of love, hate, rebellion or pain. From Elizabeth I who scratched love vows on bottles and jars with her ‘promise ring’ or ‘scribbling ring’ (in which the diamond would be fitted pointing outwards) to Robert Burns who scratched poems on glass panes to thousands of train travellers who scratch the windows with their anger, love and dissent.
Arad’s Last Train is an emotive and powerful image in motion. Watching a cast of Arad’s fist, armed with an Arad designed striking Steinmetz diamond ring, poking through a black cloth, scratching glowing lines onto the glass pane, is a fascinating, mysterious performance. One can’t help but imagine the person hiding behind the cloth.
Arad also invited a number of other artists to take part in the project, including, to date, Ai Weiwei, Anthony Gormley, Francesco Clemente, Christian Marclay, David Shrigley, Cornelia Parker, Richard Wilson, Robert Wilson, Sara Fanelli, Sue Webster and Tim Noble, Leandro Erlich and Gavin Turk. Each artist creates their work on an iPad, using the Last Train specially developed app, the Last Train echoes their every stroke, scratching their image onto the glass.
The Last Train is on display now until November, 24, 2013, 10am-6pm daily, Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti, San Marco, Veniceat, labiennale.org
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