Party Out of Bounds

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To wrap up Friday, I went with friends to a party for the Brazil pavilion being given at the home of two wealthy Bolognese collectors, Marino and Paola Golinelli, who also keep a Palazzo on the Grand Canal. (You would too if you could.)

Their home is worth taking a moment to describe because it epitomizes the surprises in store behind the closed doors and shuttered windows of Venetian homes. Every available surface is covered with contemporary art, the walls, the ceilings, even in some rooms the floors. There’s a double trail of stones by the British artist Richard Long in one of the entry ways, with a raised lucite floor built over it so you can walk through the room and see it underneath.

Their collection includes a few names you would recognize — the Chinese artist Cui Xiu Wen (a long photo mural with lots of very naked women), a David Byrne (yes, that David Byrne — a picture of two streams of British pound notes held in a DNA configuration by stilettos and other sharp objects), a wall-sized William Kentridge related to the sets he recently designed for his production of The Magic Flute. And many you might not. (I don’t know much much about Jakub Nepras, who Goodle tells me is Romanian, but his churning video piece Babylon Plant, made of thousands of scurrying images, makes me want to know more.) All of this scattered around a centuries-old house with watered silk wall coverings and a trompe l’oeil ceiling painting over the master bed.

Even in Venice, the weight of the past can be worn lightly if you know how to do it. Speaking of which, I wasn’t surprised that the genial sixty-ish host was wearing a bright orange suit.