“Everybody Talks About the Weather” and “Thus waves come in pairs”
              Laura McLean-Ferris
              One of the most remarkable things about living through a permacrisis is how much seems to go on as normal. Art exhibitions, for example, continue to get organized amid deranging heat, the lurid smoke of forest fires, and the wet wreckage of floods. In Venice, the precarious lagoon city now heavily reliant on a high-tech flood barrier system, two shows are currently on view that propose methods for curating art in this atmosphere of environmental collapse and change. Weather as metaphor, weather as context, weather as catalyst and catastrophe. There are a lot of exhibition-making strategies being tested in Dieter Roelstraete’s rangy “Everybody Talks About the Weather” at Fondazione Prada, but the show bears some relationship to the “report.” An LED screen with a grid of television weather forecasts from around the world is installed in the foyer, where a collection of glossy professionals with blow-dried hair gesture in front of colorful maps. This motif—newsy, mediatic, even a little silly—is echoed in the exhibition’s information panels, which resemble newspaper front pages with headlines, data, and “stories” about the artworks on show. This is the third in a series of major exhibitions across Prada’s venues that have marked a turn towards …
              Joan Jonas’s “Moving Off the Land II”
              Barbara Casavecchia
              In one of my earliest memories, I’m swimming alone in fins and goggles across a bay in the Adriatic Sea. Everything is illuminated: emerald seaweeds, milky pink actinias, chromed silver fish, and my legs shining like a mermaid’s tail. Which is magic: on terra firma, ichthyosis (from ichthys, Ancient Greek for fish) makes my skin scaly, so that, as etymology suggests and dermatology recommends, salt water is my natural element. Bodies and cells know best. As Joan Jonas likes to point out: “somewhere in our unconscious we remember that we come from the sea. It’s not a memory; it’s a feeling; it’s in our DNA. I think that’s where all these stories come from and our desire to go back to the sea, our desire to swim under water, which I love to do.” In her multimedia installation Moving Off the Land II (2019), exhibited at Ocean Space in Venice and curated by Stefanie Hessler, we see Jonas swimming in a dress (red and polka-dotted, or dark and transparent) with a cloud of silver hair snaking gently around her head. In these videos, shot in Jamaica by filmmaker Cynthia Beatt, she looks like a luminous apparition, an aquatic creature whose …

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