VK’s Reading Room:”Francesco Bonami Goes to Antarctica
by Venetia Kapernekas
I read this at Vulture written by Francesco Bonami on his trip to Antarctica very very interesting, as somehow the curator becomes the subject for study on a real life exhibition.
Now is the season to go: Some things are melting, certain parts still have waves of the frozen ocean, and in a few weeks, it will melt down and turn into water. It was quite intense. We had to fly for a long time in this unpressurized plane for 7,000 feet. It was very intense. We went from Cape Town. We went with a bag full of stuff. I brought very little for myself. We changed very little. I would drink bottled water. I think you could drink the tap water. There were icebergs that looked totally pure — we took ice from an iceberg and we used it to drink whiskey. The Russian base really drinks; you don’t want to have a hang-over there. I didn’t want to have it. I don’t think it would have been fun. And no, it’s not very good food. It is mostly frozen. You’re very high most of the time, you are slightly nauseous; you don’t have a huge appetite.”
“..I’m glad it came through, but I don’t think I want to go back — I’ve seen it. It’s not anything from a curatorial point of view; many curators have gone to Antarctica. Though it informed me in a very mystic way. I was at the American base, the Amundsen-Scott base, and I met an Australian or New Zealand scientist. And he told me something like, What if the Earth and the sun didn’t exist, we could establish if the universe has an up and a down. It got me thinking — it was a very banal talk — but you think from a Western point of view that you are upside-down, and then you look up, and you still look up! Whether we invented the universe or a God did, either way, he was very clever, he made something where nobody can look down; even if you look down, it is always up, I think it was interesting. It is a stupid thought, but I truthfully never thought about it until I was there.”