Galerie Barbara Thumm \ María Magdalena Campos-Pons – 53+1=54+1=55. Letter of the Year. The 55th Venice Biennial

María Magdalena Campos-Pons53+1=54+1=55.
Letter of the Year.
The 55th Venice Biennial
Venice Biennale

María Magdalena Campos-Pons, *1959 in Matanzas, Cuba,
lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee

Text: Christine Temin for artnewengland

Photo © Riccardo Gay

26 available works

VENICE, ITALY—She walked out of the five star Hotel Bauer in a Chinese emperor’s robe, made up in whiteface, and wearing a huge contraption on her head. It looked like a giant birdcage and had a peacock feather attached.

Surrounded by dancers and musicians, she then slowly, majestically, walked through the heart of St. Mark’s Square, one of the world’s iconic assemblages of art and architecture, and into the Museo Archeologico.

This performance by Cuban-born Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, who lives and works in the Boston area and teaches at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, was part of the opening of this year’s Venice Biennale. It was also completely illegal. She’d applied for a permit, but unless you’re, say, the Pope, you don’t get a permit easily in Venice. Such is Italian, and particularly Venetian, bureaucracy.

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